On Thursday night, the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum was alive with the music of Brett Young and his country-pop hits, bringing fans of all backgrounds together.
Before Young, Matt Ferranti, a new name in the country music community, took the stage and began to excite the audience. Ferranti spoke about his journey from being a guitar player in Young’s band to branching out as a solo artist, exhibiting his appreciation for Young’s influence on his career.
“Love to the big brother, I wouldn’t be here without him,” Ferranti said.
On a simple stage with only two other people, Ferranti played a six-song set, ending with his first single “Make It to the Bedroom.”
After a twenty-minute intermission, Young and his band came out with an incredible lighting and video screen set. Within seconds, the entire crowd was on their feet.
Opening with “Sleep Without You,” one of Young’s biggest hits, the audience sang along, and the energy in the room quickly became electric. In between songs, a video montage played on the screen, sharing pictures and videos of Young growing up. In this way, the audience was brought into his life.
In fact, Young spoke about his relationship with his fans, and how he wanted this tour to be special for the audience.
“It’s all about a connection between me and y’all,’ Young said.
As he played through his set with all of his most popular hits, such as “In Case You Didn’t Know,” “Mercy” and “Like I Loved You,” the crowd was moved, and despite the chairs in the auditorium, fans were on their feet throughout the concert, dancing to the music.
In addition to the montages, Young also took time in between songs to talk about his past, taking fans on his journey from Orange County to Los Angeles to Nashville in pursuit of a career in music. After a devastating elbow injury ended his future as a professional baseball player, Young found peace in music — thus began his musical adventure.
Perhaps the most memorable event of the concert occurred in the middle, when Young and his bandmates slowed down the tempo and played some of their slower songs from their time in California.
The last song of this slower section was none other than Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah.” As Young sang the iconic song, the auditorium was transformed into a sort of sanctuary, a sort of therapy, and the audience was connected by something bigger than them as their voices, in sync, joined together with Young’s.
The concert ended when Young talked about his wife and daughter and their impact on his life currently.
“This is the ‘Chapters’ tour, and this is the current chapter of my life,” Young said.
After ending the concert, the band came back on for a two-song encore, in which Young expressed his gratitude and appreciation for his opportunities and this tour specifically, which seemed to have an emotional impact on the audience.
Young’s “Chapters” tour continues on Jan. 31 in Toledo, Ohio.