Tim McGraw was less than two songs into his show at San Jose’s HP Pavillion when he spied a woman in the second row chatting idly with a friend. Sensing that the woman’s incessant yammering might eventually become a problem, McGraw figured to nip it in the bud early. During an instrumental break in “I Like It, I Love It,” he planted himself on the stage directly in front of her seat, stared squarely into her face, and raised his pointed index finger to his lips. The woman, who was just then busy telling her friend about a new greenhouse in her backyard, failed to look up at the stage during this display and thus missed McGraw’s message.
Four songs later, the woman having scarcely stopped for breath and the people around her appearing increasingly frustrated, McGraw inserted a joke about “a woman near the front who won’t shut her pie hole” into his stage banter. The uproarious laughter of all the people in the immediate area prompted the woman to pause briefly and chuckle along with them, mimicking a sort of minimal engagement with the performance she was supposedly there to watch, even though she had been too busy going on and on about the insolence of her daughter’s ex-boyfriend to actually hear McGraw’s joke.
The show proceeded uneventfully, with McGraw and the audience seeming to have tuned out the woman’s constant yakking, until the encore. As the first few notes of “Indian Outlaw” brought McGraw back onstage, a wicked, self-satisfied smirk was evident on the singer’s face. McGraw delivered a faithful rendition of the old tune up until the very end, when he amplified the cutesy Indian yell that usually closes the song to a blood-curdling scream, reaching behind his back and producing an ancient tribal tomahawk which he then hurled into the crowd with the full force of his person. The crowd gasped as the weapon sailed through the air.
The projectile met its mark, the sharp blade of the axe nested firmly in the woman’s head, as McGraw lept onto a waiting horse and galloped off into the wild outback of downtown San Jose.