Fight Me: My All-Time List of Favorite Atlantic City Area Concerts
I realized it's time for me to re-think and re-rack my Favorite Concerts List!
Now, I've been to concerts all over the region and all over the country and even in Mexico!
For purposes here, I'm going to give you my list of my favorite South Jersey country concerts - meaning primarily Atlantic City and Wildwood. Actually, it's a list of concert experiences now because I'll only count the 4 day Barefoot Country Music Fest as one concert, even though there were 30+ artists.
I've had to redo this list thanks to the concert experience at the top of my new list.
1. The 2021 Barefoot Country Music Fest - August 2021.
Yeah, it goes right to the top. Despite a very wet concert site, this one was the best concert experience I've had the pleasure of taking in. From "side-stage" performances by some of our Cat Country Contest winners to the baby acts on that stage to the headliners on the main stage, Barefoot was all that we hoped for and more.
Carrie Underwood's performance in the driving rain was simply magic! Throw in the great shows from headliners Dan + Shay, Zac Brown Band, and Lee Brice, and we had four big exciting nights teaming with 30,000 plus people on the Wildwood Beach.
We can't forget the great performances from the likes of Jon Pardi, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Jimmie Allen - actually, Jimmie did TWO shows!
I could go on and on because there were very few disappointments.
I just can't wait 'til June of 2022 with Jason Aldean and many more. Get your tickets for Barefoot 2022 right here.
2. Kenny Chesney on the Wildwood Beach - June 2012.
It was tough sliding it down to #2 because it was so special and so magical. That night, Chesney's performance can never be duplicated. It was like a revival where everyone wanted the promise of love and life!
The producers of the Barefoot Country Music Fest, though, found a way to bottle up and give us that "Wildwood Beach Magic," and I can't wait for more.
3. Garth Brooks at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia - September 1998.
This was when Garth did six straight nights of concerts in Philly. (Yes, I know this wasn't in the immediate Atlantic City area, but I had to count this one.)
He was heading toward retirement, and no one knew if this would be the end of Garth doing concerts. Thankfully it wasn't.
No one sat down, and no one was quiet during these shows. This was the best Garth there ever was!
3A. Garth Brook's Dive Bar Show at Prospector's in Mount Laurel - December 2019.
Hey, it's my list; I can make another non-Atlantic City exception, OK?
This one was fun and special. I was lucky enough to be there and stand mere feet away from the legend as he belted out his hits. It was so great to see a superstar literally getting back to his roots. Again I'll use the word magical!
4. Tim McGraw on the Beach in Wildwood - July 2016.
Gotta go back to the beach in Wildwood again. Such a great place for a show. Rain played a big part in this one too, but it didn't keep McGraw from being on stage.
Who dreams of Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw both returning to Wildwood?
5. Blake Shelton on the Beach in Atlantic City - July 2014.
This was the first of the "new" Atlantic City beach concerts. I can still remember looking down the beach and seeing the sea of people—about 60,000 strong.
Shelton was just reaching superstar status and was the perfect choice for the show. Do you remember who the opener was? Dan + Shay!
Three days later, it's was Lady Antebellum (Now known as Lady A) on the beach. Trivia question: Who opened up for Lady Antebellum? Answer: Alex and Sierra. (Who?)
6. Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban at Boardwalk Hall - February 2008.
They've both played several shows in Atlantic City, but that night they wowed Boardwalk Hall with their performances! Carrie was showing off her superstar chops, and Urban was on the brink of breaking out everywhere. His guitar playing that night was on a different planet. We all got entertained that night - from both singers!
7. Dierks Bentley - House of Blues at Showboat - March 2011.
Bentley's played a number of shows in Atlantic City over the years and does not disappoint. This show marked the end of a big tour for Bentley, and he and his band had a blast. It really sticks out to me as being one of his best.
8. Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley - Boardwalk Hall - January 2013.
Like Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban a few years earlier, this was a show that featured two singers really hitting the apex at the same time. Miranda and Dierks had both just "arrived," and this was one great night. Trivia: Who opened the show that night? Answer: A very young and very new Thomas Rhett!
9. Brooks and Dunn - Several Dates at Trump Taj Mahal
There were several years at the height of their popularity that Brooks and Dunn would do a show at the Trump Tah Mahal. Always fun, always high energy. These were certainly "can't miss" shows!
10. Dwight Yoakam - August 1999 - Sands Casino
Dwight rocked Atlantic City that night in a show that didn't even start until after 11 pm. This was one great show in the old Sands!