Old Dominion Crashes Kenny Chesney’s Nationwide Tour

Kenny Chesney’s intimate arena tour is quickly winding down, but Old Dominion had to pull a prank on the hitmaker before he waves farewell to No Shoes Nation. Chesney returned (May 20) to the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana, his first time performing at the venue in nearly a decade.

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Throughout the high-energy set, Chesney delivered some of his biggest hits, such as “I Go Back,” “The Good Stuff,” “Big Star,” “Young,” and “There Goes My Life,” which received a positive response from the sold-out crowd. Chesney said the reaction was unmatched.

“You forget how much power those songs have—until you play them and feel the emotions they pull out of people,” shared the hitmaker in a statement. “You can be so quiet you can feel your heartbeat – and hear how palpable those feelings are that people have tucked up in your songs. It takes your breath away.”

When he began to play his chart-topping track “Save It For A Rainy Day,” Old Dominion appeared on stage to surprise the lively audience, including Chesney. Frontman Matthew Ramsey ditched his cane for the performance, the first time since his horrific ATV accident in March. Chesney’s tour vets tackled “Take It Easy” by the Eagles before exiting the spotlight.

Ramsey jumped on social media ahead of the show and declared that “no one” on Chesney’s team was expecting them. Without any “tickets or passes,” their plan all along was to “break in.” The plan was a massive success, as Chesney declared he was caught off guard.

Within the video, Chesney abruptly stopped his full-set band to hug Old Dominion.

“Nobody pulls one over on me,” said Chesney. “My band and my crew can’t keep secrets, but they kept this one! And it was so good seeing those guys, having Matt and Brad (Tursi), who wrote ‘Save It’ up there with us. It shows what road family means, doesn’t it? They took a night off to prank us!”

On off days during the Here and Now Tour in 2022, Old Dominion became known for holding impromptu shows at local bars and theaters. On select dates, Chesney joined in on the fun. While touring, they released “Beer With My Friends” together in late August.

“When I knew I wanted to do this song, I knew I wanted to do it with Old Dominion,” said Chesney upon release. “The kind of summer this has been, the music, the moments, every member of No Shoes Nation, I want something that captured the heart and spirit – and I wanted to pull someone in who’d understand. We’ve all been inside this song on good days and bad days, and whichever you’re having, I want people to reach for this song.”

Kelsea Ballerini has served as direct support on Chesney’s I Go Back 2023 Tour. Chesney most recently (May 19) added one more night to the must-see run. The platinum-selling artist will wrap on Saturday, May 27, at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Alabama.

“It’s strange how much fun we’ve had this year. It’s a completely different scale, but in a way, it intensifies the energy in a whole other way. We’ve got a roof over our heads, all that passion can’t escape – and it lets all the music really stick to you!” he said. “We’re so used to ending on a double, it felt like the thing to do. And when I asked Louis Messina, our tour promoter, if there was a way to make this work at this late date, he said, there’s always a way… So, Orange Beach, Alabama: get ready for a two-night stand! We’re coming in hot – and we’re ready to play.”

. Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Stagecoach

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