C2C Arena Day 1
Traditionally, the first slot is used for newer artist but this year C2C kicked off in style with a well established name. Jennifer Nettles formally of Sugarland, has a wealth of hit’s under her belt not only from Sugarland but 2 amazing solo albums too.
She came out on stage to a recent single, ‘Playing with Fire’ and looked amazing in her black sparkly dress. It was nice to see that despite the delays in getting into the arena due to tightened security, the arena was almost full already. Onto a favourite of any Sugarland fan ‘Baby Girl’. It was wonderful to hear Kristian sing this at the CMA Songwriters Series and then Jennifer in the arena. Going on to her latest single, which in my opinion is Jennifer’s best solo single to date, ‘Hey Heartbreak’. This had people up dancing and singing along. ‘Unlove You’ really showed off Jennifer’s vocals. Jennifer was engaging with the crowd, telling them stories and rolling from one song to the next, from upbeat songs like ‘Can’t Stay Broken’ to stunningly intimate songs like ‘Stay’. She even threw in a Tears for Fears cover ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’. She finished her set with ‘Gotta Be Something More’ leaving everyone applauding and ready for the weekend.
Chase Bryan then took to the Yamaha stage and seemed confident and comfortable joking with the crowd. ‘A Little Bit of You’ & ‘Take It on Back’ gave Chase a chance to showcase his vocals and incredible upside down guitar skills to the arena.
Back to the main stage for Chris Young. He came out to the punchy ‘Underdog’ and with 9 number 1 songs under his >belt there was no shortage of material he could pull upon. The crowd was thrilled to hear ‘Getting You Home’. Chris took short moments to tell the crowd stories like singing ‘Who I Am with You’ at his friend’s wedding, so it’s a special song to him. When Chris sang ‘Aw Naw’ he explained that if it had a second home it would be here. The crowds love Chris and it was clear that Chris was loving being on the main stage again and having a larger set than last time. Chris then explained his love for Keith Whitley before covering ‘When You Say Nothing At All’ to which the arena was singing along with their lights in the air. The moment that many had been eagerly anticipating was ‘Think of You’. Chris started the song and everyone waited to see if Cassadee would join him. Of course, the crowd went wild when she walked on stage, Chris said “As if I wasn’t going to bring her out!” When singing ‘You’, Chris told the story of when he struggled to hit the note on Good Morning America to which everyone was laughing; Chris laughed so much he had to take a moment before of course hitting the final high note of the song. The final songs were ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Neon’ finishing on the No.1 hit ‘I’m Coming Over’. Chris has a special relationship with the UK and the arena showed him lots of love with clapping and foot stomping as he left the stage.
Cam was ready and waiting on the Yamaha stage in a stunning sparkly outfit for her songs ‘My Mistake’, ‘Half Broken Heart’ and of course her No.1 hit ‘Burning House’. Cam’s vocals were stunning and she is so sweet you can’t help but love her.
Then onto the Headliner for day 1 Brad paisley. Brad burst onto stage with ‘Crushin’ It’. Brad looked pumped and speaking to him before the show he said how excited he was to be back at C2C. Unfortunately, Brad seemed to be having guitar issues getting his guitar tech to change his guitar 3 times before ditching the guitar temporarily. Brad then joked about how lovely it was to be back in this room with all the funny talking people. He said he’d been flying for 12 hours so he was going to play for as long as possible. For the early part of the set it seemed that Brad was plagued with sound issues but as the true professional he is, it didn’t affect his performance. By the time he got to ‘Perfect Storm’ the issues seemed have sorted themselves and Brad relaxed. Moving onto ‘Online’ Brad had updated the words to cut our Myspace for Facebook page which was a nice touch. He laughed and said we were all the British equivalent of hillbillies. He then sang the poignant song of ‘This is Country Music’ to which everyone was singing along. At this point in the show he took out a pen, signed his guitar and gave it to a young girl in the front row saying “That’s how you create a new Taylor Swift” – the young girl looked totally shocked!
Then the first surprise of the night ‘I’m Still a Guy’ saw Paisley’s friend and label mate Chris Young join him on stage to sing. Paisley took the lead again for ‘She’s Everything’ which he stripped back to guitar and vocals. Chase Bryant then joined him on stage to show off his insane guitar skills. Chase did not look phased or daunted at all by playing with Brad and the two jammed seamlessly.
No Brad Paisley show would be complete without humorous videos and this came during celerity where the video was from the TV show ‘South Park’. Brad then walked through the crowd and took to the Yamaha stage joking how it smelt funny back there. A beautiful moment followed with Brad singing his ballad ‘Then’. He then asked if we wanted to hear something new. The song he showcased was one about selfies, Brad is known for his novelty songs and this shows Brad on good form; everyone was laughing at anecdotes like “Texting pictures of our little Vernon Kay”. After the performance, Brad said “This may be my favourite place in the world right now!” A few songs later and Brad started singing ‘Remind Me’ and I figured Cam or Cassadee would come out and sing Carrie’s part but no; it was Carrie via Facetime (yes, it was more than likely pre-recorded but that didn’t detract from it).
After ‘We Danced’, ‘Laughing All the Way to the River Bank’ and ‘Mud On the Tyres’ , Brad took a moment to explain how the crowd let him be a part of their memories and in turn some of his greatest memories were because of them, adding that he will never forget this moment – this led into the current single ‘Today’ to which the current date was projected on the screen which was a nice touch. The room exploded with energy for ‘The Mona Lisa’ which was Brad’s final song leaving the stage to cheers and everyone still singing. Brad returned to the stage for ‘Alcohol’ and singing to the side of the stage was also Dan Myers from Dan & Shay, Chase Bryant, a few CMA board members and Brad’s own agent!
Brad always puts on a great show and makes the perfect headliner for C2C. I’ll admit I found the set a little samey to his previous C2C headlining show but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a fantastic high energy, interactive and fun show where Brad enthralled the crowd!
For anyone still wanted to party, Building Six hosted Cam & DJ Bad Ash. Cam again showed off her fun style with stunningly flawless vocals however, DJ Bad Ash hadn’t quite gauged her crowd yet meaning many left early. The Indigo hosted the late-night show with Canaan Smith and although I didn’t attend this one I was told it was a great way to finish the evening!