Splice Magazine

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Sam Hunt Has A House Party At Pine Knob Amphitheatre in Clarkston,Michigan


Clarkston,Michigan(July 27,2023)-The Pine Knob Amphitheatre came alive Thursday once again after severe weather cancelled A7X performance the previous evening, as country music sensation Sam Hunt and his Summer on the Outskirts Tour rolled into the Motor City suburb.  With a setlist full of hits spanning his impressive career along with his latest singe Outskirts, the evening would be a showcase of his signature blend of country, pop, and R&B influences that would encapsulate a night fans new and old won’t forget any time soon.

The night kicked off with the infectious hit “Raised on It,” from the LP Montevello, instantly setting the standards for the high-octane performance that would follow. It was evident that Hunt was in his element from the start, effortlessly commanding the stage with his infectious smile while interacting with fans in a way that only a true entertainer can.

As the 20-song performance got rolling, Hunt delved into fan-favorites “House Party” and “Kinfolks,” which also included an impromptu trip through the aisles of the expansive venue, giving the crowd a up close a personal connection with the country superstar. His smooth vocals, backed by a tight-knit touring band, flawlessly translated the studio versions of his hit songs into a live experience that elevated them to a whole new level.

Surprises keep fans engaged and the one-hour and forty minute set was loaded with them. One in particular, a heartfelt rendition of “23,” had Hunt showcasing his ability to deliver emotionally tinged ballads mixed between the rest of his high octane cuts. The water shed favorite brought out the introspective side of Hunt’s songwriting, demonstrating his knack for storytelling through music. Conversely, radio favorites “Water Under the Bridge” and “Outskirts” had a more traditional modern country feel and purposely bridged the gap between the boisterous bro-country cuts that had previously defined Hunts early career.

Another standout moment was during “Start Nowhere,” which seamlessly transitioned into a snippet of John Denver’s iconic “Country Roads,” invoking a sense of nostalgia and unity among the age diverse audience. The crowds enthusiasm towards the classic became evident as everyone joined in unison singing along to the timeless hit. Hunt’s artistry also was brought to the forefront during the acoustic rendition of “Take Your Time.” Stripped down to just him and his guitar, the song took on a raw and intimate quality that showcased the depth of his talent and the emotion he infuses into every performance.

Throughout the night, Hunt’s infectious energy was contagious and his banter with the fans made the massive amphitheatre feel like a small, intimate gathering of friends. His effortless interaction and sharing of personal stories gave personal insight into the inspiration behind some of his biggest hits such as “Make You Miss Me”and “Breaking Up Was Easy In the 90’s.”

As mentioned previously, surprises keep fans engaged and Hunt once again reached into his bag of surprises as he paid homage to the legendary Keith Urban with a cover of “Cop Car.” The selection was met with a wave of approval from the audience, showing that Hunt’s ability to interpret and make a song “his own,” extends beyond his original material.

As the night progressed, momentum grew with a back to back run of hits “Break Up in a Small Town” and “Ex to See,” both of which had the audience dancing and singing along in unison from the far reaches of the lawn seats into the tight confines of the general admission area stage front. Hunt’s ability to blend genres and create songs that resonate with listeners of all backgrounds is what makes him such a compelling artist.

Hunt saved the best for last, ending the entertaining evening with the chart-topping hit “Body Like a Back Road.” As the anthemic chorus filled the amphitheater, fans who had been on their feet since the opening hit once again erupted into cheers while swaying to the beat by themselves or with their significant other. It was a perfect way to end the night, leaving everyone on a high note and ensuring that they would leave the venue with a lasting memory of the evening.

Sam Hunt’s Thursday nights performance was a tour de force of musical brilliance and showmanship. With a setlist that balanced high-energy anthems with soul-stirring ballads, Hunt proved that he is a force to be reckoned with in the country music industry. His ability to connect with the audience on a personal level and craft songs that resonate with a wide range of listeners sets him apart as a true artist. As the lights dimmed, and the echoes of his final notes faded, the crowd knew they had witnessed something extraordinary – a night of music that would stay with them forever. Sam Hunt’s concert was more than just a show; it was an experience that left everyone eagerly awaiting his next visit to the Motor City.

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