Country To Country
O2 Arena, London
15 March 2014
'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'.
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.Dierks Bentley. His energetic set was a real crowd-pleaser and I'm looking forward to exploring his back catalogue.
Dixie Chicks. They haven't done a lot together over the last few years so it was good see them back in action.
The Long Way Around
Cowboy Take Me Away
Lubbock Or Leave It
Ready To Run
Wide Open Spaces
Not Ready To Make Nice
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.
The countdown has already started towards the 2015 festival...!