The announcement of Little Big Town as C2C 2018 headliners was met with a mixed reaction. This was their third appearance at C2C, and they’d also done two headline UK tours in between, which included a huge show at the Royal Albert Hall just last October. There were the usual moans and groans about a repeat act, but we all know what Little Big Town have to offer. I can’t think of many better bands to crank up the energy and finish the weekend on a high, and that’s exactly what they did.
They kicked off their set with an ethereal cover of the Elton John classic ‘Rocket Man’, which the foursome have recorded for the upcoming ‘Restoration’ tribute album. Right from the off, with the faultless harmonies and stunning visual effects, we were immersed and ready for 90 minutes of pure joy. They soon launched into the thumping ‘Drivin’ Around’ from their latest album ‘The Breaker’, before getting the party started with their mega-hit ‘Pontoon’. It may have been the end of a very long and busy weekend, but this crowd weren’t finished just yet!
Then, the beautiful Lori McKenna-penned single ‘Happy People’ received a warm reaction as soon as the intro kicked in. Every song of theirs feels like a country standard now, it’s classic after classic. Their back catalogue allows them to showcase so much diversity too; they can go from the gentle ‘Happy People’ straight into the rocking, anthemic ‘Front Porch Thing’, before bringing the pace right back down again for ‘When Someone Stops Loving You’. It’s a rollercoaster ride of a show with its punchy moments, its laid-back moments and its utterly spine-tingling moments.
My personal highlight was the section of the show where they walked to the ‘B’ stage at the back of the arena. ‘Bring It On Home’ has always, and will always be, my favourite Little Big Town song and it’s always such a pleasure to experience those killer chorus harmonies live. We were also treated to performances of ‘Sober’ which had the masses singing along, as well as the gorgeous ‘Your Side Of The Bed’ which they very rarely perform live nowadays (such a travesty that this song didn’t do anything on country radio!). But the moment that everyone will remember most was their rendition of ‘Wichita Lineman’, taken from the CMA Awards in November. It takes a brave bunch to attempt such an iconic classic, but they’ve completely made it their own; you could have heard a pin drop in The O2. No words can do it justice.
Returning to the main stage, they cranked up the volume once again for ‘I’m With The Band’ which morphed into ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’, and ‘Save Your Sin’ which is about as heavy as Little Big Town can ever be. The ‘Painkiller’ album is still one I go back to frequently – the quality of that project was simply immense and it provides many of the high points in the live show. ‘Day Drinking’ is always a crowd favourite (I guess there had been quite a lot of day drinking in the hours previous!) and ‘Stay All Night’ is another killer anthem.
Of course, they couldn’t leave us without a performance of ‘Girl Crush’ which received the loudest reaction of the night, and Karen delivered the vocal effortlessly. They finished the show with ‘Boondocks’, leaving the stage to a standing ovation from the roaring crowd who just didn’t want the night to end. They can come back as many times as they like for me; one of the best live acts in our genre and they smashed it out of the park.
- Rocket Man (Elton John cover)
- Drivin’ Around
- Happy People
- Front Porch Thing
- When Someone Stops Loving You
- Little White Church
- Bring It On Home
- Your Side of the Bed
- Wichita Lineman (Glen Campbell cover)
- I’m With the Band/With A Little Help From My Friends (The Beatles cover)
- Save Your Sin
- Better Man
- Can’t Go Back
- Day Drinking
- Stay All Night
- Girl Crush