With fans singing along from the very first word, Academy of Country Music-nominated duo Dan + Shay celebrated their first appearance at historic Ryman Auditorium with a raucous show that left the sold-out crowd breathless for more.
The show, part of the rising duo’s spring Obsessed Tour, was a crowning moment for Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney, who moved to Nashville five years ago to chase their musical obsession.
“This is just the best night of my entire life,” Mooney told screaming fans at Nashville’s most iconic live music venue.
“I had this dream, and Shay had this dream, too,” Smyers said, “and we moved here because we wanted to do this. … If it weren’t for our fans sharing our music and spreading the word … we wouldn’t be here.”
Much of the sold-out crowd stood for the entirety of the performance, joining in harmony to tracks like current single, “How Not To,” “When I Pray For You,” a ballad the duo penned for March 1’s major motion picture The Shack, recent No. 1 “From the Ground Up” from the 2016 album Obsessed to the duo’s first No. 1, “Nothin’ Like You” and their Platinum-certified hit “19 You + Me” among the 18-song set.
The critical response to the performance was as exuberant as the fans’. “The duo famous for their tight harmonies… perform with a joy and fire that is contagious,” raved Cindy Watts of The Tennessean. “Dan + Shay are an undeniable force headed nowhere but up.”
Taste of Country’s Billy Dukes echoed that sentiment, noting the “electric” set “prove[s] they’re at the head of the class” and their “commitment to their fans’ concert experience… will ensure it’s a long, long ride.”
The members of the “velvet-voiced duo” (Rolling Stone Country) are up for two awards at the 52nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, April 2 in Las Vegas. Dan + Shay were nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year as well as New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year recently and will perform around the awards when Vegas goes country. It’s the group’s fourth consecutive ACM nomination for Vocal Duo of the Year.
The duo’s latest single from Obsessed, “How Not To,” was one of the night’s biggest singalong moments (see the video). A few well-timed covers like Jon Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love A Bad Name,” The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” and CeeLo Green’s “Forget You” turned the night into a dancealong. Raucous fans brought the boys out for a three-song encore that stretched to 30 minutes, concluding an amazing night.
“We just sold out the Ryman tonight,” Mooney said. “That’s insane.”
The duo’s Obsessed Tour continues Friday in Knoxville, Tennessee, with dates across the U.S. and Canada through the spring.
DAN + SHAY OBSESSED TOUR DATES
Feb. 24 – Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville, Tenn.*
Feb. 25 – Buckhead Theatre, Atlanta, Ga.*
Mar. 23 – Crystal Ballroom, Portland, Ore.**
Mar. 24 – Showbox SoDo, Seattle, Wash.**
Mar. 25 – Vogue Theatre, Vancouver, BC**
Mar. 26 – Knitting Factory Concert House, Spokane, Wash.**
Mar. 28 – Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah**
Mar. 29 – Livewire, Scottsdale, Ariz.**
Apr. 6 – 20 Monroe Live, Grand Rapids, Mich.**
Apr. 7 – Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, Mich.**
Apr. 9 – Egyptian Room at Old National Centre, Indianapolis, Ind.**
Apr. 13 – The Fillmore Silver Spring, Silver Spring, Md.**
Apr. 14 – Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, N.J.**
Apr. 15 – Stage AE, Pittsburgh, Pa.**
Apr. 20 – Sokol Auditorium, Omaha, Neb.**
Apr. 21 – Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, Kansas City, Mo.**
Apr. 22 – Maryville University, Chesterfield, Mo.**
*Denotes special guest Bailey Bryan
**Denotes special guest Jackie Lee
For more information and tickets, please visit DanAndShay.com