Morgan Wallen continued his One Night At A Time World Tour last August with back-to-back shows in Columbus. I went to the second show, which featured opening acts from (Michael) Hardy, and after we bought our tickets, we learned the show would also feature Bailey Zimmerman, Ernest (Keith-Smith), who is also one of my favorite artists.
When I bought my Morgan Wallen ticket for his August 12th concert, I had no idea that the performance was starting at 5:30 p.m., but when a performance has four bands (instead of the customary just one), an event that started in the daylight made sense.
First up was Bailey Zimmerman. I knew nothing of Zimmerman’s songs, but after his set, I was a fan. Zimmerman started the night out with six of his most popular songs, including two of his number one hits Rock And a Hard Place and Fall in Love. Having heard only a few songs, I never really listened to Zimmerman but was blown away by his voice and stage presence. From his voice alone you would think he was a fifty year old man, but there he was, a 23 year old jumping around like a five year old. He kept my attention throughout his set. He knew his audience, entering the stage wearing an Ohio State Football jersey with the last name Zimmerman. The only thing I would’ve changed about his performance is that I would’ve made it longer.
Next up was Ernest, a prominent singer-songwriter in country music, famous for his hit Flower Shops featuring Morgan Wallen. Ernest played a quick six song set, commanding the stage with his strong, smooth voice.
Then came Hardy, another big name in country music, and one of Morgan Wallen’s best friends, making a guest appearance at the show. From the second Hardy set foot on stage to the second he left, he had the crowd energized, singing every word to every song. He played several of his biggest hits, as well as songs from his new album Mockingbird and the Crow. As Hardy performed, it became overcast, and I thought the event would be rained out, but the clouds passed quickly overhead, and the show continued as if nothing had happened. Hardy concluded his set with the titular song on his most recent studio album Mockingbird and the Crow.
Finally, it was time for Morgan Wallen to take the stage. Abandoning his signature mullet, Wallen walked out to his top 15 billboard hit Broadway Girls featuring Lil Durk sporting a freshly shaven head, and introduced his band to the Chicago Bulls intro music before promptly switching to his hit song Up Down. He went on to perform 22 of his most popular songs, including hits such as Sand In My Boots, and 98’ Braves. Hardy, wearing an Ohio State Football jersey with the last name Hardy, came back on stage to perform his and Wallen’s hit song He Went To Jared,and exited stage to the crowd chanting his name. Wallen played a few more songs before bringing Ernest back on stage to perform Cowgirls, a song off Wallen’s new album One Thing At A Time. Wallen concluded the night with a three-song encore: Heartless (Wallen Album Mix), Whiskey Glasses, and his first number one hit Last Night, voted as Billboard’s Song of the Summer.
This was the second time I’ve seen Wallen in concert, and both times I’ve been wowed by his ability to control the stage, as well as his brilliant singing voice. I spent the days after the concert rewatching the videos I had taken–trying to relive my experience.