Country Throwback: Kenny Chesney Rocks Daytona Beach with ‘Young’ Performance in 2003

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Stagecoach)

Kenny Chesney is one of country music’s most entertaining performers, filling up stadiums and arenas with his unique sound and energy.

Looking back to 2003, Chesney makes a stop on his “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” tour in Daytona Beach, Fla. The tour takes its name after Chesney’s sixth studio album of the same name.

A stage was set up for him right on the sandy beaches next to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a perfect mix for Chesney and his fans to enjoy themselves.

He brought all those in attendance to their feet with his rousing rendition of “Young.”

In a 2002 concert review, Chesney receives high marks for his on-stage work.

“More than a month into his first tour as a headliner, Chesney acts like he’s comfortable at the top of the bill,” the review says. “Silhouetted against an opaque screen at the back of the stage, the Tennessee native let the suspense build for a few bars before emerging to the thunderous applause and shrieks that would continue throughout the night.

“’Last year with Tim [McGraw], the crowds were incredible, and this year they’ve just kinda gone up a couple of notches,’” Chesney told backstage. “’It means a lot when you know they’ve paid to come see you, and your name is on the ticket.’”

Kenny Chesney Looks Back At His Start In Interview

Chesney’s career just didn’t start with a bang, though. He spent time and effort on honing his skills as a singer and songwriter.

In an interview from 1995, conducted with John Murphy at Universal Studios, Chesney talks about his early path to success and his songwriting philosophy.

“I wrote my first song three months after I picked up my [first] guitar,” he said. “Moved to Nashville in January of ’91, with this big dream of becoming a country music superstar.”

The musician allowed himself five years to succeed in Nashville. So he worked odd jobs for a while. Then he got a job as a staff songwriter at a Nashville music publishing company. 

Three years later, Chesney had landed a record deal. And his second record was a hit. 

“You got to write something that makes somebody feel something, you know?” Chesney explained. “You gotta make ’em laugh, you gotta make ’em cry.”

Also, “you gotta make ’em remember somebody or something,” Chesney added. “You gotta make ’em wanna live, you know? You gotta make ’em wanna love. If you can do that, you can touch somebody right here, in two verses… you’ve done something.”

Here’s a portion of that interview.