On an extremely cold and rainy Saturday night in a suburb right outside of Washington, D.C., Dylan Scott turned up the heat and brought the house down in front of a sold-out crowd.
Up-and-coming country artist Seth Ennis kicked off the night as he’s opening for Scott throughout the entire Nothing To Do Town tour. His 35-minute set featured some of his hits, like “Think and Drive” and “Woke Up in Nashville.” As a newer artist, Ennis was very upfront about the fact that most people in the crowd probably weren’t there for him, even asking the crowd at one point to raise their hands if they didn’t know who he was. “You won’t hurt my feelings,” he honestly told them. So to fix that, he showed a little bit of who he is and where his career has taken him by playing a medley of songs by artists he had opened for, including Florida Georgia Line, Tim McGraw, Billy Currington, and Luke Bryan. The idea sounds simple in concept, but I have never seen an opening act craft their set so well and use their time to their advantage. The whole set was enjoyable from start to finish, and I wouldn’t have complained if Ennis had played another 15-20 minutes.
Not long after Ennis left the stage, Scott came out and opened with his hit song, “Hooked.” His 15-song set lasted just over an hour and included some of his biggest hits, like “Crazy Over Me,” “My Girl,” and his latest single, “Nothing To Do Town,” for which the tour is named.
One thing that made Scott’s performance so enjoyable was his energy. A friend of mine had seen him perform last year and told me how active he was on stage, and boy she wasn’t wrong. I love when artists move around and don’t just stand there — it shows they are giving their performance all they’ve got and actually enjoy what they do.
Scott’s genuine interactions with the crowd also made him stand-out as a live performer. It’s one thing for an artist to grab the hands of people in the front row and point at people all over the room. It’s another thing for him to literally have full-on conversations with people in the crowd during his transitions between songs. At the Silver Spring show, Scott gave a shout-out to a guy with an awesome mullet, got the whole crowd to sing an impromptu round of “Happy Birthday” to someone in the front row, and had a conversation with a couple who related to the stories he told about his relationship with his wife before “Crazy Over Me,” which was also going to be the engaged couple’s wedding song. Although Scott said multiple times that he and his band don’t take what they do for granted, you really believe that to be true in those small moments. Scott’s fans clearly mean the world to him, and it was refreshing to see that appreciation isn’t an act with him.
My favorite moments of the night came from two very different songs. “When You Say Nothing At All” is one of my all time favorites, so I about died when I heard Scott strum the opening chords on his acoustic guitar. His deep voice, in my opinion, is very reminiscent of Keith Whitley’s on the original track, and he effortlessly delivered the heartfelt emotion needed to nail this song.
I also really loved his performance of “Anniversary,” which is a new song that will be featured on his EP coming out in April. Scott’s R&B influences shined through this song (which I personally enjoyed and think he pulls off well despite the debate amongst country music fans about whether R&B and pop elements have a place in country music). He even went so far as to sing the first verse and chorus of Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like” in the middle before finishing the end of his own song. It was smooth and sultry, two words not often associated with country music. As a fan, I’m excited to see whether this track is an outlier or the direction he plans to take all of his new music.
Overall, Scott and Ennis put on one hell of a show. If the Nothing To Do Town tour is coming to a city near you, I highly recommend buying tickets for a night of quality entertainment and enjoyment.
For tour dates, locations, and tickets visit Dylan’s website.
Photo Credit: Bryna Kramer