On her debut headlining tour, the “Quit Dragging Your Boots” singer proved she’s part of country music’s next wave.

Before stepping on stage at Elevation inside the iconic Intersection music venue, Danielle Bradbery had already done the impossible. She won season 4 of NBC’s The Voice in 2013, becoming the youngest artist to win the competition at age 16, and uccessfully transitioned that success into a promising music career when so many do not. The fact she’s still active a decade later speaks to the determination and talent she has possessed since the beginning. 

…And she’s just getting started.

Dubbed the Special Place tour, Bradbery’s first proper headlining tour follows a year that spawned her biggest singles. “Stop Dragging Your Boots,” for example, has spent the better part of a calendar year moving throughout the country radio charts, while “A Special Place” continues to earn fans. Those in attendance knew every word to those songs and more, further proving this run of dates was long overdue.

Newcomer Tiera Kennedy opened the evening with a powerful vocal performance that tore through her burgeoning catalog and the Beyonce classic, “Irreplaceable.” Though the crowd was less familiar with the deserving single “Alabama Night,” many more were singing along as the viral hit “When I Found You” was played. It was the perfect setup for all that was to come, and it cemented Kennedy as someone audience members would later look up on their preferred streaming service.

Upon arrival, Danielle Bradbery received the kind of immediate response one expects for a legend in the genre. Drinks, phones, and hands were raised high as the “Sway” songstress took the stage, each one reveling in finally being present in the moment. It was clear many in the room had waited months, if not years to see Bradbery perform, and that patience was not wasted as the Texas native lit the stage on metaphorical fire with hit after hit song. 

The highlight of the night came in the middle of Bradbery’s set as she transitions from high energy material to slower songs. Knowing fans love her ballads, Bradbery had to deliver, but she didn’t allow the speed of the music to impact the flow of the evening. She performed six songs in the space usually needed for two, and among them were many of the star’s fan favorites, including her half of notable duets. It was a strategic act that paid off with a massive crowd response.

At the end of her fourteen-song performance (eighteen if you include songs included in the medley), Bradbery reiterated her appreciation for the crowd. “I know we’re just getting started on this tour, but I’m pretty sure this show has set the bar.”

Whether or not that kind of compliment is commonplace for Bradbery shows didn’t matter to the people in attendance that night. They had come to give their all to the person whose music makes them feel less alone in this world, and her acknowledgement of that effort meant the world.