Downtown was anything but dead when Sam Hunt hit the stage for the first Atlantic City BeachFest concert of the summer. Hitting the stage in Atlantic City, the Georgia native had fans pumped for a night full of his biggest hits.
Switching gears back and forth between his own releases and songs he’s penned for other artists, Hunt kept fans engaged for the packed show. Among his set was the song “We Are Tonight,” recorded by Billy Currington. Currington cut the song early into Hunt’s songwriting career and was the launching point for the soon-to-be recording artist.
“I [had] written a few songs and put them on the internet on this acoustic mixtape called, Between The Pines, and I talked these guys into joining the band with me and we got in the van and we hit the road and started touring the country. Back then, we were broke. We were living off of gas station food, sleeping like 5 or 6 deep at the Red Roof Inn or the Days Inn. We were struggling,” he recalled.
Continuing, he said, “But a song that I had written just a couple months before we took off on the road got picked up by a popular country artist named Billy Currington. He put this song out on the radio and helped put enough change into my pocket so that I could keep these boys fed and keep enough gas in the van to keep us on the road for the next three or four years to Atlantic City this afternoon. So, a lot of people have contributed to us being here today but Billy’s one of them and I want to give him a big shout out to him. Billy, wherever you are, thank you for recording this tune, man. You helped us out and kept this thing moving.”
In the midst of his nearly one-and-a-half-hour set, Hunt paid homage to those artists that came before him, paving the way for him to follow later. Included in his 90s medley were Brooks & Dunn’s “Brand New Man,” Jo Dee Messina’s “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” the Dixie Chicks’ “Goodbye Earl,” Tim McGraw’s “Green Grass Grows,” and Garth Brooks’ rugged “Ain’t Going Down.”
On hand to warm up the crowd ahead of Hunt’s fiery set was rising star Kane Brown. His set included fan favorites “Hometown,” “What If’s,” “Heaven,” and his newest single “Lose It.” Brown took a moment to also honor his hero, Randy Travis, with a cover of “Three Wooden Crosses.”
Before launching into his song, “Heaven,” Brown addressed the audience to thank them for changing his life.
“I want to thank you again. Y’all got me my second number one this year and now I want to sing it with you,” he shared.
The AC Beach Concert Summer Series will continue for the rest of the season with concerts including Demi Lovato, The Chainsmokers and more to be announced. For more information, visit acbeachconcerts.com.
Check out photos from the Atlantic City BeachFest Concert Series with Sam Hunt below: