A sticky 73°F at 8:21 p.m., that’s where it’s at — to lift a line from his 2014 single — on the last Friday of summer 2019.
And with his signature cowboy hat secured snugly around his head, Mr. Lynch is commanding a packed crowd at Madison Square Garden, opening for Thomas Rhett during the last of his aptly named Very Hot Summer Tour dates. Blazing through hits like “Seein’ Red,” “Hell of a Night,” and “Cowboys and Angels,” the 34-year-old singer is equal parts pep and poignancy, heartbreaks and hangovers.
He’s about 10 minutes and an unconfirmed number of red Solo cups off-stage when PEOPLE arrives in his dressing room to ask what it’s like to play America’s most-hyped arena. “Magical,” he instantly retorts. “And the crowd tonight was just on fire. It was really cool, the energy in there. It’s always a question mark in New York City. I just feel like you never know who’s gonna be in the crowd.”
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Incredible night with you NYC. @thegarden was on fire! Can’t wait to come back
A post shared by Dustin Lynch (@dustinlynchmusic) on Sep 21, 2019 at 12:49pm PDT
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But feeding off of the crowd’s tremendous adrenaline rush has happily been the case all tour. “The crowd is just so energetic. They come, and they sing and they dance. Just to feel that joy in the room every night is really cool.”
With the summer tour wrapping up, Lynch has also taken time to reflect on all he’s learned from Thomas Rhett on his zig-zag across North America. Chief amongst those lessons? “Young women scream really loud!” he jokes, before quickly adding, “I’m inspired. That’s what I hope for whenever I tour, to be inspired to learn from and how they operate. Because our goal is what he’s achieved this year, to headline spaces like the Garden. We just take a lot of notes. He’s a hard-working guy, and it’s great to be around that energy. His dad, Rhett’s been out here, working his tail off, too. You can’t help but create around those guys. A lot of this next chapter of music is their fault because I’ve written a few songs out here on this tour.”
As for what’s inspired him to get writing, it’s simple: “Just doing life and living. I looked at my photo album flying home the other day and I was like, ‘Man, I’ve got a lot of new pictures,’ to me that means I’m doing something right. If I’m doing life where I want to take my phone out of my pocket and capture that, whether it’s videos, photos, whatever that is. I feel like I’ve done that more this year than I ever have in my life. What’s inspired this album is really just connecting with myself and why I am who I am, …read more