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TIM + FAITH: SOUL2SOUL

Since Tim McGraw and Faith Hill met on his Spontaneous Combustion tour, fell in love and evolved into two of pop music’s biggest stars, their alchemy has transfixed fans with the sort of gravitational force that binds the two supernovas. Contemporary culture knows no greater love story.

The fierce velocity of McGraw/Hill’s passion makes this year’s Soul2Soul World Tourwhich kicked off with a surprise announcement concert at Nashville’s equally iconic Ryman Auditorium—perhaps 2017’s biggest trek, according to Pollstar’s annual mid-year special issue.

The #1 Average Grossing Country Tour Worldwide, including the U.S., U.K. and Canada, and the #1 Average Grossing Co-Headline Tour in America, Soul2Soul has sold in excess of 800k tickets, including back-to-back sell-outs at LA’s Staples Center.

For an act not supporting new “product” or being driven by a current hit, this is no mean feat. “This tour has surpassed all of our expectations,” says SandBox Entertainment’s Jason Owen. “When (McGraw manager) Scott Siman and I started talking about this package, we knew it would have to be something special given what both of our artists have achieved.”

"A lot of work went into Soul2Soul, but it shows,” Owen adds. “The production, the hits, the crowds, but mostly the level of entertainment Tim and Faith deliver night after night. It’s honestly unlike anything I have seen. It is more than a show; it’s an event—and I would put it against any show in any genre.”

 What can’t be conjured is the chemistry between the two headliners. At a time when America is torn asunder, there is deep humanity and great love in full bloom on that stage. Given that these songs span nearly a quarter of a century, the night is a celebration of transcendence through romantic connection. The date-night factor in the audience is high, as is the crowd’s age span.

But where so many country shows are up-with-people lovefests or boozy throwdowns, Soul2Soul is a performance that’s a warm-up for deeper connection. Watching Tim prowl a stage, seeing Faith exult in a cover of Beyoncé’s “Freedom,” or the frisson when they share their career-spanning #1 duets “It’s Your Love,” “Angry All the Time” and the brand-new “Speak To A Girl.”

The ease between them, the genuine affection and yes, the sexual tension are palpable. It is what everyone—single, married, divorced—yearns for, and for over two hours, it allows the pair to transcend from a world-class concert to something more honest, empowering and filled with erotic charge.

"You watch them, and you know they’re not pretending,” says Messina Touring Group Founder/CEO Louis Messina. “People get so wrapped up in how engaged they are with each other. They’re onstage with each other 80% of the time; maybe three or four songs [each] they’re alone onstage. It really is the fastest two hours, because you can’t stop watching them—and by the time they’re singing ‘I Need You’ at the end, it’s just the two of them alone on that stage. It oozes sex, and love. It just does.”

A decade after the original Soul2Soul was the highest-grossing country tour for 2006/2007, McGraw and Hill are on track—halfway through their 80-date tour—to repeat. Beyond the big screens, the clothes and the orchestrated drama of the set list, the single most engaging part of the show is the one thing that can’t be realized through production values: the relationship. Parents, lovers, entertainers, business people and beyond, in the end, there is passion—and that’s something the fans can’t get enough of.

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