Tenille Townes Talks Touring and First Headlining Show in Nashville

Tenille Townes Plays Electrifying Show At Iconic Venue  

Written by Lisa Valentine
Tenille Townes Talks Touring and First Headlining Show in Nashville
Tenille Townes; Photo credit: John Shearer

There are many milestones an artist dreams of achieving in their career and Tenille Townes has experienced quite a few of them. From playing iconic venues including the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry to performing for massive crowds in arenas and amphitheaters while opening for Country superstars such as Dierks Bentley and Brothers Osborne, Townes has a long list of touring achievements under her belt. However, she’s had one particular dream since moving from to Music City from Canada nine years ago: playing her own headlining show in Nashville. Last week, her dream became a reality as she headlined her first show of the “Villain in Me” tour at Nashville’s beloved venue The Basement East.

Townes was filled with joyful anticipation the day before this monumental moment in her career.

“It’s so surreal…It’s so exciting,” Townes shared the day prior to the show. “I’ve had the honor of getting to open up for a lot of my heroes here in Nashville. I’ve been a part of so many cool writer’s rounds, playing places like the Bluebird [Cafe] and the Grand Ole Opry. Nashville has so many ridiculous ‘dream come true’ moments and Nashville’s also the place where everyone comes to chase the dream and that comes with a lot of lonely nights, a lot of crushed spirits…I feel like Nashville kind of knows all of me, in the highs and the lows and tomorrow night feels like a really, really special thing to celebrate in the in between of all of that…”

While this may have been her first headlining show in Nashville, the “Girl Who Didn’t Care” singer recently finished a run of headlining shows this past December in her home country of Canada. Since it’s been so long since she has been able to play shows there due to the pandemic, she relished in what she refers to as “a long overdue visit back to the homeland,” where she performed in venues across Canada, even playing to a sold-out show in Edmonton.

“I still can’t even get over how amazing that run was and how much it meant to hear people really showing up and singing the songs,” reveals Townes. “They knew the music and it blew me away! Our first night in London, Ontario, I just kind of stood on stage stunned and on the verge of tears most of the show because I couldn’t believe it. It was so special to get to hear everybody singing along and just to feel that love and support from home…It really meant so much and I can’t wait to get back there and play more of those kind of shows soon.”

During her show at Nashville’s The Basement East, the energy was electric, as if fans could feel Townes’ excitement as she performed onstage with the most genuine, ear-to-ear grin. Townes captivated the crowd from the moment she stepped on stage solo, with just her acoustic guitar for a soulful version of her song “Where You Are”.  The format of the show was as unique as Townes one-of-a-kind voice, in that she transitioned from lively, full-band songs like “White Horse” to slow ballads on stage alone, going vulnerable and raw for songs such as “When I Meet My Maker” and “Villain in Me”. Townes’ set highlighted her voice’s range and versatility as she wove in a variety of covers from Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” to “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette and even wrapped the show an encore, playing her song “The Most Beautiful Things” that flowed into Etta James’ iconic “At Last”.

Townes had the audience singing along the entire show, as she owned the stage with an excitement of someone who was truly living out their dream. Connecting with the crowd through the honest lyrics of her current single “When’s It Gonna Happen”, she also brought opener Alex Hall on stage to perform their heart-filled duet “Heart Shut.”

“Alex is one of my favorite voices. He’s just got this classic, timeless vibe to his songs and the sound of his music…” she says of Hall who will be joining her on the “Villain in Me” tour.

In addition to headlining her own tour this year, Townes will also be opening up for Country music royalty as she is slated to play dates with George Strait and Reba McEntire in February.

 “They’re just legendary voices, both of them, who are I think are just instrumental in the fabric of the foundations of Country music, as entertainers, as singer and I’m so excited to go to these shows purely as a fan, never mind also get to play…” she enthusiastically shares.

And if that wasn’t enough excitement for the year, she’ll be heading to London and Glasgow to play the C2C: Country to Country festival.

“At the beginning of the shutdown, which feels like another lifetime ago. We were in Amsterdam waiting to go to London for C2C and we ended up getting on the very next flight the following morning back to Nashville,” she remembers. “Since that moment, I’ve just been ready to repack the suitcase and get over there because I love sharing music in that part of the world. They just have such a different way of listening, that’s really something special. I can’t wait to get back over there.”

For more tour information, visit TenilleTownes.com.