by MIKE CHAIKEN
If their tour dubbed Soul2Soul is any indication of reality, country stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have the perfect marriage.
Everything about the sold out show at the Mohegan Sun Arena on May 5 was balanced and equal.
Each was given their time to shine on stage. Each had a slew of familiar tunes that got the crowd on the feet. And each time they sang a duet, the affection between the two was palpable.
It was a show about love and family and the audience ate up every minute of it.
The show was structured in a way that gave the couple the opportunity to perform together as well as separately. To start the show, the pair rose from beneath the stage singing Aretha Franklin’s “I Knew You Were Waiting.” Than they worked a couple of duets (in keeping with their next album, which is full of duets from the couple.) And then Hill took her solo turn before McGraw returned to hold the stage for a couple of more duets before he took the spotlight for himself for a bit. Then they returned for a couple of songs as a pair, including a foray that found them popping up in the audience and singing as they worked their way across the arena’s floor.
It was exciting to see Hill on stage after a decade away raising her and McGraw’s children. (Their oldest is now 20.)
It would have been understandable if Hill was a little rusty and tentative after her long lay-off. However, if anything, Hill’s voice was even stronger than before she took some time off. This was most evident when she tackled Janis Joplin’s “A Piece of My Heart.” She showed consider vocal chops in a song that demands the vocals be full of passion. It was one of the highlights of her set. Other hits such as “Breathe,” “This Kiss,” and “Wild One” also thrilled the crowd glad to see her return to the stage.
Hill’s stage presence was filled with confidence. She clearly was having fun. It was as if she had never been away for so long.
Tim McGraw has been a constant presence on stage. So he clearly has the confidence and command thing down pat. He showed even though country is his genre of choice, he knows how to make country rock with such rousing tracks as “Real Good Man.” He also had probably one of the touching moments of the night with his anthem to YOLA (you only live once), “Live Like You Were Dying.” “Angry All the Time” also pulled at your heart.
McGraw and Hill also clearly know how to put on a show. The production values of the show—with video screens, trick doors, rising platforms, laser lights, and all manner of stage trickery—was probably one of the most complex I’ve seen, giving many arena rockers a run for their money.
The Soul2Soul tour with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill proved to be a match made in heaven, both musically and romantically.
I give the Soul2Soul tour with Faith Hill and Tim McGraw at the Mohegan Sun Arena four out of four stars.