McGraw-Hill tour looks like a hit

  • By Victor Balta / Special to The Herald
  • Thursday, June 7, 2007 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw fell in love while Hill was opening for McGraw on tour more than 10 years ago. They got married, had three kids and have done two high-profile tours together since.

But if you’re thinking they might have grown tired of each by now, think again.

Hill and McGraw are back at it for a third time, bringing their “Soul2Soul 2007” tour to the Tacoma Dome on Thursday.

If the past is any indication, the new tour promises to be a monster hit. The first “Soul2Soul” tour in 2000 was the biggest-selling country tour of that year. The royal couple of country music played two shows at KeyArena in Seattle last year, en route to making their “Soul2Soul II” tour the biggest country show of all time, and earning distinction as the “Major Tour of 2006” by concert-tracking magazine Pollstar.

“The crowds for every show on ‘Soul2Soul II’ were out of control – they rocked,” the couple said in a joint statement announcing this year’s tour in March. “To know that we’re able to do this again is a great feeling. … There’ll be some new songs, along with the best of ‘Soul2Soul II,’ to make (this tour) an even better experience.”

The two-and-a-half-hour show promises each of the artists’ biggest hits, including McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying,” “Everywhere” and “Real Good Man,” Hill’s “Breathe,” “Cry” and “This Kiss,” and their most popular duets, such as “It’s Your Love.”

Their combined accomplishments, including reaching platinum-selling status 25 times each, make them the most powerful household in country music.

Since last year’s tour came through the area, McGraw released a new album, “Let It Go,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart in March – his fourth album to top that list – and quickly yielded another hit single, “Last Dollar.”

McGraw recently made headlines with his performance of “If You’re Reading This,” a song he co-wrote with The Warren Brothers as a tribute to the families of fallen soldiers. The song has never been recorded or released, but McGraw sang it during the Academy of Country Music Awards in May and an outpouring of support from fans immediately followed. Country radio stations began airing the song recorded directly from the TV broadcast, making one of the hottest country singles in the nation.

In a posting on his Web site, McGraw said the response has been “inspiring” and his management said it is working with his record label, Curb Records, “to address the fact we don’t have a studio-recorded version of this song.”

Hill, meanwhile, got some attention of a different kind at a recent awards show, the Country Music Association Awards in December, when she acted outraged that she lost the female vocalist of the year award to Carrie Underwood. Hill released a statement the following day admitting it was a joke and said Underwood “is a talented and deserving female vocalist of the year.”

Hill performed a new single, “Lost,” at the ACM Awards that is expected to be the first single off her greatest hits album, entitled “The Hits,” which is due out this summer.

Reporter Victor Balta:

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill perform Thursday at the Tacoma Dome.

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