By Emily Wagner
Everyone has their favorite artist – that bucket list concert that you save for months to go to. And if you are lucky enough, you discover that artist before they hit it big, so that tickets to the show aren’t too expensive, and the venue is small enough that you can actually see the emotion on the artist’s face.
The stars aligned for me this past Monday, as Ashley McBryde came to town. It’s no doubt McBryde is teetering on the edge of a total breakthrough. She won ACM New Female Artist, received a standing ovation at said award show, has opened for Eric Church, and heck… even Garth Brooks is doing his own rendition of “Girl Goin’ Nowhere.”
With all the anticipation and excitement of seeing this superstar, there’s always the fear that they will let you down and that the show isn’t going to be as good as you think. Well, Ashley McBryde did not disappoint, not even close.
Opening with “Living Next to Leroy” McBryde went on to spend the next hour and a half entertaining her crowd with old songs, fan favorites, and sneak peeks into her next album. Everything you’ve ever heard about McBryde is true. She is one badass woman, who can absolutely rock a stage, and she is so grateful for the life and fans she has built. Halfway through her set, she kicked her band off stage and took it back to her roots – just her and her guitar. She graced us with “Bible and a .44” which earned her a standing ovation that didn’t seem to ever end, a fun song called Styrofoam (literally about Styrofoam that I have yet to find anywhere on the World Wide Web), and of course she ended with “Girl Goin’ Nowhere,” in which her band rejoined her for the second verse.
McBryde went through her repertoire of fan favorite songs, from “The Jacket” and “American Scandal” to “Lookin’ for a Buzz” and “What If We Don’t.” But the highlight of the show no doubtedly came with the first few chords of “Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega.” Before that the crowd had been rowdy and loud, but seated. That all changed with “Dive Bar” and afterwards, nobody sat down until the end of the show. It has always been my favorite McBryde song, but that moment showed the effect it has had on everyone and how one incredible song can make you a fan of someone for life.
If possible, I became an even bigger Ashley McBryde fan after Monday night. Country music is in a good place with McBryde leading the next class.