Feb 8

Chris Young ready to rock Infinite Energy Arena


By: Jon Gallo

Published: February 8, 2018

Chris Young, no matter how much he thought or how much he dreamed, never saw this coming.

“There was a time that I had thought to myself, ‘Hell, I just had two songs reach No. 37 on the chart and thought it couldn’t get any better,” he before laughing. “Now I have 10 songs that have gone No. 1. How wild and crazy is that? It’s been a whirlwind and it hasn’t stopped.”

And Young doesn’t expect it to slow down anytime soon — certainly not amid a string of sold-out concerts during his Losing Sleep 2018 World Tour, which stops at the Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15.

The name of Young’s tour is appropriate because perhaps no country music star has been as busy as the 32-year-old Tennessee native who burst onto the scene by winning the TV singing competition “Nashville Star” in 2006.

Now he’s just the latest performer, along with Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Phillip Phillips on “American Idol,” to parlay such championships into big-time careers.

Young has seven studio albums, including “Losing Sleep,” which has already been certified gold for reaching the 500,000 unit mark in combined sales and streams after opening atop the Billboard Country Albums chart. The album followed 2015’s “I’m Coming Over,” which debuted atop the chart and was nominated for the American Country Music Album of the Year.

Young broke through in 2009 when his hits “Gettin’ You Home,” which is known as “The Black Dress Song,” and “The Man I Want to Be,” both reached the top spot — starting what turned out to be a landslide of chart-topping songs. “Voices,” “Tomorrow,” “You,” “Sober Saturday Night,” “Thinking of You” — a duet with “The Voice” Season 3 champion Cassadee Pope — and the most recent “Losing Sleep” all ascended to No. 1.

Young’s success hasn’t gone unnoticed in the country music world, as he’s opened for Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton and Rascal Flatts, among others.

“I learned a lot being around so many great performers,” Young said. “They are the best at what they do. I learned just so much, like how they interact with the crowd and the presence they make for themselves on stage.”

Young’s work has also been recognized — and praised — by his peers, as he became the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry this past October, when he was inducted by Brad Paisley.

“You are talking about a class act, a great guy, a person who — I mean, he just doesn’t have any of that thing that you would consider a negative about somebody who’s famous and successful,” Paisley told Entertainment Tonight at Young’s induction ceremony. “There’s no ego in Chris. He’s so willing to be a friend to anyone he meets, and he belongs in this place. That is exactly what the Opry has always been. There’s so many stories over the years of the camaraderie of this building and what it means to be part of this, and Chris just epitomizes that in the way he lives and the way he is towards people.”

Now, Young has gone from opener to headliner. He’s leading his own 30-date tour, during which he’ll play from Maine to Florida to Minnesota to Mississippi to Washington.

“For so many years I was used to playing shows in smaller arenas and amphitheaters,” Young said. “But where we are playing on this tour are on just a completely bigger scale. Before, I’d focus on playing, and while I still do, now we have put together a whole package to go along with the songs.”

Special guests include LANCO, which recently released is first album, “Hallelujah Nights” that includes the chart-topping hit “Greatest Love Story” and “Born To Love You.” Kane Brown will also perform, so fans can expect to hear his No. 1 single “Used To Love You Sober,” in addition to “Heaven” and “There Goes My Everything,” which he wrote with Young.

Fans fortunate enough to get tickets to his show at Infinite Energy Arena can expect Young to do what he does best — stick to his hits. He’ll likely play all his hits, which also include “Lonely Eyes,” “Aw Naw,” “Save Water, Drink Beer,” “I Can Take It From There” and “Who I Am with You.”

“You have to play what the fans want to hear because I can’t tell them how much I appreciate how much they’ve supported me,” Young said. “We have sold out every show and my goal is for us to sell out every show.”

Young said he’ll also have a few surprises, though he didn’t divulge his set list. At a recent show, he played “Hangin’ On,” “Where I Go When I Drink” and “Whiskey To Stone.”

“My goal for every show doesn’t change,” Young said. “I want my fans to come early and stay late and when they go home, they go home feeling they went to a show they will remember.”