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C2C: Country to Country 2018 – Midland live review

The trio lived up to expectations as they opened the Main Stage on the final day.

Midland
Credit: Big Machine Records

Fresh from their performance at the Big Machine UK showcase earlier in the week, Midland made their first proper live appearance in the UK today opening the Main Stage for the third and final day of C2C: Country to Country. The trio topped the charts in 2017 with their debut single Drinkin’ Problem and won over the critics with their debut album On the Rocks. Embracing a more traditional sound than a lot of contemporary Country acts, Midland have carved a niche for themselves and they’re winning over hordes of fans with every passing day. Anticipation for them is so high that their headline show at Omeara (Monday 12th) sold out in 15 minutes.

Anticipation was really high for Midland and they had a lot to live up to. Demand for the band to perform here in the UK is high and thankfully they didn’t disappoint at The O2 Arena. In fact they were even better than I expected and they are one of those bands that are best experienced live. In their trademark outfits, Midland kicked off their set with Check Cashin’ Country, a song that is in part an answer back to their critics who like to try and say the band aren’t authentic. Within seconds of being on stage it was clear that Midland are the real deal. As a band they were super tight and those harmonies… man they killed it.

Over the course of their 40 minute set, Midland really packed in the tracks. This Old Heart, one of the highlights from On the Rocks, was an early highlight and the acapella section in the middle was phenomenal. There’s something magic about the way the three band members come together on their harmonies, and they sounded flawless. The strong vocals continued throughout the set as they performed album tracks including At Least Your Cried, Burn Out and the cheeky Altitude Adjustment.

In the middle of their set, Midland performed some classic tracks including Tom Petty’s American Girl, a mash-up of John Mellencamp’s Jack and Diane and David Lee Murphy’s Dust on the Bottle, and Alabama’s Dixieland Delight. They sounded great on all of the tracks and you can tell music, from many genres, is in their blood.

They saved their two singles until the end of the set. Make a Little, a song that is so infectious that you can’t help but dance to it, was first up and it took the atmosphere in The O2 to the next level. That was followed by the band’s debut hit Drinkin’ Problem and they asked the audience to put the lights on their phones for the duration, which they did with no hesitation. It was the perfect end to a storming set and Midland definitely warmed the crowd up for the rest of the day.

Having seen them do a longer set, I’m sure that Midland won’t be struggling to sell out tickets for their tour later in the year. If they return to C2C they’ll definitely be higher up the bill and I don’t think it’ll be too long before they are considered to headline. With tight musicianship, a fantastic stage presence and plenty of rapport, Midland are the real deal and one of the most exciting bands in Country music right now.

 

Set list: 1. Check Cashin’ Country 2. This Old Heart 3. At Least Your Cried 4. Burn Out 5. American Girl 6. Jack and Diane / Dust on the Bottle 7. Dixieland Delight 8. More Than a Fever 9. Altitude Adjustment 10. Make a Little 11. Drinkin’ Problem Performance date: 11th March 2018

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