Kenny Chesney show a year ago: Good, bad, drunk
GREEN BAY - One woman came away with a guitar and the memory of an on-stage kiss from country music star Kenny Chesney in front of 53,363 people.
Twenty-five people left in handcuffs, driven away in the backs of police cars.
With the Green Bay area having recently passed the one-year anniversary of the summer night Chesney and Jason Aldean headlined a serious country lineup at the home of the Green Bay Packers, we look back at some of the most significant memories from the June 20, 2015, concert.
For Wausau woman, 20, a guitar and a kiss
Jenna Terek, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student, will probably never forget her Chesney experience. With a ticket that put her near the stage, Terek was invited up to join the Chesney, Aldean and guest Grace Potter.
"It was just so crazy. It all happened so fast," she told USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin reporter Kendra Meinert. "I could not believe it even just happened. I do not think I have stopped smiling since."
For more than 200 fans, the heave-ho
Cram thousands of fans into an outdoor venue and let them drink for half the day, and it's almost inevitable that a number of them will get drunk and stupid. This concert was no exception.
That's a season's worth of ejections for the Packers, and about three times the record number of ejections from the busiest Packers game, a 2012 playoff win over the rival Minnesota Vikings. And it's more than four times the number ejected when Chesney played Lambeau in 2011.
"I don't recall, in my 27 years, ever having a game where we were this busy," said Green Bay Capt. Paul Ebel, who was in charge of police operations at the show.
The good news for police? No concerts are scheduled at Lambeau this summer.
For Georgia girl, the memory of a lifetime
Nine-year-old Brooke Marshall, who has Down syndrome, had fans in her section chip in $50 so she could buy a concert T-shirt. She has a guy the size of a football player boost her up on his shoulders — with her dad's permission — so she could watch part of the "sand bar" area near the stage.
"Aldean went to hug her, but Brooke immediately turned to the crowd like this is where I need to be," said her mother, Lynn, who grew up in De Pere. "Nowhere else but somewhere like Green Bay would you get that love and attention, and it's sincere."
For out-of-town media, low-hanging fruit
One website called it "a zoo of drunks running wild." Another said Chesney and Aldean "should be embarrassed for their fans."
Those are two examples of how the concert appeared to reporters in other parts of the country.
While picking on the "Wisconsin. You're Among Drunks" crowds at Lambeau has become popular for some online commenters, the riffs hit record numbers following the country concert. Reporters from western New York to San Diego took their shots, with Buffalo's WKBW delivering an understated "they got way out of hand."
Over at Deadspin, which sets the gold standard for calling out drunken fans, Timothy Burke and colleagues interspersed police scanner calls and country-music clips in this gem of a video.
For the Packers, a sigh of relief
One of the concerns about hosting activities on hallowed ground/Frozen Tundra is that they might not always be conducive to turf maintenance.
From colleague Rich Ryman:
"Lambeau Field will be ready for football by time Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews lead the Green Bay Packers out of the team tunnel and onto that — to some — sacred turf.
"It might not be as perfect as fields manager Allen Johnson would like, but it will be safe and it will be ready for prime time.
"The south end of the field suffered some damage as the result of the Kenny Chesney concert on June 20, much as it did after a Chesney concert on June 11, 2011. That was not unexpected, and it was the reason the Packers didn’t want this year’s concert to be any later than June 20."
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