The Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium was abuzz Tuesday night with excitement and anticipation as concertgoers waited for Elle King to take the stage.
Country singer Paul Cauthen opened for King with a selection of songs primarily from his album My Gospel. He greeted the crowd with a charming, “How y’all doin’,” which the crowd responded to with loud cheers and lots of applause.
Cauthen started the night with his song “Still Drivin’’ before seamlessly flowing into a mixture of other songs such as “I’ll Be the One.”
Throughout Cauthen’s performance, the energy continued to build. Audience members swayed with the strong beat of “Be There Soon” as the singer prepared to close out his set and hand over the microphone to King.
King sauntered onto stage wearing a floral jumpsuit and high-top sneakers. After taking a swig from her red solo cup, the singer greeted the audience. As she placed her cup in a holder on her microphone stand, the singer looked just as excited as—if not more than—the crowd.
King grew up in Wellston, Ohio, which is less than an hour drive away from Ohio University’s Athens campus. The fan base that was present at Tuesday’s concert was strong and unafraid to express their passion. Many of the crowd came prepared with homemade shirts and posters expressing their love of the singer.
The southern Ohio native opened her dynamic performance with “Last Damn Night.” King’s relaxed and friendly attitude was evident throughout the show as she interacted with the audience between each song.
“One time these girls were mean to me when I was younger… so I wrote a song and I sing it all over the world,” King said as she introduced her second song of the night, “Playing for Keeps.”
King invited Cauthen back onto the stage to sing Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.” The enthusiastic crowd jumped to their feet as the duo sang and danced around the stage, carefully avoiding the variety of instruments that were scattered about. Playing off of the crowd’s enthusiasm, Cauthen began to strum King’s guitar when he wasn’t signing.
Many of King’s original songs are about events that happened in her life.
“You need to find a way to deal with these things and I write really mean songs about people…” the singer said when she was talking about loss and heartbreak and introducing “Good to be a Man.”
King rounded out her set with the lead single off of her debut album: “Ex’s and Oh’s.” The song eventually became her first song to reach the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100, after seeing success on both the rock and alternative charts. The song also received two Grammy nominations.
At the request of the crowd, King performed an encore performance of “America’s Sweetheart” to complete the night, much to the audience’s enjoyment.