It had been a long time since Margo Price sang in Moline.
“The last time I was here was 20 years ago,” Price said, from the TaxSlayer Center stage on Thursday. “I was singing the national anthem at a Mallards game.”
Price, who was 14 at the time, made the short drive from her home in Aledo, Illinois, to the Moline arena, which was then called The Mark of the Quad-Cities.
Things have changed.
Price opened up for country star Chris Stapleton on Thursday, the first concert with the venue’s new name in effect. It officially changed from the iWireless Center to the TaxSlayer Center on Oct. 1.
“I grew up 30 minutes from here so it feels real good to be home,” Price said to a packed house. “That’s right, Aledo, Illinois.”
Just under 8,500 people attended the 10,000-capacity show, according to Stephani Nagle, the arena’s director of marketing and public relations. Singer-songwriter Brent Cobb performed before Price.
After studying at Northern Illinois University, Price moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where she currently lives. The singer eventually burst onto the country music scene with the release of her March 2016 album, “Midwest Farmer's Daughter.” She has since appeared as the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” and shared stages with Willie Nelson and Loretta Lynn.
During her set, Price played a sample of her well-known hits, such as “Hurtin’ (On the Bottle)” as well as a new single, “A Little Pain,” featured on her soon-to-be released album, titled “All American Made.” It’s due out on Oct. 20.
Both Price and the night’s headliner, Chris Stapleton, honored Tom Petty with covers of “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” and “Learning to Fly,” respectively.
After learning of the rock legend’s passing on Monday, Stapleton told the crowd that he “just drove around in my car and listened to his songs.”
“I couldn’t believe he was gone,” Stapleton said.
The country crooner last performed with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers this summer, joining the band on its 40th anniversary tour stops in Chicago and Milwaukee.
“He said I hope we get the opportunity to do this again sometime,” Stapleton said. “I left there thinking that we might. I sure am sad we’re not going to get to.”
Early in his set, Stapleton dedicated one of his hits, “Broken Halos,” to the Las Vegas shooting victims.
“We’re here in defiance of evil things like that,” he said.
Stapleton is slated to continue on his “All American Road Show” tour with special guest Brent Cobb through Nov. 18. Other guests include Brothers Osborne and Marty Stuart.
Price joined Stapleton on Friday at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines and today at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, before moving on to her own headlining tour in January.