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Kip Moore Closes ToC Fest 2017 With Energy, Charisma [Pictures]

Kip Moore faced a bit of a challenge on Sunday night (June 11) at the 2017 Taste of Country Music Festival. Following the cancelation of Sam Hunt’s headlining set due to illness, Moore became the de facto headliner for the festival’s final night. But he was ready for it.

From the minute Moore stepped onstage, the singer captured the attention of the fans packed onto Hunter Mountain. “I know it’s Sunday, but y’all are still loose, right?” he asked the ToC Fest crowd a few songs into his set. He pitted the audience against each other — left side vs. right side — and made the fans “earn,” via cheers, the guitar solo that his guitarist played during “Backseat.” An early cover of Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” was well received; despite it being a country concert, most of the crowd knew the words and happily clapped and danced along.

“Somebody tried to unbutton my pants right there,” Moore shared after getting up close and personal with the crowd during “Fly Again.” He joked, “There was a small part of me that liked it.”

One of Moore’s oft-repeated in-concert shticks is to call out fans recording the set on their phones rather than enjoying the concert sans social media, and ToC Fest 2017 was no exception. The evening’s victim was an unsuspecting woman named Gina, whom Moore admitted “looks like she might kick my ass.” Still, a few songs later, Moore jokingly called her out by name again — all in good fun, of course.

Hits such as “Beer Money,” “I’m to Blame” and Moore’s newest single, “More Girls Like You” dotted his show. A brief cover of “Have a Little Faith in Me” bled into “Hey Pretty Girl,” which bled into another brief cover, this time of “Lean on Me.”

“It’s a good life hanging out with y’all every night, man,” the night’s final act said from stage, thanking the audience for their love and support. The crowd roared back at him and sang along to every word of “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck.”

No doubt, Hunt was missed — but you wouldn’t necessarily have known it by looking at the mountainside.

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