My date and I were a little late to the sold-out show, and I was nervous we wouldn’t have a place to stand. They took our tickets at the door, and I looked up to see a sign on the doors in the lobby that explained the quiet nature of the concert, and to please be respectful. We entered the theater and found there was plenty of room, and as we took a comfortable spot to the right of the stage, we took in the atmosphere of Macon, Georgia’s charming Hargray Capitol Theater with Drew and Ellie Holcomb on center stage.
Drew and Ellie don’t always perform together, and usually not in such an intimate atmosphere either, but the You and Me Tour is different. The point of this tour is to provide an intimate experience with Drew and Ellie’s stripped-down vocals, which means that Drew’s band doesn’t join them for this bout on the road.
The night after their February 1st show in Macon, they played at Chattanooga’s own Walker Theater, prompting Drew to post a photo on Instagram of himself and Ellie, captioned “Always feels great to be in this city, but especially on a gorgeous TN day in Coolidge Park. See y’all back here for @moonriverfest this September.”
The Holcomb duo makes it evident that they love their roots (check out Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors’ song, “Tennessee”), but in addition to Georgia and Tennessee, this tour also took them to locations such as California, Texas, Seattle, Colorado, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, Indiana, North and South Carolina, and Virginia.
The tour began on January 25th (coinciding well with the January 11th release date of their new EP “Electricity”) and ends on February 24th— the perfect time slot for each and every show to feel relevant for Valentine’s Day celebrations, or to cater to the simple desire for lovely music in the midst of two of the dreariest winter months. The Holcombs met this desire well at their Macon show by engaging with the audience in a fun and loving way.
They sang their own classic love songs like “The Wine We Drink,” “Love Anyway,” “American Beauty,” and Drew’s self-proclaimed favorite, “What Would I Do Without You,” as well as their own renditions of classics such as Johnny Cash’s “I Won’t Back Down,” and Sting’s “Fields of Gold.” They talked to the audience throughout the show, sharing stories of their own marriage and funny encounters they’ve had with fans over the years, such as a fan handing their baby to Drew after telling him that “this kid was made to your music.”
To further emphasize this knack that the pair has for love songs, Drew recently wrote these lyrics in their new song “Electricity”: “He said I write too many love songs, I think he’s got it all wrong/The heart of any good love song is a cold heart gettin’ warm.”
The couple also made clear why they care about love for others so much when Ellie had the stage to herself for a few songs during the evening. She used this time to perform her own music, which dips further into the world of worship music, including her newly released children’s album “Sing: Creation Songs.” Before performing this part of the set, she explained why she cares about the music that she specializes in, attributing it all to Jesus Christ. There was no way to tell what percentage of the crowd were believers or non-believers, but there definitely were voices and hands raised in worship right along with her.
The atmosphere of the event as a whole, and the attitude of Drew and Ellie towards their audience, made the Gospel commentary that Ellie provided a comfortable and non-threatening element of the night. It was a bit like standing among a crowd of friends, with the duo bringing us to tears one moment, singing silly slapstick songs the next, and ending the night by standing on the edge of the stage together, offering the audience an acoustic rendition of Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again,” before exiting the stage after an encore.
The night ended with an overall feeling of peace and enchantment that can only come after hours of deep and smooth vocals like Drew’s, coupled with Ellie’s joyful, raspy-southern tone.