Jan. 13—Country star Lee Brice has performed many different kinds of concerts during the pandemic and this weekend adds a virtual show at Ballpark Village.

The show will feature Brice and Maren Morris in separate, recorded performances to be shown on the big screen at Fox Sports Midwest Live!

Support act the Big Rigs will perform live onstage. DJ Whiskey Pete will close out the evening.

Brice is excited to be playing music while helping to keep his fans safe.

"It's been different, but heck, you gotta roll with the punches," he says. "It's very difficult when you have to play to a camera, whether I'm with myself or my band, but it's what I gotta do and what I learned to do."

When performing for a virtual audience, he notes, "there's no energy coming back from a camera. I had to learn to trust people still love music and want to get it any way they can."

Brice still speaks directly to fans in this format, "though it's a pretend thing," he says. "But it's also not a pretend thing. You're gonna have a good time."

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The show will be filmed in Nashville, Tennessee, but he promises fans will feel like they're at a live concert.

Brice, who performed in 2016 at Fair St. Louis, wasn't content to just sit still and wait for the end of the pandemic. He's been performing live for fans, following safety guidelines. At Ballpark Village, masks are required when guests are not seated or eating or drinking.

"I've done a ton of shows, a lot of different things, a bunch of virtual stuff and stuff on the road, spaced-out shows, private shows," he says. "This is what I do.

"'Can't' isn't in my vocabulary. I can't not work. I gotta be able to do something. But I'm not going to do anything that's going to endanger anyone."

One of his first pandemic shows was on a golf course. Most recently, he performed a New Year's Eve show in Daytona Beach, with an audience of hotel guests watching from beachfront balconies.

Through it all, the biggest blessing has been more time spent at home with his wife and children. He's been able to catch some of the small things that he otherwise may have missed. He vows to spend more time at home when things get back to normal.

Brice was also able to spend more time writing and finishing his new album, "Hey World," released in late 2020. "Hey World" is Brice's follow-up to 2017's self titled album and features "One of Them Girls," "Memory I Don't Mess With," and "I Hope You're Happy Now" with Carly Pearce, along with the title track.

Brice says "Hey World," his fifth album, lets listeners know who he is.

"If you look at my albums, they've always been a progression of who I am," he says. "I'm growing as a husband, a daddy, a man, an artist. It's a snapshot of who I am, what I believe, how I wanna live. That's what all my records are."

Brice says less than half of "Hey World" was tracked before the pandemic, and he had to rethink how to finish the project. He pieced together the album from his home, swapping vocals and music among his musicians and producers.

"We had to do the rest of the record like that, where you send stuff to somebody and they send it back," he says. It's a slower process. But it was really cool to be able to put together a record slower and make sure everything felt just right."

Brice let go of some control of "Hey World" and encouraged his producers to do their jobs.

"(Co-producer) Ben Glover is freakishly talented," Brice says. "I let Ben do what he does. The record is so crazy and tight. People all day long are saying it's the best record I've ever done."

What Lee Brice, Maren Morris, Big Rigs, Whiskey Pete — When 7 p.m. Jan. 16 — Where Fox Sports Midwest Live! at Ballpark Village, 601 Clark Avenue — How much $10; upgrades available (benefits HEROES Care) — More info stlballparkvillage.com; eventbrite.com


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