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Tori Kelly Nashville 2016


Tori Kelly Nashville 2016

Nathan Armstrong

*Photo from 901 Music's coverage of Tori Kelly's Memphis show in 2015. Photo credit: @TimGSimpson

So, last night we got to go to the Ryman in Nashville to see Tori Kelly perform and guys, it was wild. First of all- THIRDSTORY opened the night, and if you’ve not heard of them, please do yourself a favor and check them out. I happened to stumble upon them with my roommate last year and they have some seriously awesome covers on YouTube. I’m pretty sure we spent a solid hour going through all their videos (totally worth it) and I recommend their cover of T. Swift’s “Style”.

But let’s talk about Tori Kelly. I have been to countless shows at the Ryman Auditorium and when Tori took the stage, I’m dead serious when I say that I’ve never heard a louder crowd in that venue. Seriously, people were PUMPED, it was amazing. Tori Kelly got her start at a super young age- she appeared on America’s Most Talented Kids and later auditioned for American Idol. She started to generate a lot more talk when her YouTube covers started taking off, eventually earning her channel around 700,000 subscribers. Her past came a bit full circle last night when, for the first time since they were both 12 years old on AMTK, Kelly and Hunter Hayes reunited on stage for a duet. They sang Hayes’ hit “Wanted”, and it was just as dreamy as you would hope it to be. Hayes admitted to being a little intimidated by Kelly, saying that it was “super nerve-wracking” singing with her on stage. But honestly, they sang together beautifully.

I can’t say enough about Tori Kelly’s voice and stage presence- not to be too dramatic, but she’s so good that it honestly hurts. She’s got a bond with her fans that I think comes from her career being mostly self-started, having deeply rooted support from fans that have been faithful since her YouTube covers and first self-released album, “Handmade Songs”. In the deepest sense of the word, Kelly is a musician. As if her incredible voice and songwriting weren’t enough, she also plays the guitar and the drums. Because seriously Tori, you weren’t cool enough just singing your amazing songs, with your absolutely stunning voice. THANK THE LORD you are also a killer guitar player and drummer!! 

If you have the chance to go see her live, don’t think about it, just do it- she’s truly one of the most talented artists I have had the opportunity to see, and I can’t help but hope more of the best for her as she continues!

- Lauren McFadden