Concert Review--Faith Hill and Tim McGraw

Faith Hill & Tim McGraw at the BankAtlantic Center

Tuesday, July 23, 2007

Better Than: Watching these two duke it out in a Celebrity Death Match.

The Review: Move over Korn, Evanescence, and Flyleaf, the real Family Values tour made its long awaited debut at Sunrise’s Bank Atlantic Center last Tuesday night to an anxious mob of thirty-somethings and lovebirds. America’s favorite super couple, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill gave the fans just what they were looking for: rock, soul, and hope for their own relationships—all with a dash of manners, appreciation for family, and even a little praise of God. Combining old favorites with a surprising mix of covers and new songs, they kept the energetic crowd rocking for over three hours.

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The show kicked-off with a duet: a cover of Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars. Faith was first to grace the stage donning a white, sequined halter jumpsuit and a new set of bombshell highlights, looking more like Malibu Barbie than country’s reining queen, while Tim made the honkey-tonks proud in his trademark black cowboy hat and leather pants that left little to the imagination. The couple promised returning fans of last year’s sold-out performances a new bag of tricks, but the set and sequence of the event appeared to follow much of the same format, giving it a somewhat formulaic feel. Nitpicking aside, Faith pleased longtime fans with her pitch perfect vocals, reviving hits like “Wild One” and ‘This Kiss’ by giving them a bluesy, gospel tone reminiscent of Aretha Franklin, and by breathing new life into old classics like Joplin’s ‘Piece of my Heart’ and Abba’s “Winner Takes it All’. Faith even let the crowd in on a secret: “My very first greatest hits album will be released this year and all the song’s I’m playing for you tonight will be on it.” She then launched into a new song, “Lost” which promises to land the superstar yet another Billboard hit.

After an ingenious set change, (an 8 minute video spoof on the couple’s 10 year relationship), McGraw barreled on stage performing Steve Miller’s “Joker” followed by “Real Good Man” (complete with hip gyrations) and jam sessions so lengthy that at times fans might have felt like they’d been transported back in time to a Grateful Dead concert. Playing several songs off of his latest effort, Let it Go, did seem to throw off a few fans unfamiliar with the new album, but they were back on their feet and chanting again when “Indian Outlaw” and the anthem, “Live Like you Were Dying” brought down the house with deafening, fanatic approval.

Ultimately, while Tim and Faith shine on-stage as individuals, it's during their duets that they radiate with a chemistry and magnetism that is palpable. In these moments one can actually spy high school sweethearts dancing cheek to cheek in the aisles while a middle aged man gives his wife’s hand a squeeze. Tim and Faith do that for us. Their music gives us hope; their lives give us hope, and we depart feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. And any fool can see the true family value in that. --Janeen Kelley

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