It’s going to be a Louisiana Saturday night, featuring one of Louisiana’s favorite sons.
Laine Hardy, the Livingston Parish native and former “American Idol” winner, will return to his home state when he hits the stage inside the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales on Saturday, Aug. 21.
Dubbed “A Louisiana Saturday Night,” the Hardy homecoming performance is slated to run from 6-11 p.m. Along with Hardy, music lovers will also be treated to Frank Foster, another native of Louisiana.
This will be Hardy’s last scheduled performance this year in Louisiana, where the country singer was born and raised before leaving for the bright lights of Hollywood during his star-turning run on the 17th season of “American Idol.”
He is currently in the midst of a 40-stop nationwide tour in which he is headlining solo shows and performing with some of country music’s biggest stars. At the moment, the tour runs through Nov. 20.
Hardy’s other Louisiana performance came earlier this summer during a benefit concert for flood victims in Lake Charles. The show drew fans from nearby Mississippi, Texas, and Florida and as far away as Ohio and Michigan.
The tour was welcome news for Hardy when it was announced earlier this year. Other than a 20-stop tour in 2019 following his American Idol victory, Hardy went for months without any live performances, with many dates cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But that changed in mid-May when the singer kicked off with back-to-back shows in Florida. Since then, Hardy has been going back and forth across the country, bringing his Louisiana flair to “Hardy Party” fans across the nation.
He also snuck in a performance on ABC’s “The Bachelorette.”
In an email to The News, Hardy said the tour is going “incredible,” adding that he and the band have been “bouncing around all over the country playing fairs and festivals.” He rattled off some of the places he’s recently been to, such as Dewey Beach, DE, which he called an “awesome beach town,” and “Gorge and the Watershed Festival,” which was “beautiful.”
He also expressed excitement at being in front of fans again.
“Fans, fans, fans,” Hardy said when asked what he has enjoyed most about live performances.
But as much as he enjoys touring and seeing new places, there’s nothing quite like home, Hardy said.
Or his own bed.
“I love the road and seeing all the places we visit, but being able to be home and in my own bed after a show is priceless,” Hardy said.
In early May, Hardy, a graduate of French Settlement High, was named a new “Louisiana Ambassador,” an honor that was presented by Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser. During the ceremony, Hardy performed his song “Other LA” — one of several original songs that pay homage to his home state — for the audience at the National Travel and Tourism Week event.
As a Louisiana ambassador, Hardy will promote the Office of Tourism’s new advertising campaign as the industry tries to bounce back from the hit taken during the coronavirus pandemic.
One week after his show in Gonzales, the Louisiana Ambassador will head to Nashville to perform inside one of the most iconic venues in the world — the historic Grand Ole Opry.
Hardy, who will perform on the Opry stage on Aug. 28, called performing at the venue “a dream” when it was announced earlier this summer.
“Growing up listening to country music, playing the Grand Ole Opry has always been a dream of mine,” Hardy said at the time. “Stepping into that circle where so many artists I’ve loved my whole life have been, it’s really going to be a crazy and special moment for me.”
Along with touring, Hardy is putting the finishing touches on his debut album. He has already released numerous singles since the start of 2020, including “Ground I Grew Up On,” “Let There Be Country,” “Tiny Town,” and “Other LA.” His most recent single, “Memorize You,” was released in July.
Hardy stayed mum on any updates regarding the release date of the album, only urging fans to keep following.
“I want to say something so bad, but will just say ‘stay tuned,’” Hardy said.
Tickets for “A Louisiana Saturday Night” can be purchased at the following link: https://www.lamardixonexpocenter.com/event/a-louisiana-saturday-night-featuring-frank-foster-with-laine-hardy/.
For more information on Hardy, visit LaineHardyMusic.com or send a text to (225) 307-8214.