It was a hot, sticky night last July when Tim McGraw took the stage in tight blue jeans, a black wife beater, cowboy hat, and boots at what is now known as the Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre. All seemed to be going according to musical plan — until he started to sing. A muffled speaker that sounded blown out seemed to be the issue, and from puzzled looks on audience members' faces, I wasn't the only one who couldn't understand what he was singing.
Still, McGraw pummeled through with an energy that never faltered. It was almost as though he didn't know the speaker was out. Interestingly, he still provoked whoops and yells from the audience. Partway through, the speaker was fixed, allowing McGraw to persevere and finish strong.
Throughout his career, he has always persevered. Starting off with "Indian Outlaw" in 1994, McGraw has been timeless, making hits for more than 20 years. Effortlessly swimming through the tidal waves of country music, McGraw has managed to touch on different moods while simultaneously maintaining his distinct sound. There was the heart-wrenching "Don't Take the Girl," the flirty "Something on My Lips," and the poignant "Live Like You Were Dying." It's as if McGraw thought of every mood to touch upon and decided to write a hit single about it.
McGraw's hits are catchy yet intelligent fun and, mercifully, without the annoying pickup-truck and beer references.
Tim McGraw, with Billy Currington and Chase Bryant. 7 p.m. Friday, August 21, at Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre. 601-7 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $35 to $95 via ticketmaster.com. Call 561-795-8883, or visit livenation.com.