Chase Rice makes good on his word

Chase Rice makes good on his word

By Thomas Donley, @TDonleyDE

Chase Rice promised a show that would allow southern Illinois to have a good time and “forget about life for a while.”

He did just that Saturday night at SIU Arena.

Rice’s up-tempo country sound had fans screaming and singing along from the time his curtain dropped at the start of his performance, opening with “How She Rolls,” one of his most popular songs not to make it to radio waves.


Wasting no time fitting in, Rice denounced the concert’s no-alcohol policy and accepted a beer tossed to him from the crowd early in the set.

Covers of popular songs like Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'” and Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer,” along with Rice’s own songs played true to their studio recordings kept the energy high. Rice also showed his range with the slower, emotionally vulnerable “Jack Daniel’s and Jesus.”

Rice involved both of his opening acts in his show, bringing out Lacy Cavalier to perform the hot-and-heavy “Ride,” and Jon Langston for a duet of “Cruise,” a song Rice wrote with his buddies Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, better known as Florida Georgia Line, who took the song to Diamond status (10 millions copies sold).

Langston preceded Rice with a similar style of show. The lesser-known artist had some people singing along to “Rollin’ In and Rockin’ Out,” “Forever Girl” and covers of Tim McGraw and Toby Keith hits. The only memorable part of Cavalier’s set was a cover of R. Kelly’s “Ignition” that can be best described as awkward.

The show was the fifth stop in Rice’s seven-campus Back to College Tour. His next show will be at East Georgia State College in Swainsboro, Ga.

Thomas Donley can be reached at [email protected] or at 618-536-3307.