Wildwood, NJ – American Express along with Kenny Chesney and Johnathan Demme scouted out the location to film a live concert which was streamed on YouTube last evening for Chesney’s newly released album titled; “Welcome to the Fishbowl.” Their place of choice was none other than the vast and beautiful beach in Wildwood. At 8:30pm Chesney hit the stage with his kick-off and tribute to the first day of summer and his unofficial summer anthem; “No Shoes, no shirt, no problem.” The crowd sang along happily for 2 hours while Chesney, the ultimate professional and performer sang, smiled and had some fun on the stage. Cheseny said; “I’ve played many venues before but this one has to be the coolest and best ever.” The crowds cheered on while Chesney sang songs that he wrote, like his new release; “Come On,” which is on his newest CD and favorites like “Somewhere with You, She Thinks My Tractors Sexy, Livin Fast Forward, Guitars, Tiki Bars and a Whole Lotta Love” just to name a few. Chesney’s songs tap into a nostalgic look at times gone by, growing up and the beach. His style has been compared to the story telling of Jimmy Buffett and like Buffett he’s all American.
Watching the huge stage being built since last Wednesday made one realize just how vast the Wildwood beaches really are. Susan DiBiasio a concert attendee and local resident said; “our beaches are the perfect venue for top name entertainers to come to town in the summer and even the fall, I hope this is the start of many more wonderful events that can bring in business and people to the island. It’s just great to see.”
The stage took one week to set up and still didn’t look to large or out of place for the huge beach where it was located between Lincoln and Schellenger avenues. From any spot on the island you could see flood lights filling the sky and sound checks being tested pre-show in anticipation for the big event.
City officials anticipated 60,000 to gather, traffic to be horrible and crowds to be out of control, however all of the pre-planning made the night a complete success without any hitches. Joe Fallon said; “it was an enjoyable way to see a top name entertainer right here in Wildwood, we feel so lucky. We’re on vacation and my whole family is here, kids, grandkids, everyone just hung out at the beach for most of the day and then came to the concert tonight – it was great!” Etiene Broleuse who was also visiting with his family on vacation and is from Toronto said; ” I loved that the crowd was really nice, this was an easy way to spend a night with my family and have some fun. I didn’t really know Chesney’s music but now I am going to download his new CD to my iPod, he’s great and so is Wildwood, we love it here and have been coming down on vacation for many years!”
The night ended with Chesney doing several encore songs which included; “When the Sun Goes Down, The Boys of Fall, and I Go Back.” As a special treat he did a Bruce Springsteen song (who is a native of New Jersey) which he said he had never done in concert only in his college dorm.
At 11pm the concert lights went down, Chesney said thank you and people began milling out in an orderly file to hit the boardwalk or take to their cars. Mayor Troiano of the City of Wildwood said; “the night was fun, flawless and went exceptionally well, Kenny was tickled to death with the beach as a venue and we’re happy to have him, we’re hoping that more entertainers will consider Wildwood as the perfect destination to perform – how much better can it get – the ocean as your backdrop, the beach as your stage and the lights of the boardwalk.”