With the CMA ‘Song of the Year’ in ‘Buy Dirt’ and new album, ‘Bluebird Days’ under his belt, the appearance of Jordan Davis at this year’s C2C festival was one of the most eagerly awaited of the whole festival. Davis was due to appear at the fated 2020 festival that got shut down due to the pandemic at the last minute. He was on the plane over as it happened and had to turn right back around again.
So here we are, three years later with Davis being able to perform for UK crowds again. Those three years have been important to him as an artist as it has given him the time and space to mature and really find his lane as an artist. ‘Buy Dirt’, ‘Fishing Spot’, ‘Next Thing You Know’ are all songs from new album ‘Bluebird Days’ that position Davis in the market as an artist of meaning and worth and anticipation was high for his C2C performance in London.
A lot has changed and evolved for Jordan Davis since we last saw him in the UK and one of those things is what has happened to this talented writer as a performer on an arena stage. What we saw tonight was super-sized Jordan Davis giving an amplified performance worthy of a rock festival. The amps were definitely turned up to 11 for show opener ‘What My World Spins Around’ and Davis continued to entertain on songs like ‘Damn Good Time’ and ‘One Beer in Front of the Other’.
A very piano heavy ‘Lose You’ built up to a cracking guitar solo and an elongated outro where both instruments almost duelled with each other! ‘Almost Maybes’ was delivered in a similar way: loud, rocky and bombastically fun. This track got a great singalong from the crowd too but perhaps the biggest change came on ‘Detours’. Davis began the song by speaking to the crowd about meeting his wife and how ‘I wasn’t the best guy before I met her’ before beginning the song acoustically with himself at the front of the stage. The rest of the band kicked in after the first verse and by the end we were in epic, festival mode with chunks of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ being interwoven between the original song as the guitarists on stage ran wild with the shapes and the chords!
Other songs seemed louder than their album origins too. ‘Part of It’ was a bigger, more anthemic version than its recorded sibling and ‘Need to Not’, with it’s huge drums was turned effortlessly into an arena anthem. ‘Take it From Me’ was always going to slay, as was ‘Singles You Up’ and both tracks didn’t disappoint in terms of enthusiasm and energy.
In the midst of the bombast, Davis still treated us to some tender moments. ‘Slow Dance in a Parking Lot’, ‘Next Thing You Know’, Tucson Too Late’ and ‘Buy Dirt’ were all delivered with the raw emotion and gravitas they deserved. ‘Next Thing You Know’ is a nailed-on number one hit for Davis in this particular cycle of his career whilst ‘Tucson Too Late’ contained some lovely, tasteful and refined Eagles-vibes that suit Davis’ style and sound.
The set ended with ‘Buy Dirt’, as you would expect. Davis spent a chunk of the song looking around the wider environs of the arena with a great big grin on his face and the song culminated in a big a cappella sing along with both Davis’ and the crowd’s vocals echoing around the O2 arena.
This was a confident, assured and ballsy performance from Jordan Davis. Not afraid to rock out when needed whilst also being able to sing about loss, love, life and learning on his more emotional songs, Jordan Davis has taken a big step up into the majors in terms of arena performances and he now has some serious muscle lurking with intent behind all the melody that we’ve known about for years.
Set List: 1. What My World Spins Around 2. Singles You Up 3. Damn Good Time 4. Slow Dance in a Parking Lot 5. One Beer in Front of the Other 6. Next Thing You Know 7. Lose You 8. Almost Maybes 9. Detours 10. No Time Soon 11. Money Isn’t Real 12. Tucson Too Late 13. Part of It 14. Need to Not 15. Take it From Me 16. Buy Dirt Venue: O2 Arena, London Date: Friday 10th March