Chris Young @ the Colasseum, Fri Feb. 24

It is a miraculous thing to be at a concert and look at the crowd of hundreds around you and know they are all here for the same reason; that they have the same passion, interest- this is not a random collection of souls. There is a unity present, filling the room with buzz and excitement for what is about to start. In a venue designed so that everyone has a good seat, fans were still pouring in at the last minute, getting comfortable, the atmosphere smelling increasingly of beer, and soon the lights went down to explosions of cheering and shouting.
Young certainly felt that energy. Throughout the night he responded to the audience, grateful for their love and support. After the third song, the music quieted and he approached the mic, and enthusiastic applause erupted. He waited a few moments, smiling, but it was a couple minutes before he was able to get a word in. “I didn’t do anything!’ he finally laughed. “You’re cheering for nothing!” People really love this guy.
The show had started flashily enough, maintaining absolutely everyone’s attention with a dazzling light show. Silver, purple, red and other bright colours pierced the dark and danced around and above the stage, making the experience just as visual as it was aural. During certain songs there were shown visuals on the screen behind the stage, displaying images from videos of a countryside, a church, and friends drinking. These clips helped set the scene for many of the songs, transporting the audience into the world the music came from.
Young was very talkative. Which was good, it showed him to be very natural on stage, that he wasn’t hiding himself in the performance. He was fully present, communicating with the audience between songs. At one point he said, “I just flew in from Nashville this morning.” He is a true country star- a tumbleweed who happened to roll in from the country capital to Windsor, Ontario of all places.
He sang a few lines of Conway Twitty, paying tribute to someone who influenced him. He talked about writing his songs, and what it was like before he hit it big. He talked about getting free quesadillas while doing some gigs at a Mexican restaurant in college. It is these kinds of anecdotes that fans relate to, and present Young as a normal guy, who just happens to be touring the world. Certain spectators burst into applause at the mention of Nashville Star, the country singing competition that propelled Young into fame after his win in 2006. You could tell which fans had been with him since the beginning.
He introduced his band. They showed off drum and guitar solos, breaking away from the radio hits and bringing a stripped down musicality to the stage. Young was proud to have them, stating his lead guitarist had been performing with him for 11 years. There was a connection between them, the same connection there was between Young and the audience. He then said the keyboardist had just announced to them he was to be a father for the first time, which brought a round of applause. This announcement further cemented the feeling of family and togetherness felt in the huge, joy-filled room.
Between hits, Young managed to take a group photo with the crowd. He knelt down with his back to the audience, his guitar hanging in front of him and a huge smile on his face, and had the photo taken. It was uploaded barely 12 hours later to his social media accounts. Looking through the comments attached to the photo, words continue to pour from the concertgoers, addressed to Young and relating their love for him and describing what a fantastic night they had. No one can deny the passion of country music lovers, and that they know how to have a fun, memorable night.


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