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Thomas Rhett’s ‘Life Changes’ Tour Electrifies Bryce Jordan Center

Country music star Thomas Rhett put on quite a show at the latest stop on his “Life Changes” tour — the Bryce Jordan Center — on Thursday night.

A crowd with plenty of reason to be energized was outstanding throughout the evening, and Rhett got the memo. He wore an all-white outfit for his performance in honor of Penn State’s White Out clash with Ohio State Saturday night.

Midland and Brett Young — two other big names in the country music scene — performed as Rhett’s opening acts.

Midland is best known for “Drinkin’ Problem,” and the band offered its own prediction for the game.

“Penn State 37, Ohio State -7,” lead Midland singer Mark Wystrach said. “Because they’re cheaters.”

Brett Young’s “In Case You Didn’t Know” is a signature first-dance song at weddings, and “Like I Love You” and “Mercy” also get plenty of airtime on country music stations across the country.

Rhett had plenty of praise for State College once he took the stage. He wishes he could play in Happy Valley more — perhaps even once a year — on top of his frequent visits to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

“This little town is so cool,” he said. “Y’all have a great setup and town here. We go to Pittsburgh and Philly all the time, but we never come here. Can we make this a yearly thing?”

“Life Changes”, the title song of Thomas Rhett’s most recent album, shows how he grew into a husband, father, and country music star. (Photo: Noah Rogers | Onward State)

Rhett’s performance began with “Leave Right Now,” “T-Shirt,” and “Renegades.” He snatched smartphones from his adoring fans’ hands and took quick selfies several times throughout the evening, and even accepted a bouquet of flowers from one young fan who was planted on her parent’s shoulders.

Rhett performed Florida Georgia Line’s “‘Round Here,” a song that he actually wrote for the band, “Craving You,” and “Beer With Jesus.” Every song he played was excellent, especially with a crowd singing its collective heart out to each one.

One of the central themes of Rhett’s latest work is right in the title of his album: how much his life has changed in recent years.

Rhett made sure to give each individual member of his band time for their own solos toward the end of his performance. (Photo: Noah Rogers | Onward State)

The title song of the tour “Life Changes” is essentially Rhett’s autobiography, starting when he was just a college student. A big part of it focuses on sudden changes in his life, especially with his kids. He adopted a baby girl from Uganda in May 2017 shortly before finding out that his wife, Lauren Akins, was pregnant with another baby girl.

The crowd’s rendition of “Life Changes” was excellent, but it didn’t match those of “Die A Happy Man” and “Marry Me” — two of his most famous songs. “Die A Happy Man” is a heartfelt ballad, while “Marry Me” takes a contrasting sad tone about the one that got away.

He also played “Sixteen” and “Unforgettable” — two of the most popular singles released off of his latest album.

Rhett showcased his wide range of talents, including dancing and playing the piano and guitar, throughout Thursday’s concert. (Photo: Noah Rogers | Onward State)

The concert concluded with “Crash and Burn,” capping off an outstanding performance from one of country music’s budding stars.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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