Day 1

C2C 2016 extends on 3 days for the first time. The unique event is organized by the O2 London and SJM Concerts in association with the Country Music Association. The first edition of Country to Country in 2013 was already a huge success and this year more than 60 000 persons have been satisfied by the line-up, with also more newcomers playing in the bars after the shows on the main stage.


First on the bill is Thomas Rhett who began with "Up all night" for a perfect launch of the event, very difficult to stay seated, then "Make me wanna" among his hits. Thomas Rhett has divided his show in two parts, the first being dedicated to his taste for contemporary country, the one who attracts the young listeners. In the afternoon, I asked a question to Thomas Rhett. I wanted to know if he confirmed Tom Petty as part of his big musical influences, and Thomas did. In the second part of his show, he stayed solo to perform "Beer with Jesus" acoustically. He has already a long career as a songwriter, and the final of his show was a tribute to David Bowie "We could be hero's".

First break of the night and the eyes of the fans turned to the Yamaha Music Stage, the small stage for acoustic performances, and Charles Esten from ABC"s "Nashville" cast did three songs. This guy is so nice, always smiling, and he was part of the CMA Songwriters Series the night before. Charles Esten loves to tell the stories of the song he writes, and he often performs at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.


The old school of country has definitely his place at C2C and the American super star has offered a set including an incredible number of his best hits. "Dim light", "A thousand miles from nowhere", "Guitars, cadillacs" and songs from "3 pears" and "Second hand heart". I have seen Dwight Yoakam several times, and one of them, he played the songs two by two, not necessaraly speaking at each break. Here at C2C O2 London, Dwight did two short breaks at the beginning to adress a few words to the crowd, and then played with no stops an incredible setlist of hits. Honky tonk, Bakersfiel Sound may be appreciated by youngers, and I think Dwight preferred to let the music do the job because young listeners are not hungry of talks! Dwight's band is dressed by the most known stylist in Nashville, Manuel, and that is already a show by his own.

Ashley Monroe is the second artist to appear on the Yamaha Music Stage for 3 songs including "Like a rose". Pure voice, and she is part of the main line-up in Glasgow.


Everyone knows the appetite of the US mega star for rock and that was a blast to have "Kerosene" and "Fastest girl in town" in the starting blocks of her show. Miranda Lambert did that night her first concert in the U.K. She also covered ZZ Top. Singing "All kinds of kinds" and "House that built me" were very emotional and the public shared these moment with her, and some tears appeared on faces. At the end of the show, Miranda played "Little red wagon", left the stage and returned with Ashley Monroe to play acoustically "You've got a friend" from Carly Simon, and to finish her performance with "Bitch" from the Rolling Stones.


Songwriters Series 2016

Photo: Sébastien Tranier

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