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Fans turn it up for Tim McGraw

Tuesday night at the Alerus Center, Tim McGraw surprised a lot of fans when he began his concert across the arena from the stage after security walked him through the crowd.

Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw performs at the alerus center. Herald file photo by Eric Hylden.

Tuesday night at the Alerus Center, Tim McGraw surprised a lot of fans when he began his concert across the arena from the stage after security walked him through the crowd.

The country superstar climbed on a small stage just in front of the eastside stadium seating and sang his first song while reaching out to fans who crowded around, screaming and raising cell phones to snap photos.

As the songs kept coming, McGraw moved through and above the crowd on a raised runway that led to the main stage where a video show played along with the music. Dressed in tight jeans, a white T-shirt and his signature black cowboy hat, McGraw sang two of his classic hits, "(A Heart Don't Forget) Something like That" and "Where the Green Grass Grows" as part of his opening set.

Second concert in GF

It was McGraw's second concert in Grand Forks (the first, in 2002, was at the Ralph Engelstad Arena). This time he brought with him two of country music's up-and-coming acts, The Band Perry and Luke Bryan.

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Bryan, with his alpha country male looks and country rock style, opened his set with "Country Man," extolling the virtues of guys who know how to hot wire a tractor and cure a ham.

The first big-name country, pop or rock concert at the Alerus since Britney Spears in 2009 drew rows and rows of young women in cut-off denim jeans and short dresses with cowboy boots, and lots of guys in plaid shirts and scruffy jeans. Fans clearly were having a good time, singing and dancing along to the country music, which in Bryan's case especially, sounded an awful lot like rock.

Total attendance was unknown at press time. Alerus officials Tuesday night did not respond to questions about attendance at the concert. Most of the west side of the stadium seating was empty and covered as the stage was on that side of the arena, facing east.

"There's not that many people," noted Sharley Kurtz of Grand Forks, who was at the concert with her friend Elizabeth Becker. "It's probably because all the college kids are gone and it's a Tuesday night."

The two said they were having a good time. When asked what brought her to the concert, Kurtz laughed and said: "I was hoping Tim McGraw brought his wife (country star Faith Hill) along because I love her."

But, yes, Kurtz said, she likes McGraw just fine, too.

Reach Tobin at (701) 780-1134; (800) 477-6572, ext. 134; or send e-mail to ptobin@gfherald.com .

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McGraw reacts
Tim McGraw reacts to the crowd Tuesday as he performs at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. Herald photo by Eric Hylden.

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