Morgan Wallen Sells Out His First Nashville Headlining Show

Photo: David Lehr

Morgan Wallen raised a whole lot more than cane Thursday night (Jan. 31) at his sold out headlining show at Marathon Music Works in Nashville. The Big Loud artist was pumped and thankful to sell out the venue to a full house of fans, and brought along fellow Big Loud label mate HARDY, as well as newcomer Madison Kozak.

A sea of flannel shirts and cowboy boots chanted Wallen’s name as imagery of his signature mullet flashed on the screens. When Wallen appeared in a cut off flannel shirt and broke into “Whatcha Know ‘Bout That,” the crowd greeted him with raised drinks and raised voices. He quickly transitioned into the head-bobbing “Happy Hour,” before playing the song that introduced him to the country music scene.

“This is the first song I sent out to the world,” he said proudly as the opening riff of “The Way I Talk” thrilled the audience.

Photo: David Lehr

The Big Loud team were ever present to support their artist and songwriter. Wallen made it a point to shout them out, saying, “I need you to do me one favor. I’ve got a lot of people backstage and side-stage who took a lot of risks on me when I wasn’t doing shit. I need you to show them that they did the right thing tonight.”

“I just felt honored to be in the same room as him,” Wallen said of Big Loud owner and legendary songwriter Craig Wiseman. “This is the first song we wrote together,” he said as he started into the romantic “Chasin’ You.”

Wallen played a lot of his debut album If I Know Me, including the beachy “Little Rain,” the candid “Redneck Love Song,” and the infectious “If I Ever Get You Back.” He also played a cover of Eric Church’s “Smoke A Little Smoke,” saying that Church was one of the main reasons he was inspired to play country music.

“This is a song about the last time I got broke up with,” Wallen joked as the crowd roared to his latest hit “Whiskey Glasses.” They screamed louder when the singer sang his first ever No. 1, “Up Down.”

Photo: David Lehr

HARDY did an awesome job warming up the crowd for Wallen. Clearly learning a thing or two from regular co-writers Florida Georgia Line, HARDY displayed a party crowd-pleasing stage presence reminiscent to the duo.

He had the crowd waving four fingers in the air for his amusing “4X4” from his debut EP, This Ole Boy.

“I’ve been in Nashville for about 10 years and have been writing for about six,” HARDY said, detailing his plight as a songwriter. “Since this is Nashville, I’m going to play you some [cuts].” He then sampled a few songs from his repertoire, like Chris Lane’s “I Don’t Know About You” and FGL’s No. 1 “Simple,” as well as their “Colorado” and “Talk You Out Of It.” He patted his heart and grinned ear to ear when the crowd sang every word back to him. He also teased his recent No. 1, Wallen’s “Up Down,” but assured the audience that they would hear it later on.

HARDY slowed it down for his heart-breaker, “Signed, Sober You” off his recent release, Where To Find Me. He sped it back up for his “Rednecker” and “This Ole Boy.”

Canadian singer-songwriter cracked the night open with some originals, like the sweet “First Last Name” and moody “Phases.” She also got the crowd ready to party with a fun mashup of Little Big Town’s “Bookdocks” and Lorde’s “Royals.”

“Are you guys ready to get your redneck on?” she said teasing the crowd. “I see so much plaid right now, I love it.”

Morgan Wallen, HARDY and Madison Kozak brought a night to remember Thursday night at Marathon Music Works. Bringing their own styles of country, each of them had the crowd with their hands up and singing every word. Who knows, maybe mullets and cut off flannels are back?

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LB Rogers is Project Manager at MusicRow magazine. She heads up specific, large-scale projects for the company and assists in day-to-day tasks. LB also manages the MusicRow Top Songwriter Chart and contributes editorial for both the print and online platforms. She joined MusicRow full time in January of 2019, after interning and working part time for the company for a year. She is from Blairsville, Georgia and graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a Music Business degree in 2018.

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