After a lukewarm start, mega-country star Tim McGraw had a sold-out crowd on its feet Friday night, clapping and screaming as he performed everything from classic hits to emotional ballads during a fast-paced performance at USANA Amphitheater in West Valley City.
He started his hour-long set with "Still," a song from a yet-to-be-released album, then continued with "Unbroken" and "Back When."
The first three songs seemed a little stiff, as if McGraw had been performing them for years and was a little bored. They lacked the passion of songs sung by openers Halfway to Hazard and Jason Aldean.
His fourth song, "Last Dollar," got the crowd on its feet, and by the time he had gotten to "Green Grass Grows," McGraw seemed to have relaxed, shaking hands with the audience and flirting a little with the crowd.
A highlight came when he sang "Indian Outlaw," one of his top 10 singles, released in 1994. McGraw threw in a few more new songs, including "Southern Voice," and "Between the River and Me."
"Can you feel the spirit of country music moving you this evening?" he asked the screaming crowd.
The spirit of the evening was rousingly kicked off by the opening acts, Halfway to Hazard and Aldean, who flirted with the audience and fired them up with songs such as "Restless," and "Amarillo Sky."
Halfway to Hazard, a relatively new act, played a few cover songs and then jumped into a playful rendition of "Daisy," their first song on the air.
All in all, it was a high-energy, musical thrill ride, with a mildly tepid start by McGraw.