C2C 2016: Kacey Musgraves

P1010043“Welcome to the Country to Country Rhinestone Revue” exclaims a rather cheesy announcer, as a 5-piece band dressed in pink suits wander onto the stage to take their positions. Kacey Musgraves is in the building, folks.

You know what you’re going to get from Kacey; sass, glamour, and pure country music. We’ve seen Kacey on two previous occasions, and she never fails to deliver. She has built an incredible fan base this side of the pond and she sold out the Royal Albert Hall back in November, and her influence on ticket sales for C2C on the Sunday was clear throughout.

She kicked off her set with ‘Pageant Material’, the title track from her most recent album, which reached #11 on the UK albums chart last year. It doesn’t get any more ‘country’ than this; a mid-tempo, laid back, slide guitar-filled gem that had the crowd dancing from the first note.

The set list was packed full of fan favourites from her debut album ‘Same Trailer Different Park’ and ‘Pageant Material’. ‘Biscuits’ gave the audience an opportunity to get involved, with it’s sublime chorus and extremely catchy lyrics, whilst slower songs ‘Fine’ and ‘It Is What It Is’ showcased Kacey’s immense vocals as we all gazed in amazement at her talent.

A particular highlight was ‘Merry Go Round’, Kacey’s very first hit single. She recalled touring with Lady Antebellum in 2012, and how her UK fans instantly connected with the song. Her performance was one of those ‘goose bump’ moments, as the O2 Arena lit up with thousands of mobile phone lights. Not to mention Kacey’s truly stunning delivery of the song; three and a half minutes of beautiful music that will always be an all-time favourite of ours.

If we’re being picky, one complaint would be the amount of covers in the set. For an hour long show, three covers is perhaps one or two too many. Especially when gorgeous album tracks like ‘Somebody To Love’, ‘Dandelion’ and ‘Keep It To Yourself’ didn’t make the cut. Nevertheless, the covers were impressive to say the least. Who knew the Gnarls Barkley hit ‘Crazy’ could be turned into a country song? NEVER underestimate Kacey! Her rendition of the Disney classic ‘A Spoonful Of Sugar’ was sublime and had the crowd on their feet once more, and she finished with ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’, which has become a stalwart in her shows right from the beginning of her career.

A special mention has to be given to Kacey’s terrific band, who consistently deliver the goods and create her trademark old-style country sound with perfection. After 2 days of rather pop-infused ‘country’, the sounds of a slide guitar, banjo and mandolin were quite literally music to our ears.

It takes a brave artist to follow a certain Mr Stapleton (who blew the roof off the O2 just 30 minutes beforehand), but if anybody fits the bill, Kacey is that artist. You always know exactly what you’re in for, and you always walk away from her shows wanting more. An hour just wasn’t enough. It’s a credit to Kacey that she has stuck to her roots and refused to be drawn into the ‘mainstream’ country market, and her adoring UK fans prove that good old country music isn’t going anywhere. Bravo, Kacey.

Setlist:

Pageant Material
Biscuits
Silver Lining
This Town
Step Off
Family Is Family
Fine
It Is What It Is
Crazy (Gnarls Barkley cover)
Merry Go Round
High Time
A Spoonful Of Sugar
Late To The Party
Die Fun
Follow Your Arrow
These Boots Are Made For Walking