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C2C: Country to Country 2016 – Chris Stapleton live review

A masterclass in live performance from the enigmatic rising star.

Chris Stapleton
Credit: Decca

Once in a while you see a performance that absolutely blows your socks off and tonight at C2C: Country to Country 2016 that performance came from the enigmatic Chris Stapleton. The rising star, who has become a huge success in the US in recent months, keeps a very low profile and lets his music do the talking. As he took to the main stage at C2C, he showcased exactly why he’s the name on everyone’s lips when it comes to the cream of Country music.

Stapleton kept a bare stage accompanied by a small band and his wife Morgane Stapleton, who is also his backing singer. He proved quickly that he needs no gimmicks or theatrics as he has talent oozing from every pore. He kicked things off with Nobody to Blame and I’ve never heard an audience so quiet at The O2, attentively listening to every single word he sang.

The highlight of the set was a solo acoustic performance of Whiskey and You. The song sounded incredibly majestic despite its simplicity and it brought a tear to this reviewer’s eye. As Stapleton finished his performance, the audience went wild and Stapleton informed them that he was going to shed a tear himself soon as he was overwhelmed by the reaction he received.

Elsewhere in the set Stapleton performed the title track from his album Traveller, the emotive Fire Away, and the cheeky Might As Well Get Stoned.

The set came to a close with Tennessee Whiskey, the song that has blown up for him on radio and put him on the map. Stapleton’s voice comes straight from his soul and it’s impossible not to be moved by his passionate vocals.

Stapleton may keep a low profile but his music will make sure he’s an international superstar. Rarely does a talent like his come along and tonight was one of those nights that you felt like you were witnessing a piece of music history. This was Stapleton’s debut performance but I’ll tell you one thing for certain, he’ll be coming back to these shores for many more performances in the future.

Set List: 1. Nobody to Blame 2. Might As Well Get Stoned 3. If It Hadn’t Been For Love 4. Whiskey and You 5. Traveller 6. Fire Away 7. You Are My Sunshine 8. Tennessee Whiskey Performance Date: Sunday 13th March 2016

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