Kenny Chesney, Michael Franti to play Tahoe on July 2-3

Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes Nation will be out in force at Lake Tahoe.
Photo by Allister Ann

Kenny Chesney fans comprise the No Shoes Nation, and then there is Michael Franti, who always performs barefoot onstage. Both sides will converge at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys on Thursday and Friday, July 2 and 3.

The Chesney and Franti shows, announced Tuesday, are the first slated for the 2020 Lake Tahoe Summer Concert Series. Ticket information will be forthcoming at apeconcerts.com.

The Dec. 17 news is the earliest ever for the Harveys summer concert series. Charlie Puth was announced on Dec. 18, 2017.

For Kenny Chesney, the Chillaxification Tour is as much a state of mind as it is more than two hours of high-energy songs that have defined the lives of No Shoes Nation. With 22 stadium shows already announced, the only country artist to land in Pollstar’s “Top 20 Touring Artists of the Decade” is also going to dial things back for 18 amphitheater shows with his good friend Michael Franti & Spearhead.

Having started his headlining career at West Palm’s Coral Sky Amphitheater, the eight-time Entertainer of the Year kicks off his more intimate plays where it all began on May 7, with another summer of stadiums to be threaded throughout the more up-close shows.

“As crazy and awesome as the stadium shows are – and there’s nothing like them – there is a vibe to the amphitheater shows that only happens in those places,” Chesney says. “You look out at the lawn, you see everybody coming together, singing the songs – and it’s this community that feels so close.”

Hailed as “country music’s only long-term stadium act” by Variety, the songwriter/superstar from East Tennessee has found that blending the stadiums with the amphitheaters provides a balance that gives both types of venues an extra bit of energy, with that juxtaposition keeping the shows dynamic and No Shoes Nation engaged.

“I think everyone likes when we change things up,” laughs the man called “The People’s Superstar” by The Los Angeles Times. “The shows are different. We make sure we play all the same songs, but there’s a looseness in the amphitheaters – and with only two acts, there’s also a different kind of intensity. Bringing Michael Franti & Spearhead is going to keep the energy up in a big way, and No Shoes Nation is going to really love them.”

Having defined the country music stadium experience over the last decade and a half, Chesney spent 2019’s Songs for the Saints Tour taking his music to the cities that have been overlooked on his massive, million-tickets-a-summer treks. In the spirit of making the music available to fans beyond the stadiums, he’s again leaning into several strongholds with amphitheaters for Chillaxification 2020.

“There’s been so much speculation about which cities we were going to hit for these smaller shows,” Chesney explains. “I figured we should go ahead and let people know where we’re gonna be. I know folks make plans, and rather than make people guess, it just makes sense to go ahead and let you know.”

Michael Franti
Michael Franti & Spearhead will share the stage with Kenny Chesney.
Larry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage

‘Stay Human:’ Michael Franti

Michael Franti believes that there is a great battle taking place in the world today between cynicism and optimism, so he made his most recent album, “Stay Human Vol. II,” to remind himself and anyone else who’s listening, that there is still good in the world and that it is worth fighting for.

The album has seen early critical acclaim and soared to the top of the charts including, No 1 Billboard Independent Album Sales, No. 1 iTunes Top Albums Singer/Songwriter (U.S. and Australia). The songs on “Stay Human Vol. II” were inspired by Franti’s new self-directed documentary “Stay Human,” which has recently won array of awards on the film festival circuit.

“Stay Human” features “heroic everyday people” whose stories have inspired the singer, activist and yoga practitioner during his travels around the world. “Stay Human Vol. II” is the 10th album from Michael Franti & Spearhead, featuring the group’s signature sound. It follows three consecutive albums that climbed into the Top 5 on the Billboard Rock Albums Chart.

His hit, “Say Hey” has accumulated more than 2 million downloads worldwide. Franti also had a No. 1 hit single with his 2010 song, “The Sound of Sunshine.” The album and film are both part of a multi-pronged effort to spread positivity through Franti’s music.

Kenny Chesney last played at Harveys in 2018.
Kurt Johnson / Tahoe Onstage file

Kenny Chesney’s Chillaxifacation 2020 Tour
May 7               Coral Sky Amphitheater, West Palm Beach, Fla.
May 13             BankPlus Amphitheater, Southaven, Miss.
May 14             Brandon Amphitheater, Brandon, Miss.
May 28             Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
June 4               Coastal Credit Union Music Park, Raleigh, N.C.
June 11             Walmart AMP, Rogers, Ark.
June 17             Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater, Virginia Beach
June 18             Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, Va.
June 25             PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte, N.C.
July 2                Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys, Stateline
July 3                Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys, Stateline

July 23              Ruoff Music Center, Noblesville, Ind.
July 29              Isleta Amphitheater, Albuquerque, N.M.
July 30              Ak-Chin Pavilion, Phoenix
Aug. 5           Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater, Boise, Idaho
Aug. 6           USANA Amphitheatre, Salt Lake City, Utah
Aug. 20         St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview, Syracuse, N.Y.
Aug. 26         Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, Md.

ABOUT Randy Hashagen

Randy Hashagen
Tahoe Onstage copy chief Randy Hashagen, a former Bay Area journalist, walked away from his career to become a crazy cab driver. He's still barnstorming, but his wing-walking days are over. Lately, he has been watching the world flow through Lake Tahoe since 2012.

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