It’s been a while since Joe Nichols headlined his own tour. After the success of his most recent release Crickets, which has produced back to back number one hits, Nichols decided it was time to give his fans a headlining show. With a setlist ranging from “Brokenheartsville” and “The Shape I’m In” to covers of Aloe Blacc’s “The Man,” Nichols showed a sold out House of Blues crowd that he’s more than just a traditional country singer.
Before the BBR Music Group recording artist took to the stage, it was CAA recording artist Sam Grow who opened the show. The southern Maryland native, doesn’t have a traditional country look. Sporting a flannel shirt, beanie, plenty of tattoos, and a Gibson SG it’s safe to say you wouldn’t think country if you passed him on the street. But once he starts to sing, the connection is clear. There’s no twang, rather a raspy tone that carries perfectly through slow opening verses into a steady moving chorus. His songs are catchy, something you could hear on the radio. Despite an audience largely unfamiliar with his original music, Grow captured the attention of the room with his sexy track, “Take It Off” and covers of Eric Church’s “Smoke a Little Smoke,” and Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise.” In just over thirty minutes he turned up the heat on a cold, restless crowd and turned things over to Joe Nichols.
Give Grow’s relative anonymity, it was clear the audience was here solely for Nichols. His Massachusetts,fans didn’t have a chance to watch him perform in their home state a year ago, meaning they were all the more anxious to listen to him sing. With the stage lights dimmed, the band launched into Nichols’ first number one hit “Brokenheartsville.” From there he treated his fans to a collection of track off Crickets, including his current radio single “Hard to be Cool” and the smooth love song, “Just Let Me Fall in Love With You.” It was these newer tracks where Nichols turned things up to another level. Seemingly saving his energy for these songs, there was a noticeable change of pace as he moved about the stage engaging the audience.
As with any country star the highlights of the show come during the artists’ biggest hits. For Nichols that means his two most recent number ones, “Yeah” and “Sunny and 75” as well as the 2009 chart topper, “Gimme That Girl.” Watch Nichols perform these tracks here:
Nichols wrapped up his ninety minute set by thanking Boston for their support over the years and ensured them he’d be back sooner rather than later. That’s good news too as Nichols continues to work on growing a fan base that’s been built on over ten years of live shows.