Drenched heads and squeaky cowboy boots filed into Bridgestone Arena on Saturday night (Sept. 22) for an exciting and sentimental night of music from hit-maker Chris Young.
The Losing Sleep World Tour made its Nashville stop a full circle moment for Young, as it was his first time headlining the massive indoor venue. The Murfreesboro-native brought along Kane Brown and Morgan Evans.
Young hit the ground running early, exhilarating the fans with his guitar-fueled “Losing Sleep” and then thrilling them further with his 2009 mega-hit, “Gettin’ You Home.” It was clear that Young was not messing around.
Several moments throughout the show found Young surveying the packed arena, grinning ear to ear and thanking his supporters and fans.
“I get to do what I love every day because of you. This is your fault,” he joked, “this is all your fault.”
One of the perks of a Nashville show is the chance that collaborators and other special guests are more likely to show up. Young did not hold out on the special guests, first bringing Cassadee Pope out to do their fiery duet “Think of You.”
Young also surprised the audience when he introduced his friend Brad Paisley to perform “I’m Still A Guy.” The two traded verses and teased each other while singing the playful ode to masculinity. Paisley took it upon himself to grab a fan’s phone and make a call. The voice mailbox on the other line was lucky enough to hear Young and Paisley finish out the tune and the crowd roar.
A very grateful Young thanked his family and friends, many of whom were in attendance, and talked a lot about his road to get where he is now. He detailed growing up in middle Tennessee and playing gigs just up the street on Nashville’s Broadway. Young even invited a college friend from his brief time at Belmont University (before he later transferred to MTSU) to play keys at his Nashville show.
“This has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid,” he gushed, “I’m never going to quit saying thank you.”
Couples swayed and slow danced to “Who I Am With You” and “I Can Take It From There,” but Young promised the single audience members that he hadn’t forgotten them as he went into “Lonely Eyes.”
Young also treated the audience to a few covers throughout the night. iPhone lighters glistened and swayed as Young did a tender acoustic version of Keith Whitley’s “When You Say Nothing At All” and audience members howled when he broke into Brooks & Dunn’s “Neon Moon” when trying to hit the high note at the end of his 2011 hit “You.”
After playing a twangy “Aw Naw,” Young thrilled the audience by extending the set into an acoustic encore featuring “The Dashboard” and “I’m Comin’ Over” without ever leaving the stage. It was clear that Young had made himself quite comfortable playing for a sold-out crowd at Bridgestone Arena.
Kane Brown elicited a lot of screams during his set, playing his record-setting hits “Heaven” and “What If’s.”
Perhaps one of the most touching moments of the night was when Brown talked of abuse and racism he endured during his upbringing in which he details in “Learning.” He brought his weeping mother out during the song and kissed her, and encouraged the audience to persevere through dark times.
Warner Music Nashville’s Morgan Evans opened the show with just a guitar and a loop pedal.
“I call this thing my American band,” he joked as he explained to the crowd how it worked and assured them that there were no pre-recorded tracks being used.
Evans played his radio-hit “Kiss Somebody,” as well as Dylan Scott’s “Hooked,” in which Evans penned with Seth Ennis and Lindsay Rimes. To make things even more exciting, he brought out his wife and country star Kelsea Ballerini to sing harmonies on his delicate “Dance With Me.”
Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena was full of star-studded surprises, full-circle moments and enough encouragement to warm the hearts of nearly 14,000 people. Chris Young’s homecoming made a dark and rainy night in Nashville one not to forget.
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