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PARDI TIME AT THE TROUB

Before his first-ever gig (on 6/29) at L.A.'s iconic Troubadour, Capitol Nashville's Jon Pardi treated himself to two new axes at Guitar Center. He named one Hollywood and the other Sunset. A few hours later, he took the stage and blew the roof off the joint.

The Northern Cali native and Nashville transplant, whose second album, California Sunrise, is a triumph of gritty, honky-tonkin', old-school country with a healthy dose of ballsy guitar rock (and just bowed #1 at country and Top 5 overall), has attracted a following that can only be described as rabid. And the crowd that packed the Troub—on a Wednesday night, no less—came to throw down. They sang along with every word, danced and stomped, raised their drinks in the air and even uncorked some confetti party poppers. There was a distractingly high quotient of fine young women in cowboy boots whooping and hollering and dancing and posing for selfies with their girlfriends. It was, in other words, fantastically un-L.A.

Pardi is a master at working the energy in that kind of a room, aided by a superbly tight and spirited band and a terrific batch of tunes. Among the many highlights were Sunrise tracks "Cowboy Hat," "Out of Style," "Dirt on My Boots," "Paycheck" and "Heartache on the Dance Floor" as well as a healthy selection from his 2014 debut set, Write You a Song, notably the sublime "What I Can't Put Down," the timeless "That Man" and the anthemic "Chasin' Them Better Days."

Given the joyous racket Pardi and company can kick up—and the roar of approval it earned, even on a Wednesday night in uptight old La-La Land—it's reasonable to expect very big things.

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