Nashville native ERNEST played his first-ever headline show at the historic Ryman Auditorium, marking a major milestone in his career. This was a memorable experience not only for ERNEST but for his fans as well. He was full of gratitude which was made evident throughout the night as he repeatedly thanked the fans. Emphasizing the significance of this experience, he remarked, “It was a childhood dream to sell out the Ryman, and I did it two nights in a row. Thank you all for being here.”
Watching an artist fulfill a lifetime dream firsthand is a remarkable experience in itself, yet ERNEST still found a way to make the night even more special. The crowd was undeniably energetic and it was clear that ERNEST fed off this enthusiasm as he waved to and smiled at his fans. The evening began soulfully as he played his song “This Fire,” transitioning into one of his more anthemic works, “Wild Wild West.” These two songs strung together set the tone for the rest of the night, and it was immediately clear to me that this would be a night I’d never forget.
ERNEST started out his career as a professional songwriter before pursuing his own solo career. It was during this time that he wrote for the likes of Florida Georgia Line, Kane Brown, and Morgan Wallen, among others. ERNEST acknowledged this fact and sprinkled a number of these songs into his setlist. This list included noteworthy songs such as “Son of a Sinner,” “Wasted on You,” and “Heartless.”
The show included a notable collaboration as ERNEST welcomed country legend Keith Urban to the stage as they played John Mayer’s “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room.” Bringing in Urban added extra star power to an already powerful show. This wasn’t the only special guest ERNEST brought out, though. HARDY joined him on the stage as they did a rendition of the Morgan Wallen song, “More Than My Hometown,” which was originally written by ENREST.
The night concluded with ERNEST’s song “Flower Shops,” which was the first-ever song of his to chart. He recounted, “It was the Ryman Auditorium where I first played this song, a good eight months before it was released, and about six weeks after I wrote it. I had this crazy little idea that traditional country music was still alive and well, and thanks to y’all, I wasn’t wrong.”
This momentous night at the Ryman Auditorium was meaningful for both ERNEST and his fans. The iconic venue, which holds weight in country music, was a fitting venue for how far he’s come in his career. His stage presence, which is rivaled by few, solidifies ERNESTS’s spot in the country music landscape. Throughout the night, it became clear that ERNEST is a force to be reckoned with, and he will only be met with continued success in his career.
- Jenna Wilkinson