When Kenny Chesney started thinking about debuting the intimate and deeply personal video for “When I See This Bar,” he knew he wanted to take the clip somewhere that wasn’t obvious. The largely man and his guitar performance piece is filled by locations he knows by heart, and the fact almost everyone has these same places in their own lives, he wanted to premiere where anyone who’s ever had friends, grown up, lost people they cared about and celebrated their little victories could experience the clip.
USA Today seemed the only option. Having already hailed “Pirate Flag” as their Song of the Week before Life On a Rock’s first single was even released and devoting an entire page to the mechanics of a stadium show in 2005, Chesney has always see the paper as a place where America finds its news. On July 18, USA Today will also be the place America can find “When I See This Bar,” which is already Top 20 on the Country singles charts.
“I think people, whether they’re country fans, music fans or just alive, all have a place like this, a place where they grew up, fell in love, learned to move on,” Chesney says. “You may never go back there, or only go back as a pilgrimage to who you were and how much you’ve grown… But that place? That place is always alive in your heart.”
Shot on location in the Virgin Islands and in rehearsals for his 2013 No Shoes Nation Tour, “When I See This Bar” captures the man beyond the footlights. Interwoven with pictures of his years and friends in the islands, footage of ad libbed late night bar jams and moments that are long gone, Chesney sought to offer up the “boy coming into his own” from the song co-written with Keith Gattis.
“It doesn’t matter where I go, everybody I talk to has that bar,” explains the man who’s won the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year eight times. “When I was in college, we had a bar we went to that first week, and it was where we all had one last beer before we graduated… The people who read USA Today, they’re just like me and my friends. They know this journey, so I was happy the editors wanted to team with us for this video’s premiere.”
With 19 stadiums as part of the No Shoes Nation Tour, which passed a million tickets sold in early June and doesn’t wrap until August 23-24 at Boston’s Gillette Stadium, the man The Wall Street Journal deemed “The King of the Road” is bringing summer alive across the country. In addition to premiering “When I See This Bar,” directed by longtime collaborator and CMA Video of the Year winner Shaun Silva with USA Today at USAToday.com on July 18, Chesney will perform it on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on July 22.
Marking his seventh #1 all-genre Billboard Top 200 Albums debut, the introspective Life On A Rock has been called “a bold move” by The Washington Post, “a contemplative meditation” by The Chicago Tribune and “the more personal work he’s ever done” by Billboard, who also noted, “time will likely prove it to be among his best-loved by fans.”