Fans have always flocked to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as individual artists. But they go absolutely crazy over them as a couple and duet team. That proved more than obvious when the husband-and-wife tandem brought their Soul2Soul World Tour 2017 to Nashville for a pair of sold-out shows, Aug. 4 and 5 at Bridgestone Arena.
From the moment they hit the stage on the opening night show, in spectacular fashion, the crowd was on its feet and ready for a big show. McGraw and Hill built the suspense to a heart-tripping level, as they emerged from below the stage to a display of laser lights. They met in the center and lit into “I Knew You Were Waiting,” certainly an appropriate choice given the anticipation of the audience.
The show combined the expected elements, mainly the solo hits by McGraw and Hill along with their ever-popular duets. After the opening number, the two collaborated on McGraw’s “I Like It, “I Love It,” with Hill then taking over on her No. 1 hit, “The Way You Love Me.” Hill often accompanied herself on acoustic guitar, a slightly different look for her, and bounded about the stage like a rambunctious 20-something. For an artist about to turn the milestone big 5-0 (Sept. 21), Hill displayed seemingly endless energy and a trim figure to boot.
McGraw proved no slouch in the energy department, either. He’s a fit 50, with rippling muscles and plenty of stamina. McGraw never missed a step as he made his way through the crowd on “Something Like That,” with fans reaching out to make even the slightest physical contact. Shifting gears during one segment, McGraw and his band performed an a cappella rendition of “Where the Green Grass Grows,” which worked to perfection. He had the audience singing along on his anthem, “Live Like You Were Dying,” easily a high point in the evening. On “Humble and Kind,” images of people from all walks of life and ethnic origins wafted by on the big screen backdrop.
Hill was allotted ample space to shine, pumping out accelerated versions of early hits like “Wild One” and “Piece of My Heart.” She soared on other crowd-pleasers as well, including “This Kiss,” “Breathe” and “Mississippi Girl.” The two ultimately gave the fans what they were waiting for, the romantic duets that have become staples over the years. They performed the multi-week No. 1 “It’s Your Love” as photos of the couple’s three daughters were displayed on the screen behind them. McGraw and Hill closed on an intimately romantic note with “I Need You,” sitting face-to-face and ending with a sweet kiss.
This third installment of the Soul2Soul tour series featured big production, laser lights and booming sound. The audience, especially those in the lower floor section, stood for practically the entire concert. But as full-scale as the production certainly was, fans responded most eagerly to the up-close moments, focusing on the couple about to celebrate 21 years of marriage.
The Soul2Soul World Tour 2017 continues through October.