This time last night, I was on my way to see Thomas Rhett perform. I was excited; to say the least. (If you follow me on insta, you’ll have taken the brunt of my over sharing!) – @emma_charcoal_roses …if you’re interested!
Thomas chose Belfast; the sister city of Nashville, to open his European Tour, which goes to show just how strong the bond between Belfast and Nashville has become in recent years and not only that… it was a SOLD OUT gig – RESULT!
The venue was Mandela Hall at Queens Students’ Union, a venue I had never been to before and although I was sceptical at first, once Rhett Akins, Thomas’ support act (and charming father) came on stage, my doubts quickly vanished.
The sound quality, stage set-up and vibe in this venue is fantastic. Intimate but also, with the power to punch you in the stomach with a good bass line! (Facebook: @mandelahallbelfast)
Rhett Akins was funny, humble and cheeky…greeting Belfast with open arms and a rather impressive Luke Bryan impression. He is what songwriting is all about to me. A good, honest story teller, with a guitar, a mic, an audience and simply doing what he loves. Although his set list wasn’t the most prepared and he sang a couple of ‘parts’ of some songs, you couldn’t help but enjoy his lyrics, anecdotes and most of all, his personality. What a guy to have on tour first European Tour. He played from 8 – 830pm.
Thomas came on stage about 9pm to a pumped up bass line, flashing lights, smoke and an eager crowd greeted him. He kick-started his set with the song ‘Anthem’ (written by Nicolle Galyon, Shane McAnally and Jimmy Robbins) from his current album ‘Tangled up’ and the crowd were loving it…I mean, I think they were. I was too busy screaming and dancing at the front!
The next 90 minutes was a blast! Thomas packed as many popular songs in as possible, highlights being ‘Die a Happy Man’ (2016 CMA SINGLE OF THE YEAR) and a great cover of Bruno Mars’ ‘Uptown Funk’, but, also managed to chat to the crowd, gee up his band mates and also do an intimate acoustic set showcasing one of his new songs, ’16’ which was written by him when he was in college and he gave the nod to his new album too. He is a formidable performer with vocals to match and a charisma most aspiring singer-songwriters dream of! If you haven’t bought tickets for his Tour already…go do it now! http://www.thomasrhett.com/tour
All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable show. My personal highlight being when he signed my ‘Thomas Rhett’ T-shirt, while singing ‘T-SHIRT.’ A moment I will never forget!
Being the groupie I am, I waited at the stage door after the show, hoping to get the chance to chat to him about songwriting. He came out for a little bit and spoke individually to everyone who waited in the cold for him – legend. We chatted for a few minutes about Nashville and shared a laugh about when he signed my ‘Thomas Rhett’ T-shirt, while singing ‘T-SHIRT!!!!’ Did I mention that happened? I did, of course, pass him a signed copy of my debut EP ‘Charcoal Roses’ and he said he would listen as he needed some new jams…what a dude! You can buy it here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/charcoal-roses/id1099861524
Thomas Rhett LIVE – Nov 9th. 2016, Mandela Hall Belfast, a night I will never forget!