Outside The Blue Note Friday night, crowds lined up around the corner and down the alley waiting for doors to open. College students and families, some spanning three generations, waited excitedly outside the venue. The crowd sported cowboy hats, boots and flannel. A few concert-goers even copied the exact outfit worn in the video that rocketed the night’s performer to fame.
Mason Ramsey, known to many as the “yodeling Walmart kid,” became a viral sensation in 2018 when a video of him performing inside a Walmart blew up overnight. Since then, the 12-year-old has gained a massive following and signed with Atlantic and Big Loud recording labels. Ramsey has played on famous stages from Coachella to the Grand Ole Opry, and is now on the second leg of his “How’s Ur Girl and How’s Ur Family” tour. Columbia-area fans have long anticipated their chance to experience his talent.
Mason Fitzgerald and Rachel Lipsey came from Fayette, Missouri, to see Ramsey.
“I’m excited to see who comes out, like the age range,” Lipsey said. “I’ve seen a lot of children and families.”
Ramsey’s age gives him an innocence that drew in many younger fans. However, what he lacks in height and experience, many say he makes up for in vocal talent.
“I’m ready to see him yodel,” Fitzgerald said before the show.
As the start time drew near, the standing area in front of the stage became a sea of people working for the best view. Two openers joined Ramsey to warm up the crowd. Western singer Jenna Paulette performed a handful of twangy originals that had the crowd stomping their boots and clapping along. Later, Nashville singer-songwriter Ernest gave the crowd a mix of originals and tracks he has written for other artists like Morgan Wallen and Chris Lane.
As Ernest said goodnight and the crew worked to get the stage switched over, the crowd began to chant Ramsey’s name. Soon, someone lowered the mic stand for the pint-sized singer, and a giant banner bearing his name was unveiled. The lights lowered and the cheering rose to level that could surely be heard from the street.
Ramsey took the stage in a blue silk shirt and accessories larger than he was, from his hat and boots to his acoustic guitar. He opened with “The Way I See It,” immediately displaying a level of energy one would expect from a 12-year-old. Energy continued to be Ramsey’s theme for the night as the crowd swooned with every signature spin move and charming tip of his hat.
A large part of Ramsey’s story is his upbringing. Raised in rural Golconda, Illinois, by his grandparents, he had little exposure to technology, but a great deal to the country legends his family loved. The singer paid tribute to these influences through impressive covers like Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”.
The high point of the night, in fact, came when Ramsey belted out the classic that started it all, Hank Williams’ “Lovesick Blues.” The audience went wild as he yodeled the famous tune and displayed a power in his voice that was shocking for his size.
Ramsey engaged the audience all night, throwing out guitar picks and signed T-shirts and telling a few jokes. Everyone inside The Blue Note enjoyed themselves during the set and their cheers let Ramsey know.
To close the show, Ramsey welcomed Ernest back for a rendition of his recent release “Twang.” This, of course, left fans chanting for an encore. Ramsey took the stage one last time to duet his most popular hit “Famous” with Paulette.
Nobody left right away, taking time to soak in their experience with one of the most famous internet stars of the last few years. Eventually, concert-goers dispersed, all the while raving about the pure energy and talent Ramsey brought to the stage.
“I was actually impressed with his stage presence since he’s so little,” Claire Parker said following the set.
A packed Blue Note was fully entertained by the young star Friday night as he charmed crowds long past the bedtime most fans had at his age. Then again, Ramsey is clearly not the average 12-year-old, and his dynamic performance proved it.
Edited by Janae McKenzie | email@example.com