Frankie Ballard Throws Back at ToC Fest 2016
Onstage, Frankie Ballard dresses like a retro rockabilly star, and he's got the musical chops to back it up. Throughout his set at the 2016 Taste of Country Music Festival on Saturday (June 11), the singer shared his hits, tracks off of his brand-new album, El Rio, and songs from some of his influences.
Ballard opened his set with "Young & Crazy," "Drinky Drink" and "Cigarette," and while the crowd dug what he was offering up, they really dug "Sunshine & Whiskey" — a good soundtrack as the sun set over Hunter Mountain. His newest single, "It All Started With a Beer," turned into a massive singalong, after which the artist introduced his backing band by sharing their names and favorite aftershow drinks.
"Girls are what make the concert world go 'round ..." Ballard told the crowd before "Sunshine & Whiskey." The country star continued to flirt with the audience, but it wasn't just the women: "Without you guys, it's just a soundcheck," he said before "Helluva Life," his first No. 1 single. "It's a concert because you guys are here."
Ballard was sure to pay tribute to his influences throughout his set: "A pretty big Elvis Presley fan," he offered up a slowed-down, groovy version of "Hound Dog" and, later, a blues-y jam session that allowed him to show the audience that he's not just a good-looking (and good) singer — he's one hell of a guitar player. Although it was an interesting choice to close his set with a song that's not his own, Ballard's set-closing "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" was also a particularly strong offering as well.
William Michael Morgan, Old Dominion, the Swon Brothers and Eric Paslay preceded Ballard onstage. Following Ballard's set, Kenny Chesney closed out Day 2 of the 2016 Taste of Country Music Festival.
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