Photo-illustration: Everett Bogue; Photos: Getty Images
As Kenny Chesney’s Poets and Pirates tour travels across the country this summer, it’s important to ask the question, “What kind of impact can one bald country singer, who divorced Renée Zellweger under mysterious circumstances, have on the environment?” Well, we now have our answer down to the lightbulb, thanks to “Kenny Chesney Fun Facts,” a bullet list helpfully provided to writers reviewing shows on the tour.
The list starts out simply enough with “260 tons of steel,” which, since there’s no further elaboration, presumably refers to Chesney himself. What follows looks like it’s going to be a fairly dry accounting of the technical specs of the show — the stage is this big, the video screens are that big, there are so many miles of cable, etc. — until, suddenly, it gets good. For your perusal, Kenny Chesney Fun Facts numbers 9, 13 and 14, quoted verbatim:
“We use 5000 amps of 3 phase power to run the show. (The average home has a 200 amp main breaker. That’s enough power to run a neighborhood of 25 homes with everything on all at the same time.)”
“We have 2,500,000,000 (2,500 kW or 2.5 megawatts) of generation power. This is 41,600 average household light bulbs or 150 average homes in America.”
“We will consume approximately 28,000 gallons of diesel fuel over the course of the summer. This is enough to power a [sic] 18 MPG diesel car 504,000 miles — a little over a trip back and forth to the moon, or 20 time [sic] around the globe.”
The intent, probably, was for reviewers to get all wow-gosh-and-golly about the massive amount of energy that goes into the show. But doesn’t it come off a bit … tin-eared, perhaps? Like maybe somebody picked the exact wrong time to crow about this sort of thing? The country is in the midst of an energy crisis, gas tops four dollars a gallon, and the term “carbon footprint” is common parlance, and here we have Chesney doing something that looks an awful lot like bragging about how much energy he can expend just so you can get drunk and sing “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” in a supportive environment. —Marc Hirsh