Concert Review: Kelsea Ballerini at Joes Bar – Chicago

Just over one year after joining Jana Kramer for her first appearance at Joe’s on Weed Street, rising country superstar, Kelsea Ballerini, made her way back to the prominent venue once again. This time, as a headliner, bringing along Jacob Davis and Levi Hummon to open up the SOLD OUT show.

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Flashing a smile that could light up the night sky, it was appropriate that Ballerini opened up her set with her flirty, upbeat, love song, “Looking at Stars.” You could not keep this girl from smiling if you tried! For good reason. Since she last graced the stage at Joe’s, Ballerini has earned her first No. 1 single, “Love Me Like You Mean It.”

Additionally, she has been nominated for several awards based on her vocal ability, including a CMA Award nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year, and she was the winner of the Billboard Rising Star Award. She is living her dream, and she knows it is thanks to country radio stations like US99.5, and her diligent, supportive fans. Ballerini reassured her fans throughout the concert that she will never forget that they are the reason she is thriving. During “Square Pegs,” her gratitude went beyond words, as she snapped selfies with fans throughout the length of the song, while impeccably not missing a single note.

It was exuberating watching Kelsea conquer song after song that she has personally had a hand in writing. Her current single, “Dibs” is rapidly climbing the charts, seeking out the No. 1 spot, and as she performed it in front of Chicago, the crowd seemed to be calling “dibs” on Ms. Ballerini! Watch this exclusive clip of “Dibs” at Joe’s!

https://twitter.com/TieraBolt/status/695620626229420032/video/1

After performing a reveling throwback mash up of hit pop songs including Backstreet Boys, Nsync, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Destiny’s Child, Ballerini added in a little country throw back from that time period. She belted out her self-proclaimed favorite country song – Rascal Flatts, “What Hurts The Most” in a light-hearted, feminine manner that sent “the feels” in the form of goosebumps, down the spines of everyone in attendance. Ballerini announced that she will be opening up on for Rascal Flatts on their upcoming tour this year. Sounds like another dream come true for this young go-getter!

The title track on her debut album, “The First Time” carries a story that is close to Ballerini’s heart. She shared the story of heartbreak that inspired the song, as she penned it while sitting on her doorstep after an old flame stood her up again. Her advice? “When life closes a door, keep it shut, and shred it Monster’s Inc. style.” The 22-year-old laughed as she tenderly performed the somewhat somber, yet wise and uplifting track while her doting fans sang along.

Ballerini put a cap on an incredible night as she played a beautiful rendition clip of Rhianna’s “Take a Bow,” which she said inspired “Love Me Like You Mean It.” The crowd roared with approval and sang along in bright spirits. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kelsea Ballerini headlining her own tour very shortly!

Author: Tiera Bolt

Mix 1 part momma + 1 part writer + 1 part hairstylist. Add the love of laughter, adventure, and caffeine. Blend well with a passion for country music and hockey. Sprinkle with sass, and that's me.

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