Country newcomer Sam Hunt brought his Lipstick Graffiti Tour to a sold out crowd in Columbus, Ohio last Thursday. This is Sam’s first headlining tour, and it has been more than successful; selling out 15 shows in a matter of minutes. Sam left no doubt as to why his tickets are in such high demand.
Opening the show was country duo Native Run. Their set was full of energy from start to finish, and the crowd could not help but dance along. The chemistry that they possess on stage only strengthens their performance. A high point of their set was when they covered TLC’s “Waterfalls”; and in case you were wondering, the answer is yes, they can rap too. There was not a soul in the crowd not singing along. The performance of their single “Good on You” was a personal favorite. The playfulness that they bring to the stage, along with their catchy songs, makes them easy to love. They are on an entirely different level, and sometimes you might forget that they were the opening act. There is a lot of pressure being the first act to hit the stage, but Native Run exceeded all of my expectations.
It comes as no surprise that the energy in the LC pavilion was at a high when the silhouette of Sam Hunt graced the stage. He entered the stage alone, went to the mic and quietly sang the choruses of “Speakers” and “Break Up in a Small Town”. The band takes the stage, the lights come on, and Sam begins to sing “Ex to See”. The energy remained through the roof for the duration of the set. In between songs the lights would dim and songs of different genres would play. At one point we were rocking to Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop”. Sam sings all of the songs on his debut album “Montevallo” and Billy Currington’s, “We are Tonight”, a song that he wrote.
In the middle of the set Sam and his band perform several parts of songs acoustically. The medley includes Reba McEntire’s “Fancy”, Trisha Yearwood’s “She’s in Love With the Boy”, Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby”, Destiny’s Child “Say My Name”, Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, Whitney Houston’s “Dance with Somebody”, and last but not least, Deana Carter’s “Strawberry Wine”.
Talk about girl power. My favorite moment of the show is during Sam’s performance of “Take Your Time”. He jumps off of the stage and into the crowd, not even fazed by all of the girls putting their hands on him. An artist that interacts with their fans in this way is sure to keep them coming back for more. Sam performs two songs in his encore; “Make you Miss Me” and “Break Up in a Small Town”. “Make you Miss Me” is performed with Sam only being accompanied by his piano playing. “Break Up in a Small Town” is the perfect song to close the show; upbeat tempo, beat drops, and a short preview of Sam’s ability to play the drums. There is no question as to how much fun Sam has on stage; you can just see it on his face before he exits. Sam Hunt is an extremely talented artist that will be taking a lot more of our time in the future.