Thursday, 20 March 2014

Country To Country

Country To Country
O2 Arena, London
15 March 2014
The C2C festival traditionally features a dazzling array of country music stars over two packed days. I was there for the first day of the festival and very enjoyable it was too.

'Whispering' Bob Harris was on MC duty. Appearing humble and proud, he was clearly delighted to hear the stars say how happy they were to be playing at the festival, and how London was now the 'new home of country music'.
We were treated to four excellent acts, with just a short break in between. It added up to approximately six hours of musical entertainment (not to mention the pop-up acts that had appeared virtually non-stop in the main part of the dome throughout the day).
Martina McBride was first up. She is a class act and we could have done with more than a 45-minute set. In amongst a pick of her own songs, she played a great new version of Suspicious Minds, from her forthcoming covers album.
The surprise package of the evening was undoubtedly Dierks Bentley. His energetic set was a real crowd-pleaser and I'm looking forward to exploring his back catalogue.
I'd originally booked my ticket on the strength of an appearance by the Dixie Chicks. They haven't done a lot together over the last few years so it was good see them back in action.

Set List

The Long Way Around
Truth no.2
Goodbye Earl
Sin Wagon
Cowboy Take Me Away
Wrecking Ball
Lubbock Or Leave It
Ready To Run
Wide Open Spaces
Not Ready To Make Nice
Hopefully there will be some new music from the Dixie Chicks in the not too distant future.

The Zac Brown Band were the headline act and they powered their way through the lengthiest set of the evening - about one hour and three quarters worth - with a determined statement of perception-busting modern country music, encompassing and positively embracing detours into rock and metal.
We were also treated to the world premiere of the video for the new Johnny Cash single, She Used To Love Me A Lot. It looked and sounded great on the big screen.

The countdown has already started towards the 2015 festival...!

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