Kelsea Ballerini is currently in the midst of her Heartfirst Tour, and during a stop at Chicago’s Rosemont Theatre on Saturday night (Oct. 1), the singer had a very special surprise in store: She brought out her longtime friend and duet partner Carly Pearce for a surprise onstage rendition of “You’re Drunk, Go Home.”
“I did say I love this city,” Ballerini told the Chicago crowd from the stage before revealing her special guest performer. “And I have to do something to make it a little bit extra special for you guys. Give it up for Carly Pearce!”
With that, Pearce emerged onstage and immediately launched into her verse of the song, which appears on Ballerini’s new album, Subject to Change. The studio version of “You’re Drunk, Go Home” is actually a trio, with Kelly Clarkson also contributing vocals.
Fan-captured video shows the special moment — and the crowd’s roaring response — as Pearce appears and the two women perform a rollicking live rendition of their song. Pearce and Ballerini shared a hug before Pearce left the stage and Ballerini continued her set.
Ballerini shared a photo recap of the night on social media, including pictures of her live duet with Pearce. “What a special night y’all,” she wrote. “This tour just keeps getting more and more magical.” Pearce commemorated the moment on her social channels, too, revealing that she gave up her first free weekend in quite a while to make it to the show.
“What do I do on my first Saturday off in months? Run to [Ballerini],” she wrote, along with a photo from the night.
But Ballerini and Pearce aren’t just duet partners — they’re close friends who have supported each other since the early days of their careers, and came of age in the music business at around the same time. Pearce previously told Taste of Country that “You’re Drunk, Go Home” marks the first time another artist within the country format has invited her to be a guest star on their record, and their personal connection made the experience even more special.
“I love Kelsea. I’ve loved Kelsea for years,” Pearce added. “…You have very few real friends in this industry, and she’s one of mine.”