Swarms of people lined the streets of San Diego on Jan. 26 with cowboy hats in hand as they stomped their boots into Pechanga Arena. Young and old, friends and couples made their way to their seats as they anticipated the performance to come. Country star Cody Johnson waited backstage as his two openers hit the stage with their biggest hits.
I had hardly heard of the first opener Dillon Carmichael, but I was pleasantly surprised by his amazing stage presence and incredible voice. He sang some of his most catchy songs for around thirty minutes and ended with his No. 1 hit “Son of A.” This song made it up to the Top 25 on country radio charts this last year. In this song, Carmichael honors mothers and fathers and the work they do to make us who we are. He prefaced the song by talking about how parents sacrifice more than we know to raise their kids and love them well.
Carmichael then announced that he would be up at a concessions booth to interact with his fans throughout the concert. I found this wholesome and sweet for an up-and-coming artist to do.
Next up was the second opener Justin Moore. Moore opened with his new single “This is My Dirt.” The crowd went wild for his well-known songs, and the energy he brought to the stage was contagious
Moore then sang his hit, “The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home.” This song honors fallen soldiers for giving their lives for our freedom. The crowd sang along and raised their drinks to cheer for those who are in a better place.
After each of these openers warmed up the crowd, Cody Johnson lit up the stage as he kicked things off with his hit from 2014, “Me and My Kind.” Johnson sang many of his old hits, as well as various songs from his new album “Leather.”
I was very impressed by the energy of the crowd, the band and Johnson himself. His incredible voice filled the arena as his fans sang along.
Johnson not only sang from his heart but gave all the glory to the Lord. He was also especially appreciative and proud of his band and took a few minutes to share about each member and their unique talents.
He continued with his hit song “Human,” then sat and talked to the crowd about how each of us goes through pain and suffering. Whether we are a country music star or a college student, there is no difference between us because we are all human.
Dillon Carmichael, Justin Moore and Cody Johnson each used their platforms as famous country artists to honor those who put their lives on the line for our freedom, to respect God and parents as well as to explore what it means to be human. This was an incredible concert, and one I will remember forever.