ERNEST Finishes Final Weekend of "Suckers for Small Towns Tour" With a Bang!
ERNEST, one of country music’s top songwriters, and now a hit solo artist of his own, finally completed his “Suckers for Small Towns Tour” this weekend. He kept it mostly to small towns and college towns, covering the South and parts of the Midwest. Schools like University of Alabama, Mississippi State, and others had their college towns taken over by an ERNEST show this fall.
But the same final weekend he made his trips to Peoria, IL (Bradley University) and Columbus, OH (Ohio State University), he also made a stop in the “not so small” town of Chicago, IL to play at the infamous Joe’s on Weed Street. Sure, there’s some colleges in Chicago, but this big city was definitely an outlier of the tour, and one ERN certainly had circled on his calendar.
Image by Delaney Royer
On this chilly November Thursday evening, nobody shied away from getting to the place early. The completely sold out crowd, just like every single one of ERNEST’s eleven dates on the tour, showed up hard to the 800 capacity venue. And for all the folks who couldn’t get tickets, ERNEST indirectly encouraged fans to bring their friends to the experience via FaceTime, as he grabbed or sang into nearly every single phone that was flipped around showing the “Flower Shops” singer there were fans virtually jamming out to the show as well. He opened with the only song that could describe his tour best, and quite literally, with “Sucker for Small Towns”. From there, he got right into some classics (no pun intended) with “Tennessee Queen” and “Classic”.
As you’d probably expect the seven-time #1 hit songwriter to do, he made sure to keep all of the country music fans engaged by belting out to some of his songs he’s written for other artists. He made sure to give multiple shout outs to his best friend, Morgan Wallen, and sang his songs “Somebody’s Problem”, “Wasted On You” and “More Than My Hometown” as part of his setlist. Same went for his buddy Chris Lane as he got to “Big, Big, Plans” very early on in the evening. As much as ERNEST loved singing those well-known, incredibly written songs, and hearing the crowd sing back, you could tell what brought ERNEST the most joy:
“This tour has been one of the most fun experiences of my life," ERNEST shared in a recent press release. “I've played a lot of shows opening for other artists, but it's been really awesome to get to play in front of ERNEST fans and watch this fanbase grow organically. It's just the beginning of a very fun road!”
He shared some of those exact same words on stage as well, thanking ERNEST fans for making his headlining show much different than when he opened for other artists. At his concert at Joe’s on Weed Street Thursday, ERNEST brought the crowd back a few years, remembering November 1st, 2019 being his last time at Joe’s, opening up for Mason Ramsey. Mason is signed to the same record label as ERNEST, the Nashville-based Big Loud. ERN made sure to dedicate one song to his “Day 1 ERNEST fans” who may have been at that show that 2019 night, singing “Sugar”, from his debut album “Locals Only”.
ERNEST ended with his RIAA Platinum certified, and top-20 song at country radio, “Flower Shops”. He normally sings the duet with Morgan Wallen, but the crowd had enough energy on this one to make up for Wallen’s absence. And to cap things off, ERNEST had about two dozen roses to hand out to members of the crowd at the conclusion of the show. He clearly loves his fans, and ERNEST teased during his show and on his Instagram, that fans have a lot to look forward to:
“Played our last show of the year last night.. this tour has been incredible and seeing my fans singing every word is something I’ll cherish forever. See y’all next year!! New music REAL soon.”
“I’m sure I’ll do a photo dump soon, but for now I just wanna say THANK YOU to my fans for making every bit of the hard work my team has put in over the past year and a half WELL worth it… It’s come SO far from pulling up to venues in my truck with a bed full of gear as an opener, to now pulling up in a bus with a bigger team who I consider family… Anyways… I got a couple days in the studio this week then I’m CHILLIN and waiting for new music to drop with the rest of y’all.”