Sam Hunt: 15 In A 30 Tour
July 23rd, 2017
“I’m a little bit country, And I’m a little bit rock 'n roll”
Anyone who knows me would be floored to find out I went to a country concert this past weekend. I’ve always had zero interest in country music or anything related to the country genre. That is until Sam Hunt came into the picture.
I had heard Sam Hunt’s first single Take Your Time actually on a local Top 40 station a few years ago and never even had a thought that he was a country artist. I didn’t even know what he looked like until 6 months later when I decided to look more into his discography. That’s when I totally fell in love with all of his music and his looks. Vain me will admit I went to the concert 50% solely just to see him in person, but truthfully his performance completely impressed me.
Some back-story into attending this show is that I actually had tickets to see him in Toronto when he performed on June 15th. My boyfriend ended up having to go out of town for work that night so I decided to sell the tickets at the last minute and re-purchased tickets to attend his show in Canandaigua, NY. I was disappointed that I had to give up my seated tickets for lawn tickets as all the seats at this show were now sold out because they had been on sale for a while.
The driving distance to the concert was about the same, but this time all funds were in USD so it made it a bit more expensive. I sold my tickets using StubHub, which I’ve used over 20 times to purchase tickets but never to sell them. The process was quite easy and I did make a profit on them to make up for the exchange in currency.
We took off around noon and arrived around 3pm. I had read on Trip Advisor that if you have lawn seats to show up early as it fills in very fast. About a 4 minute drive from the venue was an Applebee’s, which I had never ate at in America before. We ordered some pretzels with cheese dip as an appetizer and I had the beef brisket tacos.
While we were eating it started to rain so hard. We kept hearing reports that they were expecting a tornado. Great I thought.
It stopped while we got back in our car and drove to the venue. It took forever to get into the parking lot because two of the entrances had flooded in that short time period.
Parking was $10 USD, which I thought was cheap compared to parking prices in Toronto. At the venue we would have gone to it would have been $25 CAD. When we got out of the car and tried to leave the parking lot by foot we were literally surrounded in water no matter where we tried to exit. It was about a foot deep and I was wearing sandals. My boyfriend was sweet and gave me a piggyback ride through the water so I wouldn’t get wet.
It was around 5pm at this point and we went to get in line. There were about 10 other people waiting in the line already. Security kept trying to get us to go back to our cars because they were calling for more sever weather, but I wasn’t leaving our good spot. We busted out some ponchos and waited it out.
I honestly felt like this was the first event CMAC has ever done there because everyone working was so confused about everything. It wasn’t their first but they sure ran it like it was. The whole venue is kind of a free for all with no actual lines and no real gates to enter.
It stopped raining for the night and we found our way to the lawn and made it to front row center. There was a small patch of stones before the grass starts and everyone was lining up their chairs/blankets on the line where the grass and stones meet to allow for a walkway. Well let me tell you, that didn’t last long. As soon as the opening act started everyone, some who were just arriving to the concert, stood in that small gap in front of you without a care.
Well, I did not battle a tornado for that to happen so I shoved my way into a small crack to the front again and stood my ground. Once my 6”4” boyfriend stood up to join me there was a semi circle around him of no one for the rest of the night. I should also include that my boyfriend can’t stand Sam Hunt, but admitted to me later it was a great concert and a different experience for him since we’re always attending rock shows.
The opening act was Chris Janson, which I, of course, had never heard of before. He was actually really good. He told a lot of stories about his life and family in between his songs. I found out he is also a songwriter for other country artists including writing material for Tim McGraw.
Maren Morris was the second opening act and thought she and her band were amazing. She reminded me more of a country rock artist which is probably why I enjoyed her set. My boyfriend enjoyed the view, as she was really pretty.
From where we were standing we had an amazing view of the stage, but once everyone in the third section before the lawn stands up your view is completely obstructed as the lawn section isn’t really that much higher than it. I’m still glad we were front row though, as I read the lawn holds 10,000 people and that wouldn’t have been fun trying to navigate to go to the bathroom.
Once everyone stood for Sam Hunt I honestly couldn’t see shit. I basically watched his entire show from the screen above the stage, which they thankfully had. In saying that I have to admit that Sam Hunt was probably one of the best concerts I had ever attended for crowd involvement, singing along lyrics, lighting effects, background visuals and energy from him and his band. If I had been able to see the full picture I feel it could have been even more amazing.
When I think country concert I think of a simple set, an artist with their guitar wearing a cowboy hat, cowboy boots and singing about their dog. This show completely changed my mind. He was moving all over the stage, played multiple instruments, talked to the crowd for long periods of time and had the energy of a rock/rap show combined.
I hated that he was sporting a beard, but he was still finnnneeeeeeee.
He took some time out from singing to talk about how people today are introduced to all styles of music because of the accessibility of the Internet that previous generations didn’t have. He then did some short improv versions of some songs he used to listen to growing up that shaped his musical style today that included artists R. Kelly and Usher.
He had a really diverse set list that included ballads like Cop Car, Make You Miss Me and Speakers and then would perform these really intense versions of Ex To See and Break Up In a Small Town. The latter was his encore song which he added some parts of his newer single Drinkin’ Too Much into it.
I literally knew every song he performed except one, which I found out after was a Travis Tritt cover. The set list from the night can be found here.
I had worn earplugs for the two opening acts to save my hearing. When Sam Hunt came on I kept them in, but I could really only hear his vocals with them and not the background music so I decided to take them out. BIG MISTAKE! I’m just getting my hearing back now. Who knew a country concert could leave your ears ringing for days. I don’t think it was necessarily the music that hurt them, but the girls who screamed after each song ended that damaged them.
Here is a compilation of clips I took throughout the night which include Take Your Time, Ex To See, Make You Miss Me, Speakers, Break Up In A Small Town + him chatting with the audience.
I purchased a Sam Hunt tour t-shirt for $35 USD at the merch table to commemorate my first country show.
Now I won’t be attending a Garth Brooks concert anytime soon, but the next time Sam Hunt comes around my area again I will be purchasing tickets the moment they go on sale.
1. Which artist do you listen to that is outside your usual musical taste?
2. What artist/band have you seen in concert that surprised you with how good they were?
3. Which venue have you been to that has the best sight lines no matter where you sit?