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21h ago

Just like the rest of us, Tim McGraw is cautiously optimistic about the future of concerts after this terribly quiet year without them. Because with the potential of a Covid-19 vaccine on the horizon, it’s time for country artists to start thinking about the return of live music. It’s no longer a matter of if, but when.

Thank God, right?

And here’s where McGraw stands on that: “It’s hard to know right now, right? It’s hard to figure out what that’s gonna look like,” McGraw said in a recent radio interview. “I mean, we all hope that it’ll be like it was, where everybody’s crammed in there and having a great time. That’s what you love about going to concerts and playing music.

“For me, I think that my whole career and even getting my record deal was based on me playing live. I mean, I’m no (Italian opera singer) Pavarotti that’s gonna go out there and sing you into thinking that I’m the best singer in the world and you’re gonna give me a record deal. I think my music live is the whole catalyst for my career.”

So when McGraw pictures the kinds of concert he misses, he knows that while he may be able to take the stage again, everything else may look very different out of an abundance of caution.

“I love playing live. I love playing music. But look, we’re not gonna do anything that doesn’t have everybody’s best interest at heart. I think it’s gotta be as safe as you possibly can be and err on the side of caution. But I also want it to be like it was when we go out,” he said.

“That’s what I want. That’s what I hope.”

McGraw’s first shows back after the first of the year are at the Watershed Music Festival in July and the Minnesota State Fair in September.

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Alison makes her living loving country music. She’s based in Chicago, but she’s always leaving her heart in Nashville.

@alisonbonaguro