Saturday 7th March was a day that I’d been looking forward to for months. It was the Country 2 Country Festival at the 02 Arena in Greenwich. I am a massive Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line fan so I was delighted to find that they were playing here in the UK. Country music doesn’t seem to be that big in the UK, it’s much more niche so a lot of the bigger stars never make it as far as the UK. Id’ not heard of Country 2 Country but it has been running since 2013 and has had an impressive line up thus far.
I was a bit nervous because I was going alone but I needn’t have worried. It was a very friendly atmosphere and I wasn’t the only one on my own. As soon as I got to Stratford I knew that I was headed in the right direction by the number of cowboy hats and boots heading the same way!
Brandy Clark, Lee Ann Womack, Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line were playing. As I mentioned I’m a massive Luke Bryan and FGL fan. I wasn’t familiar with Brandy Clark’s music at all. I had heard a couple by Lee Ann Womack but wasn’t a big fan. I have to say though, by the end of the concert I was a convert!
Brandy Clark has a gorgeous voice and is beautiful in a natural, understated way. She sings about the darker side of life. I particularly loved ‘Take a Little Pill’ and ‘What Will Keep me Out of Heaven’. I immediately bought her album, 12 stories.
Lee Ann Womack was a big hit with the guys! She is beautiful in a much more obvious way and she knows how to work it! She seemed a lot more experienced, like she had been around for a lot longer. I enjoyed her, but not as much as the others. However, I have bought some of her albums since and enjoyed them.
After the show, I read some criticism of Luke Bryan and particularly Florida Georgia Line for not being ‘proper’ country music. The term banded around was Bro Country. I had to look this term up. Basically it has been criticised because of it’s subject matter – pick up trucks, painted on jeans (although Dolly Parton sings about painted on jeans in ‘why’d you come in here looking like that so it’s not a new thing) and ‘attractive young women’ according to Wikipedia! Country music purists cite it as a poor representation of country music.
This may be so but I enjoy it. People will like what they like and if others don’t like it then they probably shouldn’t listen to it. Bro Country or not, these kinds of artists appear to be drawing a younger crowd into the country music scene. Certainly from my point of view, I went there to see Luke Bryan and FGL but went away having heard different artists that I wouldn’t have heard had I not been there. I don’t know if my taste in country is pure or not but I like it!
Anyway I digress!
FGL were great! it was such a great atmosphere. The place was packed and most people were up and dancing – including me who doesn’t dance to anything….ever!! I knew the words to the songs and I sang along at the top of my voice. I was getting over a cough and chest infection but I still managed to sing along. I read somebody’s review who said it was like a Beastie Boys concert! Regardless it was such a good atmosphere. I loved it and would definitely go again!
But they were nothing compared to Luke Bryan…he was simply AMAZING!!! The arena just exploded when he came out. I thought a girl in the row behind me was going to expire! The atmosphere was indescribable. Hyped would be that best way I could describe. Almost everybody was up and dancing. At times the crowd drowned him out because they were singing along at the top of their voices. That man really knows how to work a crowd….and those hips!!! If they are not illegal then they damn well should be! They’d put Elvis to shame!! I’d love to see Luke Bryan play a full concert in the UK. I’d be right there!
Until then though, I will have to keep an eye on the C2C line up for next year!!!