Being the opening act can appear like a daunting task for many; the crowd may not know who you are, you’re effectively trying to sell your sound to the crowd and half the time, people just want to see the main act. However, for 22-year-old Danielle Bradbery, opening for Thomas Rhett was no big deal. The 2013 winner of The Voice effortlessly opened up for the country star, performing tracks from her both her latest record and her first album.
Bradbery effortlessly took to the stage, as the opening chords of “Can’t Stay Mad” began to play. Before long, her vocals warmed the stage and immediately, fans began to cheer. The track was received well before she smoothly transitioned into “What are We Doing”. Keeping an acoustic tone throughout, she gave the perfect introduction to her sound and who she is as both a vocalist and songwriter.
Thanking the crowd after each song, it was clear to see that Danielle was grateful for the crowd’s positive response and took the time to explain the meaning behind some of her song’s and explaining the importance of storytelling on her second record, “I Don’t Believe We’ve Met”. Performing tracks such as “Messy” and “Sway”, Danielle proved herself as a songwriter. Both tracks are about completely different subjects, including a difficult breakup and then reflecting on the positive power of music. Throughout these two tracks, Danielle completely grasped the audience around her, with everyone in the crowd dancing along or listening to every word she sang. It was just her and the three band members. Nothing fancy. Just her voice, the melodies, her lyrics and the crowd.
When it came to performing her current single in the US, “Goodbye Summer”, featuring Thomas Rhett, Danielle didn’t expect Thomas to come and help her perform the track. With looks of happiness and shock, it was refreshing to see that she wasn’t taking anything for granted and genuinely enjoyed every second of her set. Following the unexpected duet, it was almost time to wrap things up.
Ending her set with the powerful “Worth It” was the perfect decision. A track about knowing your self-worth, the track is relatable to every person and struck a chord with the audience. Crowds cheered and sang along, meaning every word that they were singing back. Ending her set on such a powerful and uplifting note, Danielle said thank you before exiting the stage, leaving the band to completely close out the set.
It’s hard to believe that she is only 22. Danielle Bradbery certainly put on an impressive and thoughtful show, successfully warming up the stage. With a certain grace and elegance about her, she exited the stage with more fans than she did when she entered the stage. Easily one to watch for the rest of 2018 and in early 2019, with her dedication and talent, it won’t be long until she is the headline act at a venue such as the Hammersmith Apollo.
Words by Hannah Strong.