Back in 2017, we caught Morgan Evans when he played for Opry Circle in the City, a free show in the middle of Bryant Park, prior to his debut album, debut radio single – “Kiss Somebody”, which hit the top of the charts, and before he was married to superstar Kelsea Ballerini. Although that wasn’t the last time we got to see him perform, last night Evans headlined his own tour at Bowery Ballroom and the fans packed the room, making it the most magical night.
To kick things off, an artist we have been very excited about since we first picked her song “Graduation Day” as our May Monthly Pick, Madison Kozak took the stage in New York City for the very first time. Kozak is the flagship artist at a new, female-driven label, Songs and Daughters which is run by Nicolle Galyon and is in partnership with Big Loud Records. The singer-songwriter has been in Nashville for 8 years and has absolutely perfected her songwriting craft, which was evident by the tracks she’s released in 2019. As she took the stage, we could see from our spot above the audience that not only were people packing the venue early but that they were just as excited as we were to catch this magical artist live for the first time.
Her set included tracks, “Little Bit Of You” mashed with a snippet of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, “Click”, and “Phases”. The Ontario native also carefully selected the perfect mash-up of Lauv’s “I Like Me Better” and Jesse McCartney’s throwback of “Beautiful Soul”. If the audience wasn’t paying attention before, they were instantly engaged hearing songs they all knew and loved.
Her confidence and banter with the crowd far surpassed an artist who has only been on the road this past year, proving she has a pivotal quality to engage with an audience, make them listen and pay attention to her own personal style and songs. “Everybody always said ‘it only takes three minutes to change your life’ and I never really believed them until this song came along and you guys it’s been a crazy year.” She was vulnerable in her storytelling, especially during her current radio single “First Last Name”. She closed her set with the infectious and incredibly catchy, “OMG ILY” which she performed for our most recent Swag Session. Check back soon for the full video. We can’t wait to continue to champion Madison and her journey.
Just a few minutes later, Morgan Evans took the stage and the truly magical night continued. Seeing the packed house sing along to every single song he performed, which kicked off with the bop, “Young Again” and included the love song “I Do” and his current single “Diamonds” made for a memorable night.
Evans, who was just named one of the 2020 New Faces of Country Music for the upcoming Country Radio Seminar interacted with the crowd, all while playing the pedal loop, which allows him to record each and every sound throughout the song and put it on loop, making his solo performance sound and feel like there was a full band behind him.
He successfully mashed together his track “Everything Changes” with a flawless rendition of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'” as well as the Beatles’ “Hey Jude” which certainly went over well with the crowd. He also performed “Hooked”, a song that Dylan Scott performed but Evans was a co-writer on. “I just want to chill it out for like 3 minutes and 9 seconds right now, and I promise we’ll get back to the party after that but, I want to play you my favorite song that I’ve written, it was the first song I wrote for my now wife,” Evans explained before tenderly singing “Dance With Me”.
Feeling the full New York City Christmas spirit, Evans acoustically sang a snippet of the famous holiday song “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, as well as a cover of “We Will Rock You”, “Dancin’ In The Dark” and after telling a story about going to see Keith Urban in his home of Australia, “Somebody Like You”.
One of the most entertaining songs of the night, “Day Drunk” had fans clapping to the beat and singing the chorus as loud as they could. His encore included his “tech guy” Keith, on guitar as they closed the night with a second performance of “Young Again” but this time, the bluegrass version. The intense guitar solo and the crescendo at the end of the song made for the perfect way to end an already incredible night of country music in New York City.
Morgan Evans heads to Hawaii at the top of 2020 to perform with Old Dominion while Madison Kozak will head overseas with Chase Rice. For all of Morgan’s tour dates head to www.morganevansmusic.com and to keep up with Madison’s tour dates head to https://www.madisonkozak.com/
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