The Daily Gamecock

Thomas Rhett brings headlining tour to Columbia

There was no shortage of cowboy boots and flannel shirts at Colonial Life Arena on Thursday night. Country-pop crossover artist Thomas Rhett was in town for a stop on his Home Team tour for his new album “Life Changes.” 

As his first headlining, country-crossing tour, Rhett was very appreciative to see the large audience at Colonial Life.

“If I’m being honest, I can’t believe how many people showed up at this show. So, thank you guys for showing up with us tonight,” Rhett said. 

Rhett was accompanied by two opening country performers, Walker Hayes and Dan + Shay. Just starting out, Hayes has only released a few singles, including “You Broke Up with Me.” Dan + Shay, a well-established country duo, took the stage after Hayes and pumped up Colonial Life with a cover of The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” and their own hit “From the Ground Up.”

After the crowd was warmed up, Rhett took the stage with energy and confidence. Playing a mix of songs from his 2015 album “Tangled Up," including one of his biggest hits “Die a Happy Man,” and his latest album “Life Changes,” the country singer engaged the entire audience.

He also encouraged audience involvement, pulling members' phones to take photos and even bringing up football.

“There's so many things about football that I want to say, but I will refrain from,” and after receiving a mix of cheers and boos, Rhett responded, “Exactly.”

Aside from his music, Rhett is well-known on social media because of his open love for his wife, Lauren. He mentioned her many times throughout the concert, and he even performed the title song from his record “Life Changes,” which mentions adopting their daughter and their life together. But what Rhett probably wasn’t expecting from the crowd after bringing her up was for a chant of her name to start.

“I’ve never been to a concert where the audience chanted the person who was playing, their wife’s name before,” Rhett said.

Of course, this brought on more chanting, after which he revealed it was their five-year wedding anniversary that day.

Not only was Rhett’s concert filled with cowboy boots and flannel shirts, but engaging performers, country hits and an energetic audience.

Rhett summed it up best: “Cheers to good friends, good times and good music. God bless country music.”