REVIEW: Kip Moore – UK Tour 2017

There are small gigs, big concerts, arena tours and then… there is Kip Moore! The man, the myth, the absolute LEGEND!

The South Georgia Country Rocker sure as hell knows what he is doing, not only with creating music that speaks to the soul, but when it comes to a live show, he gives you a high that I am pretty sure you will NEVER come down from!!!

Moore is currently gearing up to embark on the first leg of his Plead The Fifth tour, following the release of his highly anticipated, latest record ‘Slowheart’. Album sales went through the roof overnight and live show, after live show is selling out as quickly as the dates are released.

This last week, Kip and his devoted band of brothers ‘The Slowhearts’ have taken the UK by storm. Three of the four dates were completely sold out, with fans queuing outside venues from as early as 7AM, to guarantee one of the very few all important front row spots.

With support from the insanely talented Drake White and The Big Fire, this was inevitably going to be the show of the year… and the boys did not disappoint!

Opening the high-octane performances with Drake doing his best Indiana Jones impression, climbing up and jumping off stacked speakers during a rendition of The Beatles’ ‘A Little Help From My Friends’, the bar was set and the crowd was left pumped.

Ready for Moore!!!

After the quickest set change, the lights go down, the crowd get restless and out comes row after row of almost teen-like screams from the sea of women (and men alike!). Kip struts on to the stage, one hand around the neck of ‘big red’ (his crimson Gibson ES339) and the other pumped high with a clenched fist… Let’s get this party started England!

Opening with ‘Wild Ones’… the lights start to come up and the silhouetted, Blue Collar rocker lets the crowd have all he’s got. 90 Minutes of pure unfiltered, unrivalled passion and insane energy, Moore and his bandmates put on the show of a lifetime.

Now, I’ve seen him on several occasions in the US and now here at home in the UK and every time the Georgia native plays, it’s as if he’s playing for the last time. He leaves EVERYTHING he has on the stage, yet he always manages to bring something new to the party… And what a party it is!

That whiskey soaked gravel, heavy guitar riffs, Motown/Soul/Old School infused sound and the Springsteen-esque outfit is enough to bring any red-blooded woman to her knees. There is magic that comes from this guy’s concerts that you just can’t explain.

He leaves your soul feeling full and etches a little bit of himself onto your heart. Telling stories of his past, truths of hardships faced getting to where he is now, but never faltering on being true to who he is, not for a second.

“It has always been about the music and giving you the fans, what I got and still get from music now. I have never been in this for the fame or for money!” Moore said on stage.

He ripped through Birmingham on a Monday night like it was a Saturday and didn’t give a single shit about blowing the roof off of the place, and his ever-loyal fans were right there with him! Disclaimer – I had actually taken a week off, knowing what was in store. I feel for anyone who attempted to go to work after that!

Here comes the fun part… the boys now have 3 records to choose tracks from for the set list, we have no specific tour name and a packed house of hungry fans that have been waiting a year and a half for the return of the band. The only logical thing to do? Yes Kip, play a bunch of them all!

Moore played tracks from Up All Night, Wild Ones and the latest record Slowheart… and the crowd could not get enough.

‘Plead The Fifth’ had the entire room bouncing and singing every lyric back at the top of their lungs, Kip flashes a humbled smile as he scans the room and sees this for himself. “Let’s hear ya… Come on!!” and launches back into the chorus.

Mixing up the set each night with old favourites like Come and Get It, Fly Again, Up All Night, I’m To Blame, Backseat and sweet acoustic versions of Hearts Desire and Magic did not overshadow the introduction of Slowheart’s new material.

Kip laughs with the crowds, while some rowdy guys start yelling “Play Truck Kip”…

“Oh hell come on now, you know I’ve only had like what 4 hits? Y’all know I’m gonna be playing that.”

Night after night the packed houses were not only requesting (chanting!), but yelling back every word to Guitar Man, Good Thing, Sunburn, Bittersweet Company and The Bull!

Left reeling after nights one and two in Birmingham and Manchester, I had to take a day’s break before London – plus Glasgow had sold out months prior!

Tuesday night in Manchester, during the acoustic set of the show, Kip wanted to honour the recent passing of one of his (and my own) idols and greatest inspirations, Tom Petty. The crowd fell silent and in complete awe as he sang the most moving acoustic version of Learning to Fly that I have ever heard, accompanied by guitarist Adam Browder.

Keeping with the theme of covers, not something Kip does often, he debuted a stripped down cover of U2’s ‘Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ in Glasgow and again in London. I am so glad I got to witness this in London. Kip brought Drake White back out to take part and had each member of The Slowhearts sing the namesake line of the song one by one. Genuis!

Not only are they all extremely talented musicians, they can sing! The biggest surprise for me was Wigs (Eric Wigdahl- drummer). He sits behind the kit, keeping the circus in sync for the 90 minutes of debauchery, keeping himself to himself – I was stoked to see him front and centre! I’ve heard a rumour of them keeping this performance for the rest of the American tour, and I really hope they do! It’s different, stunning and shows exactly what a tight knit unit this band of brothers really are!

At no point during any of the set does he lose momentum, lack energy or flag. Halfway through Backseat, he and Manny take a seat and a chug of Kips’ regular bottle of Jack, while he shows new guitarist Dave Nassie off to the masses. Dave shreds like I’ve never seen and is a crazy humble dude, with incredible talent!

Drawing to the end of the set in each city, Kip brings out ‘Somethin’ Bout A Truck’ and the crowds go wild!! Running off as the track finishes and the stage falls into darkness, the crowds start chanting for more. This cannot be the end, we are NOT ready! Just ONE MORE SONG!

After a moment or two of the raucous fans stamping and yelling at the top of their lungs, the boys come back out to the stage… Kip, wearing his acoustic guitar (Monday and Tuesday) and finishes the show with Up All Night and Friday, wearing his cream electric in London, he closed with Fly Again. Two perfect songs to end the night with. He takes a bow with the entire band, pours a celebratory splash of Jack on the stage and leaves it right there.

Every single fan left wanting more… we can’t wait another 18 months!

Oh wait, that’s right, Kip doesn’t give a single shit for the rules and already told us that he will be one of the artists coming over for Country to Country in March! Now, he’s only an opener – A FREAKING OPENER – Kip Moore, an opener… no I can’t believe it either. Someone needs to have a word with the C2C organisers, but that is a conversation for another day!

Kip truly has a special connection with his English fans, he loves coming over with the band and playing to the crowds here. It seriously sucks that it is only once a year, but hell, we’ll take what we can get! Each time he comes back his fan base here has grown and grown again. We may be an underground culture, but I can guarantee, we will continue to grow with him.

All I have left to say on this is that, if you haven’t seen Kip Moore live… fix that – you haven’t lived! Come back soon boys, we miss you already!!!

Katie Hutchinson
@TravellingWilb