Country break-out superstar, Morgan Wallen released his highly anticipated sophomore double album, Dangerous last Friday. Within three days, it pulled in over 100 million streams, which is the most single-week on-demand audio streams for a country album in history. He celebrated this tremendous feat with a live show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in front of real, non-cardboard, socially-distanced fans. Viewers at home could stream it live on Facebook and YouTube.
The crowd of only a few hundred sounded like a few thousand when the curtains drew and Wallen was alone on stage with his piano. The heart-wrenching “Sand in My Boots” may be a slow song and an odd choice for a show opener to get the crowd into it, but the fans did not seem to mind, as a sense of magic gloomed over the excited crowd – just happy to finally be seeing a live show again featuring their favorite artist. When that song was over, the full band took the stage and gave the audience a more traditional opening as Wallen sang the more rocking “Somethin’ Country.” The long break from touring did not seem to affect Wallen’s vocal stamina as he rapped the chorus effortlessly.
The singer-songwriter stopped for a moment to take in the whole scene as if already knowing he was living through a very special part of his own history. Wallen told the crowd, which included his family, members of his team, and members of his fan club that this was a special night, not only because it was his first show since March, but it was his first time headlining the legendary Ryman Auditorium. He also informed the crowd that he will be playing all new songs and “if you came to hear our old stuff, you’re in the wrong place.” He followed the speech with a performance of “Dangerous”, the title track off the double album.
Wallen kept the party going with more songs from the fun, second half of the album including “Still Goin Down” and “Beer Don’t” but also sprinkled in a lot of songs from his more emotional first half such as “Wasted on You” and “Neon Eyes.” He admitted that “Wasted on You” was one of his favorites and most personal songs on the record, and was humbled to see it is one of the most-streamed songs so far.
“My first album, it kind of got rushed out a little bit just because I was out on the road touring and I had to go back and forth trying to get it done. But with this one I got to be home, I got to be more a part of it, so this one feels more like my baby,” Wallen confessed. “I’m a little bit closer to this album than I was the first and I hope you guys end up closer to it as well.” Next, he performed a song that admittedly wasn’t exactly something he had experienced, but a beautiful story nonetheless called “Silverado for Sale.”
Throughout the album, Wallen is very sentimental towards his hometowns of Sneedville and Knoxville, Tennessee. This is apparent on many songs such as “Rednecks, Red Letters, Red Dirt” and “865,” both of which he performed during the show. The latter is already a fan-favorite, as many audience members made it apparent that they already had the phone number memorized.
After a fiery performance of “Warning,” Ben Burgess came on stage to sing “Outlaw” with Wallen. Burgess was rocking a Tennessee Orange western shirt, matching Wallen’s Tennessee Orange long sleeve and signature cut-sleeve flannel.
Wallen performed his first number-one song off the album “More Than My Hometown” before exiting the stage for the first time since the start of his nearly hour and a half set. He came back out several minutes later for the encore and sang “Cover Me Up,” marking the official final performance of what was an incredible night for Wallen and his fans.
Wallen fit 19 songs total into his hour and fifteen-minute set, giving the fans in attendance and even the viewers at home the feeling of a real, live show– a feeling that we have all missed so dearly during the pandemic. It is comforting to know that there is now a vaccine out there and we are getting closer to having concerts back because there is no feeling that can match the rush of seeing your favorite artist take the stage in-person. In case you missed it, catch the entire show here:
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Dangerous: The Double Album is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.