The day this lineup came out I lost all chill… and not much changed at the show.
We got to The Dow Event Center, and checked in to the Home Team VIP. We got our lanyards, meet and greet passes and our merch gift – a fanny pack, a towel, and a sweatband. We also picked up our Ryan Hurd meet and greet passes.
First was our TR meet and greet. I was shaking so bad. I walked in, congratulated him on the babies and we talked about Learned it from the Radio being my favorite song. We talked for another minute, we took a picture, he gave me a hug, then I walked out in the lobby and almost bawled my face off in excitement. (If I had that meet and greet picture it would be here… but I won’t get it for a few days, and I’m not a patient person and I wanna post this haha).
Between Thomas’ meet and greet and acoustic performance we had our Ryan Hurd meet and greets we had won. It was super awesome to meet Ryan. He was such a sweetheart!
Then it was time for one of the best parts of the night: the VIP acoustic performance. We were in the back because of having to leave the line for our Hurd meet and greet, and I was leaning up against a closed bar that was in the VIP room. I look to my right as I’m leaning on the bar, and who is standing there? LAUREN. I started frantically waving like an idiot, and she in her sweet Lauren way, of course, smiled and waved back. I had a picture with her from a few years ago, and a bunch of TR’s crew was standing by her and one of the ladies handed it to her to sign. TR played “Make Me Wanna” and “Die a Happy Man” and answered a few questions. The funniest parts of the Q&A consisted of someone giving TR a Christmas ornament for the new baby. (They suggested Laur come open it, he said she was to pregnant, and as I stood three feet away from her the look on her face was priceless). TR says “Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland?” (the worlds largest Christmas store for all the non-Michigan kids) and Lauren jumps off the counter and says “THOMAS RHETT THAT’S WHERE I WANTED TO GO TODAY!” Russell Dickerson and his sweet wife Kailey popped there heads in around the corner during VIP as well (at which point I started frantically waving to the two of them, because they’re basically the sweetest humans. Also, notice a theme with my frantic waving…ha). During the Q&A everyone was asking about Lauren, and TR said he thought he should quit singing and they should just do a stand up comedy act because all the questions were about her. After the performance she slid over on the counter and we took a picture and I was so excited. My night had been made LONG before the show started. The decor in the Home Team lounge was super awesome too. Our host told us that TR and Lauren gave VIP Nation a lot of the things to decorate with. (Photos of them growing up, wedding photos, football helmets, and they even had Lauren’s red dress that was part of the inspiration for Die A Happy Man). The VIP experience was so cool and it was awesome to see TR and Lauren.
Then it was show time! Russell Dickerson opened the show, and if you’ve read anything on this blog, you probably know I adore RD. We got to hear all four songs off the Yours EP (BLUE TACOMA IS MY JAM AND EVERYONE AROUND ME KNEW IT) and a song that isn’t out yet. Russell never ceases to amaze me live. During his second or third song my Mom looked at me, laughed and said “I know you love Russ, but its the first act, if you keep screaming and singing like that you aren’t gunna have a voice”. (Side note: I didn’t shut up, and thankfully , and shockingly, could talk this morning).
Ryan Hurd was up next. He was so full of energy and sounded awesome! I’ve listened to Ryan’s music, and I love it, but going into the show I wasn’t super familiar with it like I was the others. I was super impressed. He was great!
Kelsea TIMEEEE! Again, if you frequent the blog, you know she’s basically my favorite human. She killed it as always. Her set consisted mostly of songs from The First Time, a heartbreak medley leading into Peter Pan, a cover of The Chainsmokers “Closer” and one of the songs that is going to be on KB 2 – “Roses”. SO. GOOD.
Then it was TR time! Thomas was amazing as always. He sang a mix of songs from the first and second record, and two from his next record.
At one point, TR went to a B stage at the back of an arena and did a mashup of some record one songs. On the way back he sported a Dad to Be hat with a pink something (a bow?) on it, and talked about his daughter to be for a second. TR had a beer(?) on the B stage, went to hand it to Lauren, then goes “I almost handed you that, you can’t have that, you’re pregnant” (then the entire arena erupted in laughter). During the show another fan handed TR a onesie that said “Star of the Show” on it. Another fan had a poster that TR pointed out asking if they needed a nanny. I think its safe to say Thomas and Laur aren’t the only ones excited about the future Akins babies, the fans already adore them and they haven’t even made there way into the world yet. Now that we’ve all collectively gushed over that preciousness… Danielle Bradberry showed up! When TR started to sing “Playing with Fire” I assumed it would be Kelsea coming up on the lift to sing the Jordin Sparks/Danielle part. I certainly wasn’t expecting Danielle to come out of the floor. The duet was PHENOMENAL.
TR closed the show with Kelsea, Russell and Ryan joining him on stage to cover Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic. So cool! As you can tell by the picture, no fun was had during this song.
After the show Ryan and Russell stood out in the lobby and signed and took pictures with anyone who wanted to stand in line, which was so sweet of them. I was super excited to get my picture with Russell from Faster Horses signed! (and I didn’t expect to meet Ryan twice, but that happened, so that was cool!)
Basically, what I’m telling you is that this tour is everything good in the world. If this show is coming to your town…GO. If its not, you still need to see these four live at some point, because they’re fabulous. The best dang show ever. I hope y’all are as excited about this tour as I am. The post-concert depression is real 😉