Last night was awesome. Not because the concert necessarily blew anybody's socks off. But because it was a picture-perfect Chicago summer night, it was one of, if not the hottest name in country music, and it was Wrigley Field.
As incredible and majestic a park it is for experiencing a professional baseball game, the way it was intended, Wrigley Field might be an even better venue for concerts. No joke. I don't say that lightly.
Catching a ballgame during a Friday or Saturday afternoon in June, July, or August should be on every single red blooded American's bucket list, especially if you're a baseball fan. There's seriously nothing else like it and no other. Fenway Park comes close, but it's just not The Friendly Confines.
And ever since they started ramping up their summer concert series a few years back, they have gotten to a place where live music shows at the park are must-see.
Morgan Wallen's show last night was no exception.
For starters, the show has been sold out for months. And the anticipation for it has only grown as it became the show on Wallen's tour that marked his "return."
Wallen pulled out of performing at the Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi, in April, telling fans he had lost his voice.
Days later, he scrapped six weeks' worth of shows after doctors advised he rest his voice. Wallen explained in an Instagram video in May that he had been diagnosed with "vocal fold trauma," and postponing the shows for the sake of his career's "longevity."
We pregamed at friends of the program Country Club and Sluggers before and the buzz up and down Clark St. was electric. All afternoon.
Fans were bummed about the cancellations, but fired up for him to resume the tour.
We had an awesome crew we were rolling with
Wallen had a pretty stacked undercard of openers for this weekend's shows, featuring his friends Hardy, Parker McCollum, Ernest, and Bailey Zimmerman. (For those wondering, doors opened around 5:30 with the openers hitting almost right around 6:00 and Wallen took the stage at 8:45).
I know pretty much everybody does it these days, but Wallen came out to "Sirius" by The Alan Parsons Project. AKA The Chicago Bulls lineup announcement song. I don't care how beaten to death it might be, this still, and always will fuck. Hard.
Wallen kicked off with one of his earlier hits, "Up Down" and then got right to addressing the crowd about his hiatus, and how happy he was to be back doing what he loves most.
I’m trying to find a way to put this into words without coming off negatively or sounding like this is a knock- because it truly isn’t. But I couldn’t help getting the feeling throughout the show that Wallen was kind of like a fish out of water up there on stage.
Yes, I know he is one of the biggest musicians in the world right now. And the fact anybody can sell out a single show to 40,000 people at Wrigley Field is incredible, nevermind two shows back to back, nevermind an entire North American AND international tour.
The guy is a mega star. He should be playing packed stadiums.
It just didn’t feel like that was his thing and he was loving it up there.
The pyrotechnics is an entirely different subject and I will gladly accept the hater comments for that. (It felt like a Tiesto concert, not a country show).
But Wallen seemed like he’d have much rather preferred, and been way more comfortable and at home, sitting on a barstool, with an acoustic guitar in his lap, playing his music to a packed bar of 100 people instead.
Maybe that’s just my personal opinion, and you can tell me I’m fucking crazy and to fuck off, that’s fine. But that’s just the impression I got. And again, it in zero way took away from how great a performance he put on, or how into the crowd was.
The entire place was going crazy from the minute he took the stage.
My personal favorite part of his show was when he performed “98 Braves”. Aside from just loving this song since the first time I’d heard it-
He introduced it by acknowledging he was about to sing a song about a baseball team that wasn’t the Chicago Cubs, in one of the holiest baseball parks in the world.
(Sidebar- the amount of attractive women I saw last night is unfathomable. Tonight being Friday it should be even crazier. They all got decked out too. Cowboy boots, cowboy hats, cutoff shorts, the whole shebang. It was like the Super Bowl of hot chicks in Chicago.)
He came out for his encore in a throwback Cubs buttonless jersey with his name on the back. A very nice touch.
An even nicer touch was Morgan surprising the crowd by bringing out his buddy, and Chicago's own, Lil Durk for his encore performance of "Stand By Me". The record was featured on Durk’s Almost Healed that dropped last month.
He rolled from that into "Heartless", and "Last Night", (which both had the entire crowd of nearly 40,000 singing every word, and he closed out with "Whiskey Glasses" and brought the house down.
Great show on an even greater Chicago summer night in the best ballpark in the world. For those going tonight, anticipate the worst traffic on Lakeshore you've ever seen, insane lines on Clark St, but a seriously awesome time. Enjoy.
MORGAN WALLEN - CHICAGO'S WRIGLEY FIELD JUNE 22, 2023 SET LIST
I Wrote the Book
One Thing at a Time
Everything I Love
Ain't That Some
Still Goin Down
Sand in My Boots
12. Cover Me Up (Jason Isbell Cover)
13. Thought You Should Know
14. Flower Shops (Ernest Cover)
15. Thinkin' Bout Me
16. Whiskey Friends
17. This Bar
18. Wasted On You
19. More Than My Hometown
20. The Way I Talk
21. Stand By Me (Lil Durk cover) (with Lil Durk)
23. Last Night
24. Whiskey Glasses
Check out the rest of Wallen's tour dates here -