Country artist Chase Rice upped his game when he brought his headlining tour, “Everything We Know Does,” to EXPRESS LIVE! Thursday.

The first time I had seen Chase Rice perform live was in 2014 back in my hometown at the Henry County Fair. This was the summer that everyone was rocking out to his first well-known song, “Ready Set Roll.” The show was great, with a set list consisting of his own music and some covers songs. Since then, it is clear to see that Rice has really evolved as an artist and performer.

The 2016 show opened up with rising country star Lacy Cavalier. Though I was not very familiar with her music, her impressive vocals caught my attention. The second opener of the night was Ryan Hurd. Hurd performed a number of songs, including radio hits “We Do Us” and “Love in a Bar.” He showed great stage presence, throwing his trademark long, rocker hair every direction.

Moments before Rice hit the stage, there was an immense change in excitement and energy levels among the crowd. My open spot in the pit quickly became crowded as women of all ages pushed their way to the front, in hopes of getting closer to the country heartthrob.

“How She Rolls” began to play and silhouettes of Rice and his band appeared through a white curtain covering the stage. The venue roared with cheering fans as the curtain dropped and Rice took charge of the stage.

Rice took us back to his own college days with the party playlist he said he and his friends used to drink to. Some of the songs he performed were covers of Eric Church’s “Smoke a Little Smoke,” “Free Fallin,’” by Tom Petty and everyone’s party favorite, “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” by Def Leppard. Singing throwback songs that everyone in the crowd knew really brought the energy to the next level and the party to life. Rice kept this party going by directly engaging with the crowd and having us sing along to “I Like Drinking, Cause It’s Fun.”

Chase Rice turned up the heat in the venue with a very seductive performance of his song, “Ride.” Pulling Lacey Cavalier back up front and serenading her center stage had every girl in the room jealous and wanting to be her.

After a lively duet with Ryan Hurd of Florida Georgia Line’s on the band’s hit song, “Cruise,” which Rice co-wrote, the show was reaching the end. Rice concluded the show with “Ready, Set, Roll.” Overall, the show was great and Chase Rice’s stage presence and vocals were definitely appreciated. Rice showed that he deserved to rise up from the small town county fair stage to EXPRESS LIVE! in the big city.