That Time I… went to a country concert


Amy Harris/Invision/AP

Thomas Rhett performs during CMA Fest 2022 on Friday, June 10, 2022, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn.

By Angelina Padilla-Tompkins, Opinion Editor

When you see a crowd of people in boots, worn jeans, t-shirts and Stetson hats, you know you are at a country concert. 

I have been to a handful of concerts over the years, some of the bigger names being Keith Urban, Brantley Gilbert, Luke Combs and Jason Aldean. 

The last concert I went to was September 2021, Thomas Rhett at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater. My boyfriend and I drove three hours from Washington, Illinois to Chicago. 

Rhett had two opening acts, fairly new artist Gabby Barrett who is known for her hit single, “I Hope,” featuring Charlie Puth and Cole Swindell. 

I only knew one song by Barrett, but she has a beautiful voice and interacted with the crowd well through her time on stage. 

Swindell on the other hand, I had been listening to his music since my early high school years. I didn’t know that he was going to be opening for Rhett, so you can imagine my excitement when I saw banners with his name on it. 

Swindell performed his hits, “Single Saturday Night,” “Flatliner” and “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey.” He also sang a few of his more emotional songs, “Middle of a Memory,” “You Should Be Here” and my favorite song by him, “Break Up in the End.” 

Swindell had the crowd jumping to the beat one minute, then swaying with tears in their eyes the next. He did a great job and I would gladly purchase tickets to a concert of his own. 

Finally, Rhett stepped on stage and began his show with “Look What God Gave Her.” The crowd screamed in excitement and shouted the lyrics back at him. My hands shot in the air as my heart raced to the beat of the music. 

Rhett sang hit song after hit song getting the crowd pumped up, occasionally slowing it down with a few of his ballads. 

The country artist gushed about his wife being there that night and how honored he is to have her. 

Rhett put on an amazing show. He engaged with the crowd and kept their spirits up. He shared fun stories about his young kids and provided backstories to a few of his songs. 

Country concerts are always worth the price, although they aren’t usually too expensive.