Frankie Ballard took a break from his tour with Florida Georgia Line to headline Binghamton’s inaugural Country Music Lights Fest on July 10. Ballard is currently one of Nashville’s hottest rising stars so it was no surprise he was selected to headline the festival.
Eric Paslay was direct support for Ballard on this tour stop. Paslay may still be considered a fresh face in country music, but people have been listening to his songs for years. He has written many number 1 hits for artists such as Rascall Flats, Lady Antebellum, Eli Young Band, Love and Theft, and Jake Owen.
Paslay began his set with songs from his self-titled album including “Song About A Girl,” “Never Really Wanted” and “Like A Song.” During the second half of his set he performed a few of his number 1 hits that he wrote including “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” which was made famous by the Eli Young Band. His version of the song had the crowd jumping up and down while shouting the chorus at the top of their lungs.
He brought his set to a close with “Friday Night” his most notorious single to date. This song also had the crowd jumping up and down with excitement creating a perfect segue into Frankie Ballard’s set.
Side note: I recommend following Paslay on social media. You get to peek into his personal life and see his funny and unique personality. He puts on an incredible sounding live show and as time goes on I personally cannot wait to see him evolve as an artist and see him let more of that part of him bubble out into his live performances.
When the lights went out for headliner Frankie Ballard, his band trickled out onto the stage and started the intro to “I Came To Get Down”. Ballard then flooded out on stage while playing his guitar, immediately seizing the audience’s attention and showing them he was indeed in town to get down. His energetic stage presence and guitar playing rivals the best artists of both current country and rock music genres.
Ballard kept the momentum going with the fan favorite “Thinkin’ Country” and hit single “Sunshine & Whiskey.” Halfway through his set he mixed it up with a cover of ZZ Tops “La Grange” along with Johnny Cash’s “Boy Named Sue”. He took the audience on a trip back to his college days by doing a cover of The Wallflowers’ “One Headlight.” On this song Ballard took over the drum kit and appointed his guitar player Eddie Robinson take the lead on vocals. Throughout his entire set Ballard’s enthusiasm and love for his music shined through. You could tell by the smile on his face and the little things he did on stage that he was truly in his element and having the time of his life.
Ballard rounded out his set with his first number one hit “Helluva Life” a cover of Bob Segar’s “Old Time Rock & Roll” and “Drinky Drink.” Each song had the crowd swaying and dancing the remainder of the night away.
Frankie Ballard might not be a top name in country music yet, but if he keeps pouring his personality and heart into each show like he did in Binghamton, it is only a matter of time before he’s on everyone’s radar. He is tour with Florida Georgia Line through the end of 2015. Get tour dates and ticket information on his website here.
The festival lineup also included Sunday Best, Austin Webb, and Craig Campbell.
Frankie Ballard Set List: I Came To Get Down, Thinkin’ Country, Sunshine & Whiskey, It Don’t Take Much, Young & Crazy, La Grange, TMYGL (Tell Me You Get Lonley), Boy Named Sue, Wallflowers (One Headlight), Frankie On Drums, Helluva Life, Old Time R&R, Drinky Drink