Grand Rapids, Michigan (January 19, 2018) – When Chris Young brought his 2018 Losing Sleep World Tour to the Van Andel Arena, in Grand Rapids, MI, his music was at the top of the country charts. What started out as a typical Thursday evening was shaping up to be a wild night of hot country music in cold western Michigan!
After very entertaining sets from Kane Brown and Lanco, it was Chris Young’s turn to take the stage. When the arena lights were extinguished, the crowd stood in anticipation. Suddenly a white-hot spotlight from overhead illuminated Young on the massive stage. With his hands cupped tightly around the microphone, hiding his lower face, he starts off the night with the title track off his latest release, Losing Sleep. As the band picks up the momentum they move effortlessly into “Gettin’ You Home”, a number one hit off Young’s sophomore album, 2009’s The Man I Want to Be. By now, the whole arena is up dancing and singing back at Young and his band word- for-word, becoming part of the show themselves.
While Young performed hit after hit from his 7-album music catalog, his emotions were overtaken multiple times by the sheer volume from the crowd. Between songs he was often seen stepping back from the microphone shaking his head and grinning ear to ear with a look of amazement and appreciation. This scene repeated itself throughout the night until he finally announced to the crowd, “this is the biggest arena I have ever sold out and my favorite show of all-time”, which, you guessed it, took the crowd’s noise level to a whole new level.
Chris Young has figured out a path to success: make good music in the studio and then play what the fans want to hear. Whether it be new additions to his set like tonight’s “Hangin’ On” and “Where I Go When I Drink” from his latest album, Losing Sleep, or dipping back in time to the classics like “Beer or Gasoline” from his 2006 Chris Young debut album like he did tonight. From the enthusiastic reaction of tonight’s crowd, he proved this formula works.
As the show was winding down, with “You” from the album Neon, and a duet with Cassadee Pope, “Think Of You” from 2015’s I’m Comin’ Over, the crowd wondered aloud what Young had left for an encore. As Chris slowly tried to leave the stage while the band played, the crowd went wild. When the band finished, the audience got even louder as Young returned and held his arms up towards the fans. The crowd turned it up to 11, giving all they had for the man they came to see tonight. Finally, Young grinned and proclaimed to the crowd ”this is by far the loudest show I have ever played” which, you guessed it, brought the roar to a deafening level to which Young announced,“I was going to say something, but I just can’t top this, so I will just sing!” Performing arguably his biggest hit “I’m Comin’ Over”, the delirious crowd is left with a performance that other artists can only wish for.
Chris Young is a music artist that sneaks up on country music fans. His music catalog spans seven albums, several of which are certified gold, and the diversity it contains is second to none. From upbeat songs to country ballads that some fans actually say “speak to their soul”. Chris has a unique sound that mixes the old with the new. If you’re not a fan of Chris Young, you’re not a fan of country music.
Senior Photojournalist: John Swider
Editor: Kate Sumbler