On Friday night (March 3), when Morgan Wallen ascended to middle stage earlier than a full home of rowdy, screaming followers at Nashville’s Bridgestone Area for his free pop-up live performance — with the purpose of previewing his hyper-prolific, 36-song album One Factor at a Time which had launched earlier that day — it was a pinnacle second in every week already crammed with celebratory cases.
Earlier within the week, Wallen was considered one of 16 songwriters honored with the Nation Music Affiliation’s Triple Play Awards (alongside a number of contributors to One Factor at a Time, together with HARDY, ERNEST, Ashley Gorley, Chase McGill, and extra).
By Friday night, not even 24 hours after One Factor at a Time launched, the mission had already damaged a file, turning into Spotify’s most-streamed nation album in a single day by a male artist. With the brand new mission, Wallen appears poised to dethrone himself on the Billboard charts: his earlier effort, the 30-track Harmful: The Double Album, which nonetheless resides within the Billboard 200’s high 5, and presently at No. 1 on the Billboard high nation charts, two years after its launch.
Wallen had introduced the free pop-up live performance on Thursday morning (March 2), together with the truth that the ticketing plan was decidedly old-school: followers needed to line up exterior of Bridgestone Area to acquire tickets, and so they did, forming large strains that wrapped across the constructing. Inside hours, all of the tickets had been gone. In March 2022, Bridgestone Area beforehand served as dwelling base for 3 sold-out reveals on Wallen’s The Harmful Tour.
“This is so badass and makes me so proud,” Wallen instructed the gang Friday night time, eliciting cheers. “You guys are truly remarkable. Thank you for making this happen on such short notice. We gonna sing some new ones, some old ones — and that’s about it, I guess.”
Past the Bridgestone Area partitions, 1000’s extra watched the occasion through livestream from Wallen’s official social media channels.
The brand new album largely picks up the place Harmful left off, with three dozen songs forming an arc that predominantly focuses on alcohol, heartbreak, dejection, and declarations of regret over unhealthy romantic choices and unhealthy habits, seen by means of the hazy lens of extra alcohol. Sonically, the mission meshes parts from the lexicons of nation, various and hip-hop.
However whereas the recorded album is crammed with frothy, arena-aimed productions, Wallen and his band provided stripped-back variations of lots of the album’s songs on Friday night time, in addition to picks from the catalog of hits he’s constructed since his debut, “The Way I Talk,” in 2016.
Correct for a night delving into this new mission, Wallen launched the present with the introductory music from the album, “Born With a Beer in My Hand.”
“Y’all make some noise if you can relate to that,” the singer stated, stalking the perimeter of the compact stage, acknowledging the gang and shaking fingers as waves of cheers adopted from the viewers that crowded the world flooring and stands. Bolstered by 1000’s of followers fervent sufficient of their Wallen fandom to have stood in line for tickets, Wallen’s efficiency carried an air of relaxed, assured confidence.
Although Eric Church, HARDY and ERNEST are all featured on the album, there have been no particular company at Bridgestone: this night time was solely about Wallen and his followers. Additionally absent had been any references to the opposite cause Wallen has been within the highlight over the previous two years, a video revealed by TMZ that depicted a drunken Wallen utilizing a racial slur in reference to a pal.
“We’ve been working really hard on this record for the last three or four months,” he stated of One Factor at a Time. “I ain’t been doing a lot of sleeping. I’ve been doing a lot of singing… probably won’t be doing a lot of sleeping tonight, either.”
From there, his two-hour set rolled on, with the album’s title monitor, in addition to fellow album cuts “Me and All Your Reasons,” “I Wrote the Book” and “Keith Whitley,” the latter written by Wallen’s cousin Jared Mullins together with Thomas Archer and Brad Clawson.
“One of my favorite artists of all time is a man that died far too young, someone I think had a whole lot more magic left in him,” Wallen stated, referring to the late Whitley, who died in 1989 and was posthumously inducted into the Nation Music Corridor of Fame final 12 months. “I listen to him at least every week. I wanted to have a song that talked about him.”
Earlier than launching into “Whiskey Friends,” Wallen quipped, “When we put this together I looked at my discography and decided I didn’t have enough whiskey songs. Here’s another one.”
Wallen devoted the album’s closing music “Dyin’ Man” to his son Indigo Wilder.
“I’m singing to a woman [in the song], but in real life, it’s dedicated to my son. He’s in here somewhere tonight,” Wallen instructed the gang. “I went back to east Tennessee yesterday to play a show at my old high school for the album release, which was special in its own right. My son was there and I saw him and he was like, ‘Damn, these people think dad’s cool.’ He’s just getting to that age. If you understand me out there, Indie I love you. This one’s for you.”
The Sneedville, Tennessee, native additionally paid homage to a different love he holds pricey, for the Knoxville-based Tennessee Volunteers, by performing “Tennessee Fan.”
“I’m sure most of y’all know how much I love my Tennessee Volunteers,” Wallen stated. “I got some really good buddies who went to Alabama and they always are giving me s—. There ain’t really much I can say, at least not for the past while. Before the Tennessee-Alabama game I wrote a song about us losing. Of course, the year I write about us losing, we win the damn game. But I’m okay with that,” he stated.
After rolling by means of a number of album cuts, Wallen carried out “Thought You Should Know,” a young ode to his mom that’s spending its third week at No. 1 on Billboard’s Nation Airplay chart. Seated at a keyboard, highlighted by a lone highlight, he adopted with a young rendering of the lost-love hit “Sand in My Boots,” then, accompanied by his acoustic guitar and bandmates, ran by means of extra Nation Airplay chart-toppers: “More Than My Hometown,” “Chasing You,” “The Way I Talk,” “Whiskey Glasses,” and “Wasted on You,” and his newest launch “Last Night,” which presently leads Billboard‘s Sizzling Nation Songs chart.
He launched the gang to his band members and closed with one more chart-topper, “You Proof.”
“This is something way more than we thought we could grasp. We don’t take this for granted,” Wallen stated. When the live performance concluded, Wallen stepped down from the stage and slowly made his exit from the room — alongside the way in which, shifting the highlight to among the 1000’s of attendees, becoming a member of them for selfies and signing autographs, one fan at a time.