If you didn’t make it out to one of Hardy‘s shows during his three-night, sold-out stand at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium over the weekend, you missed out.
The Big Loud Records/Big Loud Rock heavy-hitter showed his dominance in the space, bringing out fans in droves who can’t get enough of his redneck-country, grunge-rock fusion. So many fans came out, in fact, that Hardy’s weekend of consecutive sell-outs made him the artist with the second-most ticket sales in a single run at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium, right behind Elvis Presley. It also made Hardy the artist to play the most shows in a single weekend at the venue.
Opening for the country rocker was star Lainey Wilson and Sony Music Nashville newcomer Dylan Marlowe.
Marlowe kicked things off with a fun set that included his successful singles “Record High,” “Dirt Road When I Die,” “You See Mine” and more. The Georgia native moved about the stage with confidence and charisma as he looked out into the big Nashville crowd. Once his job was done, he smiled out at everyone and thanked them for getting there early to see him play.
Fans roared when the next act, the explosive Wilson, made her way to the stage. Her 45-minute set was full of exhibitions of her white-hot star power.
When singing “Atta Girl” from her award-winning 2022 album Bell Bottom Country, she smiled down at young girls in their flared britches with stars in their eyes. At one point, Wilson spoke to one lucky fan in the front, sharing with her affirmations to tell herself every day as she grows up.
Next, Wilson welcomed to the stage a friend of hers with “a heart of gold,” Jelly Roll. The Municipal Auditorium shook with excitement as the two BBR label-mates traded verses of their collaborative single “Save Me.”
Wilson glided through her set with ease, rousing fans with “Hillbilly Hippie,” “Hold My Halo” and “Smell Like Smoke,” and bringing the audience in close with hits “Things a Man Oughta Know” and “Watermelon Moonshine.” Before closing her set, Wilson gave a hair-raising performance of her most recent No. 1 “Heart Like a Truck.”
With the audience primed for musical excellence, fans tore the roof off the building when Hardy’s 2023 album title track “The Mockingbird & The Crow” played. As with Hardy’s persona, the song—and album—is divided into country and rock stylings. For the song’s country opening verses, Hardy stayed out of sight. When the song got heavier, he appeared, causing every fan in the venue to hoop and holler.
He kept the energy high with standout rocking tracks “Kill Sh!t Till I Die” and “Jack,” before asking if the Thursday night (Oct. 26) crowd had to work in the morning. “I pray to God someone wakes up in their boots in the morning,” he said before playing his beloved “Boots.”
After thrilling OG Hardy fans with his 2018 “4X4,” he shared that when playing in Nashville, you’ve got to “do the Nashville thing,” and he invited Lauren Alain and Devin Dawson out to perform their No. 1 hit “One Beer.” Later on in the show, Hardy invited Marlowe back out to perform the hit song he co-penned for Jon Pardi, “Last Night Lonely,” in a writers’-round style moment.
Beyond the mastery he has of his own country-rock lane, Hardy’s star shines bright when he connects with his fans. Before playing “Screen,” a song with a double entendre about phone screens and door screens, he spoke about his battle with anxiety that caused him to cancel a few shows on “The Mockingbird & The Crow Tour.” While he shared that he was doing better, he let those in the crowd who may be living with mental health struggles know that he was right there with them.
Another special moment came with Hardy’s performance of “A Rock,” the title track to his 2020 album that zooms out on the meaning of life, with verses like “we’re all just living life on a rock.” While Hardy sang about growing up and meeting his wife, photos from his life flashed on the screens behind him. About the time he sang, “next thing you know you’re saving up for a rock,” a couple in the pit got engaged.
Hardy kept it on an emotional note for the next song, the beloved “Give Heaven Some Hell,” which brought hands to the hearts of concert-goers and arms around their loved ones’ shoulders. After he was done, he shared that the song died at No. 7 on the charts because some radio stations thought it was sacrilegious. “I’ve written 17 No. 1s. I think I know what a radio song is,” he said, before thrilling the crowd with his irreverent “Radio Song.”
One of the night’s most impactful moments came when Wilson reappeared on stage to sing the double-Platinum hit “Wait In The Truck,” which is nominated for Song, Single, Music Video and Musical Event of the Year at next week’s CMA Awards.
After the half-way mark, Hardy kept the crowd buzzing with beloved tunes like “Red,” “Unapologetically Country As Hell” and his Blake Shelton cut “God’s Country.” He left the stage for a bit only to be brought back out with the crowd’s relentless “Hardy! Hardy! Hardy!”
Before calling it a night, Hardy blitzed us with “Truck Bed,” “Rednecker” and the ultimate cheery on top, “Sold Out.”
“The Mockingbird & The Crow Tour” picks back up in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Nov. 30.
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