There is no telling how many memories came flooding back to Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus, Gary LeVox and Joe Don Rooney as they headlined Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater on Saturday (July 6).
The concert was blocks away from where the Fiddle & Steel guitar bar used to be in Printer’s Alley; the band’s original home where they played for tips nightly before being scooped up by Music Row and their ascension to superstardom.
Onstage, they emitted astronomical energy worthy of a hometown crowd that ignited the night with masterful musicianship, powerhouse vocals and pristine harmonies.
The sold-out crowd came for the songs, pure and simple. Video elements teased the next song in the setlist like a good friend curates the perfect party playlist. At times, the band worked in Journey, Huey Lewis & the News, Maroon 5 and Cher. But the concert was predominantly a culmination of 20 years of hits in one night. Throughout 10 studio albums, the band has racked up 14 No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.
“It’s amazing because I think when we came out, it was just Brad [Paisley], Keith [Urban] and us that are left from that class,” LeVox told industry VIPs during a pre-show gathering. “But to be here this many years later and still be relevant and still creating music that people want to hear, and they still want to hear what stories we have to tell, is phenomenal.
“We pinch ourselves every day. I know every artist says that, but we really, really do. Things just couldn’t be any better … I’ve got to give God all the glory to give us a platform to still continue to make music and be able to touch people’s hearts and tell our stories and theirs. And they’re still listening. We’ll be here as long as they’ll have us.”
The Rascal Flatts continues the Summer Playlist Tour Saturday (July 13) in Reno, Nev.
Here is the setlist from the Nashville concert:
1. “These Days”
2. “I Like the Sound of That”
4. “Summer Nights”
5. “Back to Life”
8. “Yours if You Want It”
9. “Me and My Gang”
10. “Love You Out Loud” / “This Love / “This Everyday Love” / “Do You Believe in Love”
11. “Bless the Broken Road”
12. “Praying for Daylight”
13. “Fast Cars and Freedom”
14. “My Wish”
15. “Life is a Highway”
16. “Don’t Stop Believin’”
17. “What Hurts the Most” / “Feels Like the First Time” / “Here’s to You”