Yelawolf makes first tour stop in Knoxville

Southern rapper brings a party to Knoxville on his “51/50” tour

Thursday Sept. 21, the Cotton Eyed Joe concert series continued with Alabama native Michael Wayne Atha, aka Yelawolf, who made his first stop on his “51/50” tour in Knoxville.

With general admission tickets priced at ten dollars in advance, the Joe filled with people. Those in attendance stood extremely close together so they could be as close to the stage as possible.

The tour features three special guests as openers for Yelawolf. Cookup Boss opened up the show performing a few songs including “Dont Mean Nun 2 Me.” Mikey Mike followed with a slightly longer setlist that included “Cut My Hair” and “Going Charlie.” Big Henri did not perform any songs due to technical difficulties with his equipment.

IMG_0883Even though he did not perform, Big Henri introduced Yelawolf as he opened the show with “Empty Bottles.” Though the opening song was slow, Yelawolf immediately got the crowd amped up before the next song by introducing himself and the tour.

“Knoxville hasn’t seen what a real mosh pit is, so let’s show them one!” Yelawolf said.

He walked back and forth across the stage to make sure that every person on the dance floor could see him during the performance. He sprayed water bottles at the crowd, rendering them even more excited.

In the middle of his set, Yela gave a shoutout to Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, and asked if anyone had a best friend as he transitioned to his hit song “Best Friend” which features Eminem on his album.

Yelawolf continued his set with “Tennessee Love” and “Johnny Cash.”

While Yela performed mostly new songs, he performed a few hits from previous albums. He performed “Pop the Trunk” and “Daddy’s Lambo”  from “Trunk Muzik”, one of his first albums.

During one of the songs, Yela asked the crowd if they knew one of the verses and stopped rapping while the crowd continued the verse.  Then he, again, sprayed the crowd with water.

Yelawolf also performed “Let’s Roll,” “Till It’s Gone” and “Chevrolet.”

Yelawolf mixed up the pace of the show by singing some of his slower songs between the more upbeat and hard-hitting songs. From his “Love Story” album he performed “American You,” tying into his general American theme.

Yela mentioned little sayings like “this is America!” between songs. His interjections earned cheers from the crowd.

He finished his hour and a half set by thanking Knoxville for hosting him and his crew.

The “51/50” tour will be back in Tennessee on Oct. 8, 2017 for the “Slumfest” in Nashville.

Tickets can be purchased at:

Featured Image: Chelsea Babin

Edited by Lexie Little

Published online here


McGraw, Hill bring Soul2Soul Tour to Knoxville

Grammy Award-winning country music stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill took the stage of Thompson-Boling Arena Sept. 14, 2017 on their “Soul2Soul 2017” tour

For the first time in ten years, country music power couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill perform together on tour taking the stage in over 60 cities including a stop in Knoxville Sept. 14, 2017 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Thursday night’s performance filled the arena with dynamic lights, music and affectionate displays from the husband and wife duo. This is the third “Soul2Soul” tour for the couple following two record-breaking tours in 2000 and 2006-2007.

E61CFFEE-6E80-458F-95B5-FE77BBAE9EFDSinger Eric Paslay opened the show with a selection of his hit songs. He performed “Song about a Girl,” “She Don’t Love You” and  “Friday Night.” His guitarist played “Rocky Top” during one of his songs to engage the many Tennessee fans in the crowd.

McGraw and Hill spilt the show into parts: duets and solos. They started the show off by sharing the stage. They performed a new song, “Break First” ending in a staredown between the married couple. Hill won the contest, but she playfully insisted McGraw won. Small interactions like this contest occurred between songs for the duration of the show.


Before McGraw left the stage for Hill’s solo act, he began the LSU chant met with loud “boos” from Tennessee Vol fans. Hill and McGraw teased the crowd by suggesting they would sing “Rocky Top.”

Hill started her solo set by dedicating a song to the ladies in the audience, both “young and older.”

“It’s not gonna be easy, but you’re gonna do it,” Hill said.

Hill continued her set with hit songs like “This Kiss,” “Wild One” and “Piece Of My Heart.” Hill constantly interacted with the crowd blowing kisses to everyone and trying to touch hands with as many fans as possible.

“Y’all are so friendly, I just can’t stand it,” Hill said.


In transition to her husband’s solo set, Hill sat and played the guitar while her husband sang.

McGraw performed hit songs like “Shotgun Rider” and “Live Like You Were Dying.” He held the microphone out towards the crowd who sang the chorus.McGraw looked pleased and chuckled before continuing the next verse. He also performed “How Forever Feels,” “Where the Green Grass Grows” and “Humble and Kind.”

Hill rejoined her husband on stage to sing “Speak To A Girl.” Fans believed the show to be over after the couple sang “It’s Your Love” with a montage of their family photos in the D84A9620-D8FA-402F-A455-4296F9DB35E8background. After a few moments, Hill walked through the crowd singing “Mississippi Girl” and took pictures and gave hugs to fans. McGraw followed singing “Something Like That”  as he walked through the crowd.

The couple came back to the stage as they were elevated through fog sitting face-to-face to end the show with “I Need You” and a kiss.

The “Soul2Soul” tour continues until late October.

Edited by Lexie Little

Featured photo by Allie Chapman

Article photos by Chelsea Babin

Published at

Tennessee Smokies Proposal to Relocate Stadium

Tennessee Smokies owner Randy Boyd proposed last month to relocate the baseball team by 2019.

In the proposal sent to Sevierville and Sevier County, Boyd suggested the Double-A baseball team could remain playing in Sevierville through the 2018 season.

Boyd, the state’s economic and community development commissioner, recently purchased approximately 7 acres in Knoxville’s Old City for $6 million, fueling speculation he might bring baseball back to Knoxville.

A July 19 email from Sevier County Economic Development Executive Director Allen Newton cited information from Boyd and said a stadium in Knoxville would cost in the “$50 to $60 million range.”

Newton’s comments and Boyd’s proposal were in emails obtained by the News Sentinel via a public records request. Knoxville officials and Boyd began discussions on moving the Smokies to downtown Knoxville from Sevierville as early as 2014, emails obtained in a separate public records request show.

In the emails, Newton said he was “shocked” that “Knoxville and Knox County would even make a proposal to Randy Boyd Sports,” knowing significant years remain on the Tennessee Smokies lease in Sevierville. The lease expires in 2025.

BuzzFeed Editor is not a Science Cheerleader

Being a science journalist does not mean you have to be a cheerleader for science, according to science editor for BuzzFeed News, Virginia Hughes.

The Alfred and Julia Hill Lecture series hosted Hughes for its 24th annual lecture on science, society and the mass media Tuesday night.

Before becoming the science editor for BuzzFeed, Hughes was a freelance science journalist specializing in genetics, neuroscience, and biotechnology. Her blog, Only Human, was published by National Geographic; while, she had other articles published in a variety of places such as: the Atlantic, New York Times, the New Yorker, and Slate.

            Hughes lecture titled “In Defense of Clickbait,” covered the importance of making web journalism clickable, what it is like to write hard science journalism for BuzzFeed and how to bring science to new audiences.

“It’s not my job to be a cheerleader for science,” said Hughes, “frankly, because there is a lot more outlets that are great at being cheerleaders for science.”

Her and her team of reporters aim to focus on delivering science news in an unconventional way.

“We are much more likely to be interested in the story if it is showing something bad about science than showing something good,” said Hughes.

Hughes said there is no shortage of people covering the new discoveries and all the “gee-wiz” science, so she feels it is important for her team to go about what it covers in a different way.

“It’s not our job to give [the people] the truth it is to give them the news,” said Hughes.

While she expressed her goal of the way she chooses to cover science journalism, she also stresses the importance of making stories clickable on the Internet.

Hughes showed articles that contain clickbait headlines, some of which included February was the Warmest Month on Record or Mars Trips are a Scam.

            There are two different definitions of “clickbait.” One is in the Oxford Dictionary and the other is in the Marian-Webster Dictionary.

“I’m defending the Oxford definition of the word which strips away the negative connotations, “said Hughes, “For the Oxford dictionary, clickbait is content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click the link to a particular webpage.”

The more clickable the story is, the more traffic it will receive, according to Hughes.

With web-journalism becoming more prominent these days, it is crucial to use clickbait headlines.

Working for BuzzFeed News involves writing hard-hitting journalism as well as the personality quizzes.

According to Editor-in-Chief of BuzzFeed Ben Smith, “It is okay to write stories that people actually want to read.”

Hughes said that quote has stuck with her since she started working for BuzzFeed.

“Science is an institution just like any other human institution,” said Hughes, “It’s no different than politics or education; just like all of those things, it should be scrutinized and held accountable.”

Hughes wanted to leave aspiring journalist with the following piece of advice:

“Don’t make up your mind about a story before you report it out. Often stories surprise you and,” said Hughes. “If you think you know the story before you start, it can close you off to interesting [aspects]. Remember, journalists are not cheerleaders.”