Show Reviews

Show Review: Kylie Morgan and Taryn Papa at 27 Live in Nashville, TN

 

KYLIE MORGAN AND TARYN PAPA

Friday July 29, 2022

@ 27 Live at The Westin's L27 Skydeck in Nashville, TN

(Review by: Jeffrey Kurtis/Taryn Papa photo by: Sara Kiesling)

Nashville’s skyline has grown considerably over the past 10 years, and one of those newer buildings that occupies its place amongst Music City’s clouds is the Westin Hotel; located in the heart of downtown, perfectly placed at the midway point between the neon lights of Broadway and mid-town.

As music lovers that see a lot of live performances, vibey venues become a huge part of the atmosphere for us and there’s arguably not a better place to catch an amazing vibe then 27 Live!

Up high atop the 27th floor of the Westin Hotel, the swanky bar and high-end lounge area of L27 opens to a Skydeck that offers incredible views of the entire city and houses the hotel’s incredible swimming pool, guarded by two gargoyles affixed to brick tiled pillars on either side that prop the covering over the stark blue waters that shimmer in the lighting to give it a Pacific Ocean like glow.  

 However, on certain nights, the 27th floor transforms itself into 27 Live by placing a temporary, sheet metal stage directly atop the pool water and welcoming some of country music’s strongest emerging talents.

“I’ve got so many new songs we’re gonna try out on ya tonight…and a few of my favorite cover songs, too,” stated supporting act Taryn Papa, a staple on Blake Shelton’s Ole Red stage and a contestant on his team during season 19 of The Voice, as she launched into her 10-song set with “No One’s Gonna Love You Like I Do,” a new song that she exclaimed was going to be recorded soon as a duet.

“We’re doing this pretty cool thing with my new music where we’re releasing a song every week so that it’s sort of like a surprise,” shared Papa. “This next one is the title track of my EP,” she finished as she played “Awake.”

With the crowd already now fully invested in her set, Papa switched gears and flowed into her first cover of the night with Sam Hunt’s “House Party,” slowing down the pace of the popular song so that it perfectly suited her range, allowing her voice to carry the familiar clap along groove as she blended it into The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” before delivering her current single “Can’t Catch My Heart.”

“This next one is one of my favorite songs, and I wish I would have written it,” shrugged Papa as she led the crowd in a sing along of Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem,” rousing them up even more when she backed it into Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass.”

“I wrote this song when I first moved to Nashville and we’re recutting it, reproducing it, and the new version will be coming soon,” Taryn shared as she played “Persuaded,” which she followed with a blend of The Chainsmokers “Closer” that smashed into Zedd’s “The Middle,” a crowd inducing sing along on Shania’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” and Miley’s “The Climb,” which she dedicated to all the millennials in the crowd prior to playing. 

As her 45-minute set rolled to its close, Taryn popped her hips as she raised her arm high into the air to lean passionately into the notes of “Changed,” feeling the truth of the lyrics that come ripped straight from her own personal story of meeting her finance and falling in love, while expertly leaving the crowd wanting one more song from her as the final notes were played.

FULL SET LIST

1) No One’s Gonna Love You Like I Do

2) Awake

3) House Party -> I Want You Back (Sam Hunt cover/Jackson 5 cover)

4) Can’t Catch My Heart

5) Dirt Road Anthem -> Super Bass (Jason Aldean cover/Nicki Minaj cover)

6) Persuaded

7) Closer -> The Middle (The Chainsmokers cover/Zedd cover)

8) That Don’t Impress Me Much (Shania Twain cover)

9) The Climb (Miley Cyrus cover)

10) Changed

I always love it when a direct support act raises the bar the way that Taryn Papa did on this night. She captured the attention of the crowd quickly and held them throughout her set while injecting a good amount of energy. But most importantly, performances like that of hers, automatically makes the headlining act level up their game to rise to the occasion, which gives the crowd a win-win from opening act to headliner’s final note.

Kylie Morgan, who has most recently found tremendous success on SiriusXM’s TheHighway with “Independent With You,” brought her blend of edgy pop and modern country to the stage and wrapped it firmly into her unique vocal stylings and a heightened sense of energy that acted as a bold showcase of her comfort level on stage while unapologetically putting on a display as to why she’s “the next big thing.”

Bouncing around the stage - left to right, front to back - and riling up the crowd with the ultra-catchy bop “Shoulda,” Morgan moved her arms through the air in swimming like motions perfectly in tune with the rhythm as she took us back to her 2021 Love, Kylie album to open her set.

Continuing to overflow with an exuberant amount of energy, Morgan led sing-a-longs with “Gucci” and “Bad Girlfriend, Good Wife,” before pausing for the first time to talk with the audience.

“I’ve been out touring a lot and playing new places that I’ve never played before and meeting new people…but there’s nothing like a home show,” said Morgan as the decisively local Nashville crowd erupted. “There’s that old saying that it takes a village. Well, I like to say that it takes a whole team of people to raise a country artist, so thank you for being here with me tonight and supporting me,” she finished as she turned up the rock-kissed edge with her first cover of the night, Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock ‘n Roll,” which immediately had everyone screaming back the lyrics as Morgan moved around stage with fervor in her step.

As she grabbed her acoustic guitar for the first time of the night, Morgan introduced “Cuss A Little” by first plugging her co-writer and longtime friend:

“I wrote this song when I was 15 during my first week in Nashville,” she began as she was tuning her guitar. “This guy really believed in me,” she paused. “I wrote this one with Walker Hayes and it’s been so beautiful to watch one of the good ones winning.”

“When you make your own plans, ain’t funny how God laughs sometimes?” Morgan asked. “I wasn’t even thinking about releasing this next song that I’m gonna play. I posted just a snippet of the demo of it on TiKTok one night, thinking that even if it’s not going on the record maybe it could help someone. I started writing as therapy for me, but then I realized that songwriting is not just for me, but for everyone else,” she mused as the crowd clapped in support. “This is a special one because it’s about my fiancé. If you know it sing along,” she encouraged as she very passionately delivered “Independent With You.”

The softer pacing of the song really allowed Morgan to utilize her vocals to elevate all the right notes and emotions of each word in BIG ways, showcasing an extreme amount of control within the power of her voice that allowed the audience to feel the lyrics as she obviously pulled them from that deep place, way down inside.

Morgan then continued to allow her voice to shine when she slid into an acoustic session with just her and her guitarist, performing the heart punching “Country Anyway,” an incredible 25th Anniversary version of “Strawberry Wine” (which Morgan guested on the studio version of), and “Mean Girls,” a song that came via request to her before the show that aim’s to take on bullies who she explained had not only tormented her, but were also are now coming at her 17 year old sister who is having to deal with all the same things that she did back then.

“I grew up on country music and I didn’t even know that there were any other genres until I was around 12 years old,” Morgan explained. “But then I heard Katy Perry and Shania had the Up! Album that was almost all pop…and everything changed,” she confessed as the band rejoined her on stage as the dynamic of the show momentarily shifted as Kylie dropped into a cover of Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” that lit the crowd up and had everyone shouting along with the lyrics as they bounced a hand through the air while Morgan danced across the stage spitting out the lyrics.

“I’ve been waiting my whole life to say this,” teased Morgan. “This next song is going to be heading to radio very soon,” she exclaimed with a smile as she closed her eyes to breathe in the moment as she delivered her newest single, “If He Wanted To He Would,” sliding it right into “I Only Date Cowboys,” giving the audience a clap along moment that kept them enthused as the set pushed its way into its last third.

“It’s been so crazy over the past few years. A lot of you here tonight have been following me since the  beginning, and a lot of you are new. I’m so so glad to be seeing both sides coming together,” Morgan praised of the crowd. “I signed my record deal, and everything was go, go, go. I had the single ready to go to radio and then COVID hit and shut everything down. I was bummed at first, but then without that shutdown, I would have never written these songs. This next one is the first that I played in another city that had people singing the words back to me,” she finished as she played “Break Things” while the Nashville voices punched in as the strong backing harmonies, singing along loudly with the popular song from 2021’s Love, Kylie

A few well-placed covers of Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead” and Brothers Osborne’s “Stay A Little Longer,” both further aided Morgan in highlighting some of her strong influences, before she drove into her final two songs of the night.

“You know that section on Facebook where it’s all the people you might know?” asked Morgan. “My ex showed up on it and I wondered for that moment…what’s he up to these days? And so, I clicked on his profile. He has two babies now, a wife, and here I am in Nashville living out my dream and I thought ya know… good for you, you settled on that life in our small town,” she finished with a smirk as she delivered “Good For You.”

With cell phone’s flashlights lighting up the sky during the last chorus, Kylie closed her set with “Love Like We’re Drunk,” a song which she told was born after a night out at the bar when strangers had become friends by midnight and everyone was getting along, before poignantly asking, “Why can’t it always be like that?”

Kylie Morgan did a whole lot of things right with her hour and 15-minute performance.

She satisfied her longtime fans with a healthy balance of her catalog, lifting three songs from her 2021 Love, Kylie EP and 6 out of 7 from her newest release, P.S. while also balancing in a wide range of covers that showed off all sides of her influences from rock, to pop, to modern country.

Beyond the music, though, there was a humbleness to her as she talked about friends like Walker Hayes giving her a chance when she was just a kid starting out, and a purely grateful feel when addressing the fans, both the new and the old, who came out to support her on a busy Friday night in Nashville.

As a live performer, her incredibly comfortable stage presence is an attribute that brings everything Kylie Morgan is as an all-around artist to a whole other level. She oftentimes would go to the edge of the stage to lean directly into the crowd and sing along with everyone who was standing down front, even talking directly into a cell phone that someone held up during a FaceTime call.

Most importantly, Kylie Morgan offered a full display of where she comes from, where she’s at right now, and where this whole ride is about to go, creating a time-stopping moment that clearly presented the bandwagon to everyone on hand, enticing them to jump on board right now!

FULL SET LIST

1) Shoulda

2) Gucci

3) Bad Girlfriend, Good Wife

4) I Love Rock n’ Roll (Joan Jett cover)

5) Cuss A Little

6) Independent With You

7) Country Anyway

8) Strawberry Wine (Deana Carter cover)

9) Mean Girls

10) Truth Hurts (Lizzo cover)

11) If He Wanted To He Would

12) I Only Date Cowboys

13) Break Things

14) Gunpowder and Lead (Miranda Lambert cover)

15) Stay A Little Longer (Brothers Osborne cover)

16) Good For You

17) Love Like We’re Drunk

 

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