While most people were having the Sunday scaries last night, New York country music fans fled to the heart of Times Square to catch CMT On Tour featuring Rachel Wammack, Tyler Rich, and headliner Brett Young at PlayStation Theater. The line of freezing fans wrapped around the corner all waiting to get inside, check their coats at the door and dance and sing along to some great country music for the evening.
Rachel Wammack, one of Sony Music Nashville’s newest artists kicked things off, proving her incredible vocal ability to a new set of fans in the Big Apple. She sang songs from her self-titled debut EP including the powerful, heartwrenching ballads “Closure” and her current debut radio single “Damage”. “This is my very first tour and NYC, Y’all are freakin’ sweet,” she said to the packed floor. She also put her own spin on 5 Seconds of Summer’s “Youngblood” which had the crowd dancing along.
Next up was Tyler Rich, the proud California native took “warming up the crowd” to a new level, playing a bunch of upbeat songs and infusing his own signature style of country music into the set. He sang all four songs from his self-titled EP including “Adrenaline” and “Take It Or Leave It”, as well as covering a country-rock version of The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” which had every single audience member jumping up and down in unison. “We’ve been counting down the days until we got to play NYC and Y’all just sold this shit out and you didn’t just sell it out but you sold it out on a Sunday, that is quite the accomplishment,” Rich laughed. He took time out of his set to thank the first responders that were present in the crowd as well as send a shout out to all of those who helped fight the recent wildfires in his home state of California. He explained that fellow California born artists, Brett Young, Jon Pardi, Devin Dawson, Gary Allen and himself teamed up to create a shirt where the funds would go directly to aiding in relief from those devastating fires. You can find your Cali Love shirt and donate here. Rich closed out his set with his two radio singles “11:11” and the song that he says got it all started for him, “The Difference”.
The Sunday night crowd was good and ready when Brett Young took the stage just after 9 PM. Although most of his radio singles are mid-slow tempo ballads, Young captivated the crowd with his genuine nature and compelling storytelling. He kicked off the night with the first single from his sophomore album, “Here Tonight” and continued throughout the evening to play songs from Ticket to L.A as well as some of the biggest hits from his debut self-titled album. Closing out his album release week for Ticket to L.A. He thanked CMT for sponsoring this tour as well as country radio for the success he has seen over the past few years.
“I thought forever, if I could just get a song on country radio, that’ll do it, I didn’t understand what that meant or how hard that was…” Young explained. “All that to say, country radio took a chance on me anyway and I’ll never be able to say thank you enough,” he said humbly before singing his second number one single “In Case You Didn’t Know”.
Two highlights from the night included Young stopping to give credit to his band who also just happen to be incredible singers. After revealing that his very first concert was BoyzIIMen and Mariah Carey, he allowed his band members to each sing a verse of their soulful hit “Water Runs Dry”. He also welcomed back to the stage Rachel Wammack and Tyler Rich to sit on either side of him to perform Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.
Young closed out the night by singing a cover of Gavin DeGraw’s “Not Over You”, as well as leading the audience in a sing-along to his very first number one hit “Sleep Without You”. Head to NYCountry Swag’s Instagram for exclusive videos from last night’s incredible line up.
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