Last night, singer-songwriter Morgan Wallen brought his headlining ‘If I Know Me Tour’ to New York City’s Irving Plaza, with special guests Lainey Wilson and HARDY. The sold-out show marks Wallen’s first headlining performance in NYC.
Kicking off the night, Song Suffragettes singer and songwriter, Lainey Wilson opened up the show, getting the crowd pumped for HARDY and Wallen’s sets. She entertained the crowd with her songs “Dixie Hippies,” and “Middle Finger.” Keeping the audience involved throughout her set, the Louisiana native played a medley of some of her favorite cover songs, including “Fat Bottomed Girls.” Wilson impressed the crowd with her sassy lyrics, charming personality, and twangy vocals, sure to have garnered some new fans.
Songwriter turned solo artist, HARDY took the stage next. With a permanent smile on his face and a ton of energy, HARDY began his set with some uptempo songs, including his track “4X4” off his This Ole Boy EP and “All She Left Was Me,” off his newest EP, Where to Find Me. HARDY had fans excited and singing along from the minute he walked on stage, sharing with the crowd “ New York, Y’all wanna be the wildest crowd we play for?!,” only to later call the audience “the loudest crowd so far.”
Although most of HARDY’s set was filled with catchy and uptempo party songs, the singer-songwriter took a moment to play one of his slower, lyrically-focused songs “Signed, Sober You.” The stripped down song truly showcased his artistry as both a vocalist and songwriter.
HARDY also made sure to honor his song-writing roots by singing a mash-up of some of the tracks he has penned for other artists, including Florida Georgia Line’s “Colorado” and “Talk You Out of It,” as well as, Chris Lane’s “I Don’t Know About You.” The entertainer also sang his second number one song as a songwriter, “Simple,” off Florida Georgia Line’s newest album Can’t Say I Ain’t Country. HARDY definitely won fans over with his unique set and presence on stage, ending his set with fan-favorite and current single “Rednecker.”
Making his NYC headlining debut, Morgan Wallen took the stage next, after a quick introduction by Nash FM’s Jesse Addy and Katie Neal. Wallen’s set started off with high-energy, as he immediately played two songs off his debut record If I Know Me, “Whatcha Know ‘Bout That” and “Happy Hour.” Fans couldn’t contain their excitement, as the singer jumped around on stage, getting the crowd excited for his full set. Next, Wallen played “the first song [he] ever put out,” “The Way I Talk,” encouraging the crowd to sing along with him. Fans did just that, as they belted the lyrics back to the singer, who took a moment to soak it all in.
Following the song, Wallen interacted with the crowd, sharing his journey to get to this point, “This is special for me- means a lot! […] We played for a couple of years to a lot of empty rooms. it’s really cool to see a full, packed out room. Ya know, we’ve been on this tour for a couple of months, every single room was packed. You guys make me feel like we’re doing the right thing, man. I really appreciate that cause of y’all we got to put our debut album last year, I’ll be singing a lot of songs off it tonight.” Wallen continued his set singing almost every song off his debut album.
After covering one of this favorite country artists, Eric Church’s song, “Smoke A Little Smoke” and then a song he said was a ‘sexy song’, “Little “Rain, Wallen played his current radio single, “Whiskey Glasses.” The crowd was so loud, during his performance that it appeared every single person at the sold-out show was singing along. After the song, fans chanted ‘Morgan,’ bringing the rising country star to tears. It was truly a magical moment that both Wallen and fans will be sure to remember for a long time coming.
Continuing to connect with the audience on a deeper level, the artist shared a personal sentiment with the crowd, even introducing his parents, who were in the audience supporting their son. “I started writing songs in the garage in my parent’s house when I was about 18- 19 years old, on a work out bench man. I didn’t think I’d ever have a chance to do this for a living […] I thought about those days. I think about my parents how they gave up everything, pretty much for me to be here doing this. They up there right now!” he revealed, as fans applauded his parents as loudly as they could, making it another emotional moment for the Wallen family.
Towards the end of the show, Wallen switched gears and played some of his slower-paced, but heartfelt songs, including, “Redneck Love Song,” “Chasin’ You,” and “Talkin’ Tennesse.” The singer-songwriter even shared with the audience that if he had to guess, “Chasin’ You,” which he just put out a music video for, will probably be his next single to go to country radio. The crowd erupted into applause about that possibility.
After some more tender moments, Wallen and his band brought back the high-energy, involving the audience in an epic medley of some of his favorite rock songs, including Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar We’re Going Down,” Linken Park’s “In the End,” and “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard. He then closed out the show with the song that put him on the map “Up Down”, with HARDY, who co-wrote the track, jamming with him.
Catch Wallen and HARDY again this summer on July 20th at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theatre on Florida Georgia Line’s ‘Can’t Say We Ain’t Country Tour.’
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