Just as the sun was starting to set, rising country star Kelsea Ballerini took the stage at the Clearwater Casino near Squamish, Washington. Young, energetic and all-smiles, Kelsea had a wonderful story before each song from her debut album, The First Time. The hit “Love Me Like You Mean It” was recently #1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay list. Kelsea headlined on the Next From Nashville Stage the Sunday before, during the Watershed country music festival at The Gorge.
It was a beautiful evening and setting for the show, with Puget Sound and Bainbridge Island as the backdrop. The casino is just a short ferry ride and drive from Seattle. During her final number, “XO” – the lead song on her album, the audience formed Xs and Os with their arms. After her set, Kelsea spent 10 minutes taking selfies with the audience and signing autographs. She wrapped up the evening by taking a few minutes to chat with Seattle-based country singer-songwriter Cassie Correlle.