It was a sunny Thursday (Oct. 20) in Cozumel, Mexico when Sam Hunt boarded the Carnival Splendor to prepare for his nearly sold-out show for Carnival Cruise Line’s concert series. The Grammy-nominated singer had performed just the night before for the first of his two Carnival Live shows south of the border.
At exactly 8 p.m., the entertainer hit the stage for a high impact show of his biggest hits – both recorded and released on his debut album Montevallo and songs he had written that were recorded by other artists. The set also marked his third time the Georgia native had played to an audience aboard a cruise ship.
“Last year, we came out with Florida Georgia Line and played to a great crowd and opened up for those guys,” Hunt explained to Sound Like Nashville and other media outlets prior to his show. “I think everybody, they’re on vacation when they come to your show and that everybody’s in a good mood when on vacation, so that works to our advantage right off the bat. Last night, everybody was having a good time, and it felt like everybody was on vacation. They definitely had fully gone into vacation mode by the time they get to the show last night, so that really made the experience a lot more exciting for us.”
His 70-minute set on the Splendor kicked off with his first No.1 as an artist, “Leave The Night On.” He followed with “Ex To See,” “Raised On It,” and “Saturday Night,” a song from his acoustic mixtape Between The Pines. The show was also intermixed with songs that Hunt had a hand in writing, including the first No.1 for country newcomer William Michael Morgan, “I Met A Girl,” Billy Currington’s “We Are Tonight,” and Keith Urban’s “Cop Car.” The former football player also threw in several cover songs with the help of his band as homage to the country music he grew up on and listens to now. His medley included Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried,” Dierks Bentley’s “Somewhere On A Beach,” Old Dominion’s “Snapback,” Thomas Rhett’s “T-Shirt,” and many others.
The show was one of Hunt’s last of 2016 and fans could clearly tell he was pumped for his last moment in the spotlight until early next year.
“Throughout summer, we were playing constantly, every week, all week, and last night I didn’t expect to… I always enjoy playing a lot, but there was something about last night after having had that break for several weeks that made me even more excited,” said Hunt. “I didn’t feel like I was working at all, like it was just part of a cruise and just hanging out with everybody. It was really fun.”
Fans were equally as excited to see him in the middle of their Caribbean vacation and sang the songs as loud as they could back to him. The Carnival Live experience was a unique one for both fan and artist as they get to combine vacation with music in one of the best ways possible. Thanks for Carnival Cruise Line, the Carnival Live experience brings fans closer to their favorite artists while also adding a fun, family-friendly vacation to the mix. The program has brought acts like Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Trace Adkins, The Band Perry and many others to exotic ports. Next year, Tim McGraw will hit pause on his Soul2Soul Tour with Faith Hill to headline a show aboard several of Carnival’s fleet. Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood, Jeff Foxworthy and others are also slated to take over several more ships as part of the 2017 Carnival Live lineup.
See the full listing of 2016 Carnival LIVE concert series by visiting carnival.com/carnivallive, calling 1-800-CARNIVAL or by contacting your local travel agent.