I’d only ever seen Chris Young perform at the Buck Owens Crystal Palace when he’s visited Bakersfield or a shorter set at CMA Festival in Nashville, so I was thrilled to see that he was kicking off the second leg of his tour in my hometown. I waited awhile to buy tickets, but still got decent tickets closer to the show.
Young is one of the most underrated talents in country music today. He can sing just about anything and has stayed true to his country roots, while also recognizing the growth and evolution that any artist eventually goes through. The crowd was much different than shows I’ve been to recently; rowdy and up on their feet, and still so fun. Underwood’s crowd at the same arena just the week before was not as vibrant, but she has a different audience; ages all across the board.
I’ve been a huge fan of Young’s for many years, but even as he played hit after hit, I forgot just how consistently good he’s been. He sang some of the earlier hits, like “Voices,” “Getting You Home” and others, as well as some of the more current songs, like “Lonely Eyes,” “Who I Am With You” and of course, “I’m Comin’ Over.” He also sang Keith Whitley’s “When You Say Nothing At All,” which I believe I had something to do with (but more about that later).
Cassadee Pope kicked off the night, and I was pleasantly surprised with her performance. I’m not a huge fan of hers – I’ve really only listened to her a little, mainly what’s on the radio. But, she was delightful and something about her stage presence has your eyes glued on her from start to finish. Even if I didn’t know the songs, she told the stories beautifully.
I missed most of Dan + Shay’s set due to my meet-and-greet with Chris Young, which I was more than okay to sacrifice. However, I am a huge fan of theirs. But, you could feel the energy and passion as they bounced around the stage (even as I waited in the hallway of the arena), singing “19 You+Me,” “Nothin’ Like You,” “Show You Off” and their latest single, and one of my absolute favorite songs right now, “How Not To.” They have phenomenal voices and their songs are just catchy, feel good, missing summer kinds of songs.
I mentioned I was lucky enough to meet Chris before the show, thanks to a meet-and-greet through his fan club. It was much quicker than I’d imagined the meeting going in my head, but he was still very nice. I asked him if he was going to sing any Keith Whitley and he said, “Maybe. We’ll see how the show goes.”
I was on such a high from the show for several days after. Those are the kinds of shows that I love – the kinds of artists I love to support, because their love for the music is so evident and bleeds through the speakers. That was Chris Young’s show, and I’ll never forget the evening. If he isn’t nominated for Entertainer of the Year at the awards shows sometime soon, there’s something very messed up about the country music industry.
That’s all for now,