Kip Moore kicked off his “After the Sunburn Tour” this past weekend and more than delivered at his New York City stop at Hammerstein Ballroom on Friday, Sept. 21. The singer brought plenty of heart and countless deep cuts to his energetic performance while the packed venue screamed along on every track.
Playing a 90-minute set, Moore’s time on stage packed a punch. With little banter, he delivered as many songs as he could for his die-hard fan base before the venue’s strict curfew of 11 p.m. From the boisterous show opener “Fast Women” and arena anthem “The Bull” to longtime fan favorites “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck” and “Backseat,” the 21-song set spanned his catalog. The few moments he did address the room, he shared his gratitude to those who stuck with him throughout the highs and lows of his career.
Here’s a look at the five most memorable moments we witnessed during Moore’s New York City tour stop.
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You’d be hard-pressed to find a more dedicated fanbase than Moore’s. The New York City audience knew every word to every song — from a deep cut off his 2016 Underground EP to his latest release, 2017’s SLOWHEART, — and they didn’t miss a beat. Frequently, Moore would extend each song with an additional chorus at the track’s end. He’d jump up on the speaker, arms wide as if he was conducting a choir. All the while the entire venue erupted into a sing along as his band took a backseat for a truly memorable moment.
While No. 1 singles like “More Girls Like You,” “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck” and “Beer Money” lined the set, so did the ones that didn’t hit the top of the country charts. From the way the crowd chanted along with “I’m To Blame,” “Young Love” and “Dirt Road,” you’d never know they didn’t have similar success at country radio.
His Unyielding Gratitude
Much of Moore’s stage banter was contained in favor of playing more songs for his audience, but his appreciation for those in attendance was apparent. In the few moments he addressed the crowd during the concert it was always to share his gratitude. “Thank y’all for always caring about the music through the ups and downs of chart success and those kind of things,” he said during his two-song encore. “This fanbase never wavers and that means the world to us every night so thank you.”
Moore may have released this No. 1 hit in 2012, but if you were in attendance Friday night you would have thought it was his current single. An obvious crowd favorite, the venue exploded during the song’s first guitar lick. Fittingly the beer was flowing and glasses were raised high in the air as Moore sang the ode to the end of the work week. After all, what better way to spend a Friday night than at a Kip Moore concert?
The Deep Cuts
At one point in the show Moore asked the crowd what they wanted to hear. No one shouted for a radio single. Instead, they dug deep into his catalog for songs featured on his 2012 debut album Up All Night like the nostalgic “Everything But You,” one he hasn’t played in years, and “Blonde,” a track off his latest album SLOWHEART that touches upon today’s instantaneous and often superficial social media culture.
“Y’all forgive us if we mess this up,” he said ahead of playing “Everything But You.” (He didn’t.) “We’re gonna give this a go.” He and his band then segued into a mesmerizing stripped down take of the song. Later, he’d play “Blonde” and warned the crowd: “You better sing this shit!” (They did).
“Sometimes you walk into a room and you know there’s electricity in the room and tonight’s one of those nights,” Moore noted. “This is the kind of night you hope for every time you walk onto the stage.”
Moore wasn’t lying about the strict curfew and minutes before 11 p.m. he returned to the stage for a two-song encore that he dedicated to his die-hard fans. He then performed an acoustic take of “Separate Ways” from his 2016 Underground EP before segueing into a brand new tune. This time, though, he urged fans not to film it and they surprisingly obliged. It was the first time throughout the show that cell phones weren’t held high to capture every second of his set.
“This is my favorite time of the night, when I see everybody who’s stuck around and we got the real fanbase. I’m gonna give y’all something special right here for just us right now. I know we live in a day and age where everybody feels like everything needs to be recorded. This is your special night. This is not to be shared with the rest of the world that wasn’t here,” he requested. “I’m gonna trust you guys that nobody films this song because this is brand new and I don’t want this getting out right now.”
He then grabbed the microphone stand and, with his guitarist by his side, performed a reflective tune that had the singer looking back on past love and his chosen life as a musician while the hushed crowd hung on every word–phones down, eyes up.
Moore’s “After the Sunburn Tour” runs through November.