Kip Moore Brings Swagger to Ryman Auditorium

Jewel Makes Surprise Appearance at CMT on Tour Date With Sam Hunt and Charlie Worsham

Who knew Kip Moore could dance? And I mean actually dance.

Moore’s got moves — moves which, I dare say, could rival those of country music’s hippest hip-swiveling star, Luke Bryan.

Moore brought the swagger to the stage of Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium when his CMT on Tour: Up in Smoke stopped Friday night (Oct. 17) for a sold-out show.

He played the big singles (“Somethin’ ’Bout a Truck,” “Beer Money,” “Hey Pretty Girl” ), fan favorites (“Mary Was the Marrying Kind,” “Wild Ones,” “Up All Night,” “Backseat”) and tossed in a few covers like the Faces’ “Stay With Me” and Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me.” Heck, he even brought out Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jewel to join him on a new tune.

But the big moment for me was when he decided to break it down and shake it during “Fly Again,” his breakup ode to the final stage of heartache — the phase when you’re just ready to move on. That’s when Moore revealed his real personality.

The entire audience was feeling it, too. They’ve all been there, as well, and between the high commiseration factor and Moore’s tight jeans, the ladies on the front row were eating out of the palm of his hand as he danced across the stage.

Moore’s substance was underscored when casually sat on a stool with an acoustic guitar to sing a chorus of Kris Kristofferson’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” noting the song is the reason he wanted to move to Nashville.

His head and his musical heart are both certainly in the right place, and the same can be said of his tourmates Sam Hunt and Charlie Worsham.

Nashville audiences have been known to arrive late to skip the opening act, but that wasn’t the case for Hunt, one of the most buzzed-about newcomers in country music. His introductory single “Leave the Night On” is already certified gold, and his debut album, Montevallo, won’t even be released until Oct. 27.

With songs such as “Take Your Time,” “House Party,” “Ex to See,” and “Break Up in a Small Town,” Hunt worked the stage and the crowd. Although he only picked up his guitar once, he really didn’t need to as long as his flawless vocals were soaring above the Ryman pews.

Worsham possesses a musicianship that literally renders people speechless. As I looked around the venue during his set, I saw people up dancing and swaying, but I also saw a lot of jaws drop to the floor as he blazed through lick after lick on his guitars and banjo. You can’t help but marvel at his ability to become one with the instruments when he performs.

During his set, Worsham delivered “Young to See,” the heartbreakingly gorgeous “Trouble Is,” “How I Learned to Pray” and the title track of his debut album, Rubberband. However, he mixed things up with covers of Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” and the Kings of Leon’s “Sex on Fire” and a new song I’m thinking might be called “Get Lucky.” And there was one of my personal favorites, “Want Me Too,” which also turned out to be one of my favorite moments of the night when Worsham brought up a scene-stealing fan to dance onstage with him.

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.