Singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly is finally getting to hit the stage again at one of his favorite venues to play – Birmingham’s Workplay Theatre. Kelly, originally scheduled to perform there on May 2, 2020, is, at last, returning to the Magic City for a show supporting his Shape & Destroy tour this Saturday, November 6 at 8 p.m. Read on to learn his favorite restaurant in Birmingham, his history with Alabama, and what to expect from Saturday’s show – and click here to grab tickets if you haven’t gotten yours yet.
About Town: What can fans expect from this show?
Ruston Kelly: What I’ve seen happen is fans come to get the experience they got out of listening to the record – whatever connection they had to it, whatever their favorite songs are. In addition to that, there will be a lot more energy and intensity that will make [the show] special. They’ll get exactly what they came for, and a whole lot more, as well.
Tell me about your history with Birmingham. Have you ever played here or visited here?
I’ve visited a couple of times. My family is pretty hardcore Roll Tide fans. We’d always make a stop in Birmingham on our way back from games. I really love Alabama. I lived in Mobile for a while as a kid. I’ve been in Birmingham a ton – I’ve never put any roots down, but I’m somewhat familiar with the area. I love Birmingham.
What do you love about playing in Birmingham, specifically at Workplay?
[Workplay] is a lot of fun. I’m excited to get back in that room – it’s such a great venue. It feels old school without being dated. Every room and every venue has a different energy that mixes with what you bring it. Every single time I’ve come and played there – and I’ve opened for a lot of people there – I’ve always loved it. I like the height of the stage and the pit in the middle. It feels way bigger of a room than its official capacity, which is amazing.
What’s your favorite food stop in Birmingham?
I’m like the worst at remembering names – it’s a Thai restaurant in Five Points…
Surin! I’m a huge Thai food fan. I was like “Wow, okay Birmingham…”
This show was delayed because of COVID. How good is it to be back on the road again?
It’s the best thing in the world. It’s my favorite thing to do. My craft is songwriting; the art form is performing those songs, to really see a lot of emotional subject matter and personal subject matter happen on stage. It’s my job to get up and bare my soul to a bunch of strangers and make it less about me and more about their experiences with it. There’s a special vibe in the room and I feel very honored to do this line of work, this vocation, this career. I am so thankful to be back.
Cover Photo Courtesy of Dreamland Theater