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Ricky Montgomery Takes on O-H-I-O!

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After being featured on the Bittersweet Daze tour last summer, Ricky Montgomery launched the new year with 27 new headline dates. The “Another Rick in the Wall” North American Tour 2024, primarily featured songs from his self-titled album, “Rick”.

My experience began in the photo pit five minutes before Ricky took the stage when I heard someone from the crowd yell, “Sarah?” As I turned around, I came face to face with an old friend from college, Haiden Moore. This same friend is who fostered my great appreciation for Ricky Montgomery, originally, and I had not seen her in two years. As Haiden and I quickly caught up with each other, we were able to reflect on how much we have grown in the last two years. In 2022 I had taken Haiden to her first concert ever and here we are in 2024 with Haiden at her second Ricky Montgomery concert that I just so happened to be covering with my first ever photo pass!

Here is what Haiden had to say about her experience on March 3rd seeing Ricky in Columbus:

“Ricky’s energy on stage is so contagious, and he has great chemistry with his crew. He seems like a really down to earth artist and attracts a similar fanbase, as I have met friends new and old through his concerts. I’ve seen him twice now, both times with my best friend, and it’s honestly becoming a tradition for us! I am looking forward to seeing him again in the future!”

Haiden Moore, Fan

In concluding my chat with an old friend, I tuned into the sounds and sights before me at KEMBA Live!

Buzzing with anticipation and anxiously awaiting Ricky Montgomery’s entrance, the crowd begins to repetitively chant “Ric-ky, Ric-ky” and “Rick, Rick, Rick!” It was 8pm on Sunday night when the lights began to dim, and a hush fell over the crowd. The stage was lit up in a beautiful swirl of white light against a curtain, highlighting the bands’ presence behind a white curtain. Moments later, Ricky walks through a cut out doorway on the stage, opening the night with his second most popular song on Spotify, Line Without a Hook. The energetic crowd stayed right on the barricade through every song, screaming every lyric and dancing their hearts out.

During Ricky’s set, the most notable moments came both during the performance of songs as Ricky would leave the stage and run by the barricade, and in between songs, when Ricky’s comedic personality came to light. When introducing the fifth song on the setlist, Talk to You, Ricky partook in banter with the crowd with a O H-I O chant, mimicking the Buckeye Fans chant during football season. It was also during this banter that he shouted out his drummer, David Cola, who is from Ohio.

Already gracing the crowd with his released songs and clever banter, Ricky took the experience a step further when he introduced and performed his ninth song. As he spoke about his favorite moments from performing his old and current music, Ricky said “Why not play the new stuff? So new it’s not even out yet!” Then proceeded to start the introduction to his upcoming release, Black Phantom.

Ricky Montgomery takes Ohio
Ricky Montgomery Kemba Live Ohio

Introducing his fifteenth and “final” song on the set list Out Like a Light, Ricky attempted to fake out the crowd, claiming there would be no more songs after it. Ricky and his band exited the stage, the crowd silent in anticipation and left wondering if that was truly the finale? The crowd then begs for an encore and screams Ricky’s name, after a few moments he returns! He did have us all fooled for a moment, and yet Ricky and the band took to the stage and began playing the encore: Sometimes I Need to Be Alone, This December, and the real finale Mr. Loverman.

Ricky Montgomery takes Ohio

While the show was over, Ricky Montgomery was not done yet. He stuck around the stage, grabbing a stack of paper airplanes from the side of the stage. Ricky had teased the audience earlier in the set, claiming that there might be a way to receive a signed setlist after the show, and here it was! He spent the next five minutes throwing paper airplanes made up of signed set lists into the crowd, waiting to see who caught them. When Ricky had ran out of airplanes, he thanked the crowd again “That’s our show. Thank you guys, get home safe! Goodnight!”

As I was exiting the venue, I was approached by two fans offering me a Ricky Montgomery friendship bracelet themed after the second to last song he played, This December. During the interaction, the fans shared with me that they had found Ricky Montgomery when his song, Line Without a Hook went viral on TikTok. While talking about their experience at KEMBA Live! tonight, one of the two fans shared that this was her first concert ever and “the best song from tonight was Out Like a Light” and that she loved the whole experience! I could not agree with them more.

Ricky Montgomery takes Ohio

As this was my second time seeing Ricky Montgomery, the commonality I found between both shows is Ricky is not only a great artist and performer, but he should most definitely add comedian to his resume as his crowd work is stellar. Everyone should experience a Ricky Montgomery concert at least once in their lives. Giving a special shout out to the creators of the post-show playlist that started with, You Make My Dreams (Come True) by Hall & Oates playing as Ricky and his band exited the stage, which truly captured the feeling we all had leaving KEMBA Live! Not only did Ricky put on a show worthy of remembering, but he also created a night for fans all over the mid-west and of varying ages to share and relate to.

The “Another Rick in the Wall” North American Tour 2024 still has several shows left until the last show on March 23 in LA. If you can’t catch him live on this tour Ricky did tease his next new song “Unknown Phantom” which is set to be released on March 15, 2024, for everyone to look forward to!

Show Date: 03.03.24 // Columbus, Ohio @ KEMBA Live! // Ricky Montgomery Takes Ohio
Photos & words by Sarah Magers

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sarah magers
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Favorite Artists/Bands: John Harvie, Noah Kahan, Charlotte Sands, The Wldlfe
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