Ballard gave an amazing headlining performance at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury on the same day he announced the upcoming release of his latest album, El Rio.
When you think of today’s top country artists whose guitar skills will absolutely blow you away, names like Brad Paisley and Keith Urban probably come to mind. But there’s an amazing group of young shredders in Nashville – artists like Chase Bryant, Jaren Johnston, Lindsay Ell, Charlie Worsham, and of course Frankie Ballard – that are all proving their superb vocal and songwriting skills are perfectly matched with their abilities on guitar.
2015 saw Ballard notch his third straight number one hit single with Young & Crazy, following Helluva Life and Sunshine & Whiskey achieving the top spot in 2014. His latest single off his upcoming album El Rio, It All Started With A Beer, is well on its way to making it four in a row for Ballard.
Last year Ballard opened for Florida Georgia Line on their Anything Goes Tour and Randy Houser on his We Went Tour. Ballard is now making the rounds on his own headlining tour, which included nine stops in the UK and Germany last month – Ballard’s first time performing overseas.
Ballard’s cool style seems to transcend eras – he looks like he could thrive just as well in the 1950’s as he does today. His set on Thursday night did not disappoint. Of course it included all three of his number one hits – those had the crowd on their feet. But he also gave folks a preview of what to expect from his upcoming album including Cigarette (Kip Moore fans will recognize that one) and It All Started With A Beer. He ended the show with an amazing cover of Bob Dylan’s Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.
There’s been some smiles then there’s been tears, been more good than bad years, Ain’t it crazy baby how we got here, Oh, it all started with a beer
Here are some of our exclusive photos from Thursday’s concert:
After the show I caught up with sisters Kelsey (Instagram: @_yeslek) and Amanda (Instagram: @_mannnna) Melendez, who had the chance to meet Ballard after winning a contest through NASH FM 94.7. Both commented on how great it was meeting him. Kelsey said he “was incredible…so genuine and humble.” While others at the meet and greet shook hands with Ballard, Kelsey got a hug – “being that I’m a hugger, it only made sense to hug,” she said. Amanda said “he was so friendly and his country charm is just too much for me to handle!” Kelsey agreed, noting that while meet and greets tend to be rushed, Ballard, who called her darlin’, makes sure the experience is personal and memorable. This was Amanda’s first time seeing Ballard and Kelsey’s second, though the first as a headliner. Both really enjoyed how much Ballard interacted with the crowd. Kelsey appreciated how he performs “without lots of theatrics…it’s all about the music, as it should be,” she said. Amanda’s favorite songs to hear him perform live were Sunshine & Whiskey and Young & Crazy – “both are just so upbeat and great to jam out to,” she said. Kelsey loved hearing him perform Tell Me You Get Lonely and Drinky Drink, which have been two of her favorite songs for a long time. Amanda and Kelsea both agreed that having Frankie walk over to them during the concert and give them his guitar picks was one of the coolest moments of the night. Kelsea and Amanda shared their meet and greet photos with us:
If you missed this show, Frankie will be back in New York on Thursday May 19th at Irving Plaza.
Set List – NYCB Theatre at Westbury:
Young and Crazy, Drinky Drink, Cigarette, Sunshine & Whiskey, Tell Me You Get Lonely, A Boy Named Sue, It All Started With A Beer, I’m Thinking Country, Helluva Life, L.A. Woman, La Grange, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door