C2C REVIEW: Carly Pearce – The O2, London

Credit: Graham Joy

It’s set to be another exciting year for Carly Pearce. With a new sophomore album on the way to follow up her hugely successful debut ‘Every Little Thing’, Big Machine’s rising star continues to develop her ever-growing fan base, and the UK fans had been waiting for her to pay us a visit for quite some time. There was clearly a lot of excitement about her C2C set, and I would say the arena was busier for her set than the openers on Friday and Sunday.

You can guarantee that Carly will bring the sass and a whole lot of energy to her performances, and she didn’t let us down at The O2. Kicking off with ‘Careless’ (albeit with a few technical issues) and the attitude-packed ‘Catch Fire’, she strutted around the stage with purpose and was evidently determined to leave a lasting impression. Vocally, there was nothing to question – her signature gritty delivery was on point and showcased with great passion.

‘Doin’ It Right’ has always been a huge personal favourite from her debut record so it was great to hear it live, as well as ‘Everybody Gonna Talk’ which brought out Carly’s sassy, care-free side once again. A few covers were thrown in along the way, too, which was unexpected for a short 10-song set list, but they certainly worked in her favour. ‘Man! I Feel Like A Woman’ cranked up the atmosphere (amazing how that intro can switch the mood of 20,000 people in a matter of seconds!), and a mashup of ‘Those Memories Of You’ and ‘Sin Wagon’ in a bluegrass style was a really cool, different moment. Probably the most recognisably ‘country’ section we saw all weekend!

Credit: Graham Joy

‘Closer To You’, her latest single, was also a highlight. This is a top drawer radio-friendly tune with a powerful, infectious chorus that will surely become a big hit if there’s any justice in the industry. And it really doesn’t get much better than ‘If My Name Was Whiskey’, Carly’s best song by a long stretch, which was just a wonderful performance and showed the immense potential that Carly has, given the right material.

She couldn’t leave us without a performance of her smash-hit breakout single ‘Every Little Thing’, when she asked the audience to “totally Lady Antebellum this place” and light the room up with phone lights. It really was a special sight, and to hear everybody singing along must have been a big career highlight for her. This was followed by ‘Hide The Wine’ to close the show, which is a fan favourite and went down very well with the C2C-goers.

An assured, confident performance from one of the genre’s most exciting rising stars and hopefully the first of many shows for Carly on UK soil.

Dan Wharton

Set List:
1. Careless
2. Catch Fire
3. Doin’ It Right
4. Everybody Gonna Talk
5. Man! I Feel Like a Woman (Shania Twain cover)
6. Closer To You
7. Those Memories of You / Sin Wagon
8. If My Name Was Whiskey
9. Every Little Thing
10. Hide the Wine