Review by Taylor Ostrick
Thomas Rhett recently took a night off from his opening slot on Florida Georgia Line’s huge Anything Goes Tour to play a headlining show at Huntington’s local venue, the Paramount Theater on Long Island. Enthusiastic fans packed the venue to see one of country music’s most promising young stars perform and Rhett rewarded them with the charisma, stage presence and charm that fans have grown to love. His sense of humor, and energy on stage have set him apart from his peers as a performer and make his shows a must see for any country music lover. His concert at the Paramount was no different, as he put on a show that undoubtedly left fans excited for his next Long Island appearance.
Rhett kicked off the night with a fast-paced new song called “South Side” that is yet to be released, but is likely to appear on the new album that he is currently working on. The song matched the atmosphere of the crowd, which was rowdy, loud and engaged from the beginning. Rhett made sure to mention that the crowd at the Paramount was one of the best he had seen while being out on tour. The flirty but rugged “Something To Do With My Hands” soon followed.
Rhett played fan favorites and #1 hits “It Goes Like This” and “Get Me Some of That.” Both songs are adored by the fans, who knew every word, and carried the entire chorus on their own for each when prompted by Rhett. These tracks are very important to Rhett’s career, as they helped get him on the map with his first album, and have boosted his radio success. It is partially because of these two noteworthy songs that Rhett is in a very favorable position with his image at country radio, and they have each set him up for further success in the future. He also performed his current #1 hit “Make Me Wanna” another song that is very recognizable and appealing to fans. Rhett sure knows how to party and have fun on stage, but he proved he can also slow down the pace a bit with his heartfelt performance of the profoundly honest “Beer With Jesus” mid-way through his set.
Rhett also brought to life several high-profile covers, to the delight of the crowd, that spanned across a myriad of genres. One of the most notable out of genre covers was his pre-encore version of Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” which had even the fans in the balcony seats up and dancing. Rhett also performed a cover of Florida Georgia Line’s “Round Here,” which he co-wrote with Rodney Clawson and Chris Tompkins. “Round Here’ is arguably the most popular song that he has ever written or recorded, and it’s prominence was evident by the way the crowd bellowed the lyrics enthusiastically back at Rhett. Yet another distinguishable cover was Lee Brice’s “Parking Lot Party” which Rhett co-wrote along with Brice and Luke Laird.
After leaving the stage briefly, Rhett returned for an encore, ending the show with one of country’s most famous and beloved cover songs, Garth Brooks’ “Friends In Low Places.” It was undoubtedly the loudest and most animated the fans had been all night, a perfect ending to an exhilarating show. He also had some fun with the crowd, bringing a shy fan on stage to sing part of the song with him, as he took a funny video with the fan’s cell phone.
Despite only having made one album in his young career, Thomas Rhett has shown he is on his way to becoming a star in country music. Not only does he have radio appeal, but as he demonstrated at the Paramount on Saturday night, he has the charisma and stage presence captivate crowds and put on a special show during his live performances. It is safe to say that Long Island country fans will be anxiously awaiting Rhett’s upcoming album, and his next local tour date.