Sam Hunt Gets Nostalgic Playing '23' At The 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival

By Kelly Fisher

September 19, 2021

Photo: Greg Noire for iHeartRadio

It’s “Hard to ForgetSam Hunt after his set at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas on Saturday (September 18).

Hunt made sure of that with his first song of the night. Projecting beach vibes at the start of his set, the country crooner started with the 2020 hit, calling out a girl who's “breakin' my heart / Baby, you're playin' hard to forget.” It wasn't long before Hunt upped the energy even more with one of his first singles: he launched the crowed into a massive, arena-sized “House Party.”

Fans also got to hear Hunt's newest single, “23,” which released earlier this month. Introducing his latest song, Hunt opened up to the audience about feelings of nostalgia over the last year and a half. That's why “23” reflects on an old flame after moving to the next stages of life. Hunt serenades: “No matter where I go, no matter what I do / I’ll never be 23 with anyone but you / You can marry who you want / Go back to Tennessee / But you'll never be 23 with anyone but me / We'll always have Folly beach / We'll always have delta nights / We'll always be in-between real love and real life”

Hunt mixed the sentimental new song into his set at the iHeartRadio Music Festival with other fan-favorites, including two smash breakup anthems — “Breakup in a Small Town” (with “Drinkin’ Too Much” mixed into the performance) and “Breaking Up Was Easy In The '90s” — and finishing his set strong with “Body Like a Back Road.”

The “Leave The Night On” singer dropped his latest album, Southside, last year. It was a highly-anticipated collection following his debut with Montevallo in 2014. Though he just released a new album in 2020, Hunt hasn’t stopped making music: he’s also been teasing fans on social media with snippets of unreleased songs, including “Sometimes You Gotta Start Nowhere” and “Came the Closest.”

Hunt was one of several artists to perform at the iHeartRadio Music Festival on Saturday night. Others in the star-studded lineup include Billie Eilish, Coldplay, Lil Baby, Khalid w/ Tate McRae, and Journey. Earlier in the day, the Daytime Stage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival presented by Samsung Galaxy featured 24kGoldnRussell DickersonGabby BarrettTate McRaeConan GrayYungblud, All Time LowSaweetieThe Kid Laroi and Olivia Rodrigo. Night 1 kicked off Friday (September 17) with Dua Lipa, Cheap Trick, Walker Hayes, FINNEAS, Darius Rucker, Weezer, J. Cole, and Nelly featuring Florida Georgia Line.

If you missed any of the action this weekend, you can relive the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival by tuning in to The CW Network on Saturday, October 2nd and Sunday, October 3rd from 8-10pm ET/PT for a two-night television special.

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