Chase Rice visited his old stomping grounds on Tuesday (April 25), returning to the dive bar where he got his start as a performer.

He hinted at the gig on Twitter several hours before his appearance, writing, "In the mood to pop up and play some songs tonight at @Hes_Not_Here. See y'all around 8:30." The surprise show was at Chapel Hill, N.C.'s He's Not Here bar.

Rice played football for the University of North Carolina and learned to play guitar at the that bar years prior, while a student at UNC. He found himself revisiting the popular establishment nearly seven years after he moved to Nashville to launch his music career. He's Not here has even made its way into one of Rice's songs, "Carolina Can," where he sings of “faded blue denim on Franklin Street ... a He’s Not buzz and a house band beat.”

Rice was humbled by the turnout for his unexpected set, noting that "kids were jumping over walls trying to get in, singing every song."

“To see fellow Carolina students drop everything they had going on and completely pack He's Not out was one of the coolest things I've ever experienced in music," he says in a press release. "It's an unbelievable honor to know my music has had such an impact on the University of North Carolina. This was just a small bar that I used to go to because they had big blue cups full of beer for cheap, and now we’ve filled it with fans screaming my music."

The bar is known for its big blue cup — Rice has one with him every time he is on stage. Typically, he's the only one in a venue to have one, but on Tuesday night, that was far from the case.

“Last night, we ALL had them, held high, proudly singing ‘a He's Not buzz’ at the top of our lungs," he adds. "We finally got to bring it home to where it all started — where I learned to play guitar, where I wrote my first song after my dad died, where I went from an 18-year-old kid to a 22-year-old graduate who finally realized music was his dream."

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