On Friday night, the boys from Texas braved the Michigan cold in December to bring the heat to the crowd on the inside of the Detroit theater.
The crowd on this evening was not about to let a little chill in the air stop them as they stood outside the Fillmore patiently waiting. When the doors opened, they picked out their location for the evening and made themselves comfortable by visiting with the crowd around them until the time for the show to start.
This night’s show began with 18-year-old Abi Ann from Midland, Texas. Abi just wrapped up a summer/fall tour with Kelly Clarkston before joining on the tour. At her age, she is already a successful singer-songwriter on the Indie music circuit winning various awards for her talents.
Abi took to the stage singing her debut single, “Future Ex-Boyfriend,” from her EP, 17. She also added a favorite cover song from The Band Perry, “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely.”
While winning the crowd over with her sassy stage presence, she also showed the same in her personality with her songwriting, just like in her current single, “Truck Candy.”
Performing since a young age has given Abi the confidence to take on the larger stages, in which is only going to help her succeed in the future as a top female artist.
Luke Combs and his band, The Wildcards, were next to take the stage. With both barrels loaded, they opened with one of his own originals, “Outlaw.”
The 25-year-old from Ashville, North Carolina took on the rebel image as he sang songs from his three released EP’s, that included “Beer Can” and “Moonshine.”
However, the highlight of Luke’s evening came when he paid tribute to one of Detroit’s own Bob Seger with his version of “Night Moves.” During his singing, the crowd erupted into a louder approval as Detroit’s recognized logo, the old English D, shined upon the backdrop behind the band.
Luke’s time on stage came to a close as he finished his show with his current single, “Hurricane,” from his recently released EP, This Ones For You.
Following next was LoCash who came to the front of the house with their wildly popular song, “C.O.U.N.T.R.Y.” Although never being released as a single, the song gained popularity in dance clubs as a remix with a little add by country rapper Colt Ford.
LoCash is a singing-songwriting duo made up of Chris Lucas and Preston Brust. Formally known as Locash Cowboys, they have gained much attention as being songwriters for songs sung by other artists. Their largest and most successful songs are “Fly” sung by Keith Urban and “Truck Yeah” sung by Tim McGraw.
Not being new to the show, they now have two EP’s of their own; LoCash Cowboys (2008) and I Love This Life (2015).
Promoting their latest EP, LoCash continued to keep the crowd pumped up with their upbeat musical set. Chris played his guitar and sang while Preston moved from side to side on the stage, shaking hands to those in the front row along the barricade and also standing on lighted platforms. Some of their songs included were “Ain’t Starting Tonight,” “I Know Somebody,” and “Drunk Drunk.”
At the end of the set, Preston took a moment to show some of his musical talents by sitting behind a small keyboard and slowed it down for a LoCash ballad of “Shipwrecked.”
LoCash ended their evening with their top 10 hit, “I Love This Life,” while the crowd cheered on and sang along.
What all started in a freshmen college dorm room at The University of North Texas was about to take the stage next at The Fillmore in Detroit, Michigan. For Mike Eli and James Young, their hard work was about to pay off as this crowd who, earlier in the evening, had been standing outside was about to watch them perform. Mike and James started out in their dorm room writing songs and playing acoustic shows in honkey tonks around Texas before adding Jon Jones on bass guitar and Chris Thompson on drums and becoming the Eli Young Band.
Accumulating five albums and two EP’s, the band is out on the first wave of their Winter Tour 2015/2016 to promote their latest EP, Turn It On, which was released in March of 2015 on Republic Nashville.
The night started as the boys came to the stage with Mike singing “Drink You Up” from their album, Turn It On. The crowd immediately showed them a warm welcome as they cheered and sang along. “Turn It On” followed next.
The band next played their newest project that was a duet with pop artist, Andy Grammer, called “Honey I’m Good.”
With a successful career to point, the set list of songs for the evening was recognizable to most as they sang through all the songs from the beginning of the show all throughout. Singing songs from all their albums the list consisted of their popular songs, “Drunk Last Night,” “Always The Love Songs,” “Guinevere,” and their two #1 hit songs, “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” and “Crazy Girl.”
At one point in the show, Mike took a second to talk to the crowd about his love for the people in Detroit and how the crowds have always shown their love for him and the band. He also mentioned how he has respect for the people in the north. He explained how the band and he are from Texas, and they have thin blood and are not used to all this cold. He loves the rain, but not the snow and cold. That led to one of their singles from their Jet Black & Jealous album called, “When It Rains,” which led into their playing of Garth Brooks song, “The Thunder Rolls” with the lights on stage flickering to imitate a storm on stage.
The show ended with the band coming back out to an encore to play another popular song of theirs, “Dust.”
Although the experiences and learning were not always taught in the classroom, it was evident that college paid off for these Texans, as they have proven to have become fortunate in their career paths.