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No energy crisis at McGraw show

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TIM McGRAW, KENNY CHESNEY and MARK COLLIE in concert; Delta Center; July 3, one performance only.

Country superstar Tim McGraw puts on a Show.

From the arrival of the members of his Dance Hall Doctors band, via video bus, to the final wrap-up with set-mates Kenny Chesney and Mark Collie, and capped by the appearance of his daughter Maggie, the evening was filled with such drive, power and electricity that if anyone could figure out how to bottle it, we wouldn't have to worry about energy shortages.

Take McGraw's ability to wrap his distinctive voice around a choice phrase, his penchant for picking material that is filled with emotion and feeling (both lighthearted and serious) and add his engaging, energetic stage presence — it's easy to see why he is at the pinnacle of his profession.

Enhanced with visual affects, including footage of his life on and off the road, as well as on-stage performances, McGraw's show features a mix of old and new. Songs off the hit line — and with 16 No. 1 hits to his credit, he had plenty to choose from — included everything from his early "Indian Outlaw," "Don't Take The Girl" and "Not A Moment Too Soon," to the more recent "Please Remember Me," "Things Change" and "My Best Friend." And, of course, the first hit off his latest "Set This Circus Down" album — "Grown Men Don't Cry."

Mixed in were other selections off the album, including "Things Change," the gritty "Angel Boy," "Telluride," "Forget About Us" and the crowd-pleasing "Cowboy In Me."

Singer/songwriter Collie opened the show with a medley of Johnny Cash songs (infused with more electricity than we associate with the Man in Black), threw in a few of his own songs and finished up with great guitar licks on a rousing version of "Orange Blossom Special."

Chesney entered in a burst of thunder and lightning and proceeded to charm and entertain his way through a string of his hits, including "Just Don't Happen Twice," "She's Got It All," "I Lost It" and his mega-chartbuster, "How Forever Feels." Chesney performed with the style and panache you would expect from someone who has turned farm machinery into sex symbols, and the crowd was not in any hurry to see him go — even with McGraw waiting in the wings.

Still, the night belonged to McGraw and his genuine, one-of-a-kind, foot-stomping, heart-thumping Show.

E-MAIL: carma@desnews.com