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Three decades later and Tim McGraw still has it: Twin Cities

Like his fellow ’90s country stars Garth Brooks and Shania Twain, Tim McGraw continues to draw audiences. About 14,000 people showed up Saturday night to attend McGraw’s concert at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center.

The difference, however, is that not only is McGraw still racking up radio hits, but he’s never really taken a substantial break in the thirty years since he released his breakthrough single, “Indian Outlaw.”

As such, he performed his two most recent singles – “Standing Room Only” and “One Bad Habit” – and received the same upbeat response as everything else on the show. “Indian Outlaw” didn’t make the cut, but over the course of twenty songs, McGraw revisited key moments from throughout his career.

McGraw, who turns 57 on May 1, opened with 2012’s “Truck Yeah,” a kind of dumb novelty song from a man she typically avoids. But the song’s sonic swagger provided an energetic taste of the fast-paced show.

It also served as a reminder of the power of McGraw’s top band, the Dancehall Doctors. Three of the eight players are guitarists and occasionally they are joined on the six strings by multi-instrumentalist Jeff McMahon and McGraw himself to create a real wall of sound. At one point, McGraw called them “the best band you’ll ever hear,” and while that’s a stretch, the Dancehall Doctors are easily among the best in country music.

From there, McGraw reached the ’90s (“Just to See You Smile,” “I Like It, I Love It”), the ’00s (“Red Rag Top,” his cover of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer”) and the 1910s. (“Felt good on my lips,” “Shotgun Rider”). He previewed a shortened version of his 2004 Nelly collaboration “Over and Over” and sang with (a pre-recorded) Taylor Swift on 2013’s “Highway Don’t Care.”

For his encore, McGraw showed his tender side, which likely has a lot to do with his longevity. After 2001’s “The Cowboy in Me,” he played his two biggest hits: 2016’s “Humble and Kind” and 2004’s “Live Like You Were Dying.” When he wrapped the first, he had the audience sing back the chorus a cappella: “Let yourself feel the pride, but always remain humble and kind.”

It was sometimes difficult to hear McGraw’s voice, which was too low in the mix. But beyond that, he delivered a very entertaining show that suggests he has a lot of great years ahead of him.