Singer-songwriter Lee Brice doesn’t have a residency at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, but you would’ve thought so the way the Long Island fans responded to his performance Friday night. Whether he was singing an old song, a new song or just talking to the crowd, the audience shared their love for the Grammy-nominated country-star and he gave it right back.
He came out onto the rotating center stage to “Drinking Class.” He walked over to all sides of the stage, holding the mic up to the audience, turning it into a sing-a-long. He performed his number one song “Hard To Love” next, followed by a remix of another top-ten song, “That Don’t Sound Like You.”
Brice then debuted a new song for us called “One of Them Girls” that he said will head to radio sometime in the next few weeks. It has a modern feel with a rock and roll twist and will be the lead single off his upcoming album.
Throughout the night, fans from all sections would run-up to, or even onto the stage to high-five, hug or get an autograph from Brice. Brice welcomed everyone with open arms; he even let one woman kiss him on the cheek. During his performance of “A Woman Like You,” a young boy ran up to the stage to get an autograph. Brice proceeded to give the boy a lesson on women. “Girls like it when you whisper to them; don’t ever get too loud,” he told the boy. He continued and sang the final chorus of his first-ever number one song.
Brice took a lot of time to speak to the audience. He told us multiple times that this venue was one of his favorite places to perform. A lot of artists just say those things to get a reaction from the crowd, but this time, between the sincerity in his voice and the loyalty of these fans, you truly believed him. Before playing his debut single, “She Ain’t Right,” he explained that he was shocked by how high it charted, stating it almost made the top 25. One fan then shouted “You’re number one in our hearts, Lee,” for the whole crowd to hear.
The next song he performed, “Beer,” was a fan favorite. There was a whole section of people wearing matching t-shirts with the word BEER on the front and the lyric “Canadian, Mexican, Heineken, American, they’re all real good friends of mine” on the back. They all flocked to the stage when he began playing it.
“If you don’t like old-school country music, I guarantee you will in the next 20 minutes,” Brice said before performing a string of covers that included “Be My Baby Tonight” by John Michael Montgomery and “Crazy Girl,” a song he wrote for Eli Young Band. His band then exited the stage so he could perform an acoustic version of his song, “Boy.” His band joined him back on stage for “Love Like Crazy.”
He said this next song, “Hope You’re Happy Now” was special for Valentine’s Day. He explained how hard it was to break-up with someone that you like a lot but you don’t see a future with and described a humorous fictional situation. “Well yeah, but it’s two weeks before Christmas so I can’t do it then. Then Christmas comes around you realize that it’s New Year’s and you have to wait ‘til after that. Then, next thing you know it’s Valentine’s Day and you can’t do it there either.” He expressed how grateful he was that Carly Pearce asked him to join her on this break-up song and asked the crowd to help him sing her part.
“I Drive Your Truck” is based on the true story of a father who lost his son in Afghanistan. Brice dedicated this song to the families of veterans and first responders who lost their lives on the front lines of combat. Lights surrounded the Nashville-native as he performed this heart-wrenching ballad. One member of the audience threw an FDNY shirt onto the stage which was met by cheers when Brice held it up for the lit-up theatre. Brice quickly transitioned to a more feel-good song in “Parking Lot Party” before exiting the stage.
After greeting fans and signing some autographs, he came back on stage singing his wedding track, “I Don’t Dance.” He announced his band members during his extended version of his most recent number one song, “Rumor” to close the night out. It’s safe to say, this will not be Brice’s last time performing at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury.
Brice’s tour heads to the west coast next weekend and has international tour dates starting in June. For tickets, head to his website.
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