Thomas Rhett played a killer sold-out show at the Paramount in Huntington, NY over the weekend. It was one of those shows that you’ll always remember – everyone in the crowd could feel something special was happening. Thomas had already been having a great week: he made history when his single “Makes Me Wanna” hit #1 on the Country Airplay chart, making him only the second country artist to ever have 3 #1 hits from a debut album, and the first to do so in over 20 years.
When he played “Make Me Wanna,” just 4 songs into the set, the energy in the room went off the charts, as the already hyped up crowd dance and sang along to every word. It was so overwhelming that Thomas had to pause a couple of times to wipe away tears before he could continue (as did we). Which only egged the crowd on more, as everyone erupted into cheers and the usual chants of “USA! USA!.” It was a touching and telling moment, and we get chills just thinking about it. Ladies and gentlemen, Thomas Rhett has arrived.
Thomas kicked off the night with a newer track, “South Side,” encouraging the audience to shake their “south sides.” Thomas proved again and again during his set that he is indeed very good at shaking his south side. He’s mentioned wanting to bring soul and funk back into country music, and he’s certainly doing just that. Like most of country’s new artists at the moment, Thomas was influenced by a wide range of music, not just country. A cover of Lee Brice’s “Parking Lot Party,” (which Thomas co-wrote) included a medley of Weezer’s “Beverly Hills” and David Lee Murphy’s “Dust On The Bottle.” His intro music was Jason Derulo’s “Trumpets,” and he broke into a little of Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie.” He ended his set with a cover of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ hit “Uptown Funk,” further showcasing his funky side.
Thomas has the unique ability to make every person in the room feel like they are a part of the show – pointing out fans in the front rows and the rafters, signing hats and taking selfies mid-song, and calling out to one fan in the audience who was standing there with his arms crossed. Boy, you can’t do that at at Thomas Rhett show. He got the surprise of his life later in the night when Thomas pulled him onstage during his cover of “Friends In Low Places,” handed him his guitar and encouraged him to sing, “play guitar,” and yes, shake his south side. After spotting a Birthday poster in the crowd, Thomas made sure to get the Birthday Girl’s name before leading a “Happy Birthday” singalong. He asked the girl if she was having a great time – we think it’s safe to say best Birthday, ever.
All in all, we went in to the show not knowing what to expect, just that we liked his album. And we walked out much bigger fans than before. We’re not sorry for partyin’ with Thomas on Saturday night.