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Sunday, February 23, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A&E >  Music

Concert review: Hill and McGraw thrill fans with their chemistry, talent at Arena show

UPDATED: Fri., May 19, 2017

By Megan Carroll For The Spokesman-Review

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill honored 20 years of marriage through a musical journey of romance where obvious chemistry and unmatched talent were on display.

The country superstars brought their 2017 Soul2Soul World Tour to to a nearly packed Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on Thursday night and their instant connection as they sang the beginning of the 1997 power ballad “It’s Your Love” characterized the night. The first lines of the song were almost entirely drowned out by cheers: “It’s your love / It just does something to me / Sends a shock right through me / I can’t get enough.”

Hill’s impressive vocal and physical stamina were evident throughout her solo portion of the set list. She immediately stole the show with her soaring, easy high notes and stage presence when she sang her 2006 song “The Lucky One.”

McGraw joined his wife again to sing his cheeky 1995 hit about a new love “I Like It, I Love It” and the dedicated fans sang every word. Their vocal runs were expertly executed and the harmonies were as in synch as the couple’s chemistry as they sang to each other.

Hill mentioned that she “got her start singing in church” and the gospel soul in her voice was indisputable. Her most memorable numbers of the night included her 1998 hit “This Kiss” and 1993 cover of “Piece of My Heart,” a song made popular by Janis Joplin.

McGraw emerged from the depths of the stage like the couple did at the beginning of the show to sing “Angry all the Time,” a song about the ways love can fall apart. Though his stage presence paled in comparison to his spouse’s dancing and connection to her music, the rich twang and familiar, even tone of his voice did not disappoint.

Later, he sang a snippet of Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart,” which showcased the voice that catapulted him to country superstardom and left fans cheering for more.

His performance of the 2015 hit “Humble and Kind” featured a tenderness and warmth that left much of the audience in tears. A touching photo and video slideshow featuring universal human emotions worn by those of difference races, genders, ages, religious traditions and occupations accompanied the performance.

The stars selected clothing from two very different closets — McGraw donned a simple black shirt, slacks and a black cowboy hat while Hill switched between three sparkly dresses; their outfits perfectly echoed Hill’s strong femininity and McGraw’s laidback swagger.

Near the end of the show, the two drew close to their fans when Hill sang “Mississippi Girl” and McGraw sang “Something Like That” while weaving through the arena’s many rows and grabbing hands. As the stars waved goodbye to the audience and the band and backup vocalists showcased their talents one last time, the audience chanted for an encore.

The fans asked and received a knockout performance.

McGraw and Hill sang their 2007 duet “I Need You” as they sat on a platform that rose high above the stage – much like their voices rose to the occasion of singing the ballad with little instrumental accompaniment. It was an uninhibited and sensitive display of vocal ability and emotion.

The finale blew out of the water all of the performances that had come before, and made for a night the fans would remember long after their ear-shattering shouts ceased.

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