Returning to C-U: Country star and his 'No Shoes Nation'

Returning to C-U: Country star and his 'No Shoes Nation'

Country superstar Kenny Chesney announced the first set of dates for his 2019 "Songs For The Saints" Tour, and State Farm Center tops the list. While no date has been set yet, we asked The News-Gazette's J.J. Lockwood for three reasons you can't miss this concert:

— Champaign will be the first stop on Chesney's latest tour, so fans in East Central Illinois will be the first to see what country's "King of the Road" has in store for 2019.

— Chesney, who has played previously in Georgetown, Danville and Champaign, promises to "strip things back a bit" this time around. Focusing on arenas and smaller venues as opposed to stadiums, the "Songs For The Saints" Tour will provide fans with a more intimate setting to hear classic hits such as "I Go Back" and "Pirate Flag," and hopefully some songs we haven't heard live from Chesney on recent tours.

— A Chesney show is more than just a concert — it's an event. Known for having some of the most loyal fans in country music — referred to as "No Shoes Nation" — you can expect area bars and restaurants to be packed the day of the show ... as well as a lively tailgating scene (if allowed) outside the State Farm Center.

More information about the show date and ticket prices will be announced soon.

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