C2C Day 2
After a full day of fantastic pop up artists the first to take to the main stage were Dan + Shay and after their hugely successful UK tour they were excited, nervous and emotional about taking to the main stage in the O2 Arena. They burst on stage with ‘All Nighter’ looking pumped to be there working all areas of the stage. On to ‘Stop Drop & Roll’ followed by a cover of Bon Jovi’s ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ which had the arena on their feet clapping along. Although Shay takes lead vocals it’s often Dan that does the talking. When you talk to him 1-1 he is very eloquent but at times it was tricky to understand him due to the speed he was talking, but I have no doubt that was due to excitement and nerves. He later told the crowd what a big deal this was for them and how nervous they were. Most of the show was high energy with the guys running from one side of the stage to the other but there were some moments that were very intimate and tender like the stunning No. 1 hit ‘From The Ground Up’ which had everyone singing along and the stripped back ‘Obsessed’ which Shay delivered flawlessly with vocals that wowed the arena. They finished on their hit song ’19 You and Me’ and gained a whole new wave of fans! Everyone in the arena looked like they were partying and ready for the next act.
Next up was Hunter Hayes and I know many people were excited to see him and he has a large following here in the UK. Hunter started his set with ‘I Want Crazy’ and I have to be honest it was a bit pitchy. As he went on to ‘Storm Warning’ I noticed people in the arena starting to sit down. Hunter told everyone how nervous he was feeling and I guess that showed in his performance. Hunter brought out one of the UK’s favourites & label mate Charlie Worsham for ‘Somebody’s Heartbreak’ with the two of them showing what amazing guitarist they are and sharing the vocals on the song. Hunter then did ‘Amen’ and his vocals here much stronger on these acoustic songs. people were clapping along to ‘Storm Warning’ then he did a beautiful stripped back version of ‘Wanted’. Honestly, I was a little disappointed with Hunters set, he is a fantastic musician & songwriter but I felt the nerves may have got the better of him which reflected in his vocals. The energy in the room had gone a little flat leading into Seth Ennis.
Seth had been seen quite a bit around the arena and was so thrilled to be playing the Yamaha stage. Although unknown to the UK I’m sure a lot of people will be checking him out now and it was lovely to hear his single ‘Woke up in Nashville’ live!
Darius Rucker instantly had everyone on their feet when he came out on stage to ‘Light Her Up’. The energy in the room was instantly back! On to ‘Radio’ and a crowd favourite ‘Southern State of Mind’ to which Darius waves at the crowd and shows off his little wiggle! Darius was totally relaxed on stage working the whole arena as he played his latest single ‘If I Told You’ followed by ‘True Believers’. He then took a moment to talk about how being a parent was the greatest job in the world which led into ‘It Won’t Be Like This For Long’ which is always a touching moment hearing Darius to sing it live. Darius then spoke about there being so much good music regardless of genre and said he wanted to sing a good song which led to him covering Garth Brooks’ ‘Friends in Low Places’. The crowd went wild singing along to every word. Darius said that it was a great song as was the next song as he launched into ‘No Diggity’. Back to his own songs with ‘This’ and ‘Alright’ after which he said “Let’s go a little old school” for ‘Hold My Hand’. Darius finished his set on the hugely popular ‘Wagon Wheel’ and the arena erupted singing along. Having seen Darius on each of his UK visits, it’s wonderful to see how much the UK love him and how comfortable and at home he now looks playing over here. He’s come a long way since he first stepped out on the O2 stage with Brad Paisley many years ago, and you certainly felt like you’d just witnessed a headline act!
Cassadee Pope took to the Yamaha stage and looked stunning in her jump suit, although I was slightly worried we were going to see a wardrobe malfunction. Cassadee’s duet with Chris Young won her an instant place in the hearts of the UK and it was lovely to see her singing her own songs like ‘Someone to Break Your Heart’ & ‘Stupid Boy’ live. She delivered flawless vocals and I hope she returns for a tour soon.
Onto the Headliner for the evening. The legend that is Reba; Reba has decades of hits and it must be so hard to pick from a huge catalogue for a set like this. ‘Fear of Being Alone’ & ‘One Promise Too Late’ came out early. As always Reba’s vocals were perfect and she shared funny anecdotes like shooting her first video and waiting for it to come on TV but they played Aretha Franklin instead. Reba has a lot of ballads in her catalogue which makes it difficult to keep everyone on their feet dancing however, when she played songs like ‘Ain’t Going Out Like That’ she showed that she can still rock an arena. She did a medley of some of her 90’s hits then told the story of growing up and the relationship with her father before singing the touching ‘Greatest Man I Never Knew’. Reba then went on to sing the lead single from her new album ‘Sing It Now – Songs of Faith & Hope’ called ‘Back to god’. She then eased into ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ to which many were singing along and doing the rugby anthem arm movements.
Reba gave us an insight to her relationship to Kelly Clarkson saying she was already part of the family because her son just made it legal which had people laughing. She then sung the Kelly Clarkson song ‘Because of You’. One of Reba’s biggest hits was ‘Does He Love You’ originally sung with Linda Davis (Hillary Scott’s mum) and for Linda’s role Reba’s long term fiddle player Jennifer Wrinkle took up the mantel and she certainly held her own with Reba. Reba rounded off the set with the theme tune from her hit TV show Reba called ‘Survivor’. She performed ‘Life Out There’ before returning to stage in a sparkly red dress for ‘Fancy’. Now I can’t write a review of this without addressing the issue of people leaving the arena. For me Reba is a living legend, you can’t deny that and it was a shame that by the time her set finished she was playing to at least a half empty arena. I partly understand it as after the high of Darius Rucker, Reba’s slower set didn’t quite hit the spot for many. I’ve been told that it was the same set she does in Vegas and I think it maybe needed tweaking to kick off with some rocking songs to capture the audience. It was a real shame for Reba but I get it, she is the consummate professional and a quality performer but I dare say maybe not the right fit for C2C!
I then went onto Building Six for the after party with Drake White and I can honestly say he really is a superstar in the making! Engaging, energetic and amazingly talented, I can’t wait for him to come back to the UK.
Leave us a comment and let us know what you thought of this line up…