Last night (January 17th) Nashville star Charles “Chip” Esten brought his sold out UK tour to Bristol for a night of stellar live music. The evening started with British Country support act The Adelaides performing a selection of their own original tracks plus a special cover mash-up of Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ and Beyonce’s collaboration with The Dixie Chicks ‘Daddy Lessons’.
The trio from the Midlands consist of Alicia, Paris and Abi, although Abi is suffering from Laryngitis so was unable to sing, but instead joined the two girls on stage playing acoustic guitar.
If you had arrived late to the venue you would have been forgiven for thinking The Adelaides were the main act such was their composure on stage. They held the audience captive with their strong harmonies and laid back style and belted out tracks such as the bouncy ‘Jack Daniels’, the gorgeous ‘No Survivors’ plus many more including getting the crowd to sing the chorus “Don’t wanna love you, love love you, love you, anymore’ which was a real highlight of the night.
They ended their standout set with their fantastic track ‘Jelly Baby’ which the girls jokingly admitted that the US audiences over in Nashville didn’t quite grasp the double meaning since they have jelly beans in the States. This was the highlight of the evening from the trio and the whole auditorium was on their feet singing and dancing along.
The Adelaides are yet to officially release any music but did say after the gig while meeting fans that they hope to have something out by March. And after last night that can’t come soon enough. These girls have real talent and deserve to be heard.
After the group had left the stage to rapturous applause it was time for the main event to begin after a short interval. At around 9pm Charles Esten entered the stage to deafening cheers and screams and launched into an energetic set littered with original and “Deacon” songs which are taken from his time on the hit US drama Nashville.
He had the Bristol crowd in the palm of his hands thanks to the incredible opening of ‘This Town’. Throughout the night Esten took time to have a laugh and a joke with the audience ensuring that it was a night of fun and great live music.
Despite not having a band and performing entirely acoustically, Chip filled the stage with his incredible presence and melted hearts thanks to the stunning rendition ‘Out Of The Blue’ which is a gorgeous love ballad written for his devoted wife Patty.
Along with slower numbers such as the poignant ”Halfway Home’ performed at the piano, Esten also sang a number of up-tempo feel good hits both original and “Deacon” and took the time to thank the audience for coming to see “Charles Esten” and for requesting original music.
It’s obvious that Esten is still bowled over by the support of the UK audiences and their love of Country Music and the Nashville show and he was always quick to thank the crowd for their continued support and several standing ovations throughout the night.
During the evening Charles took the time to perform a number of Nashville hits that he doesn’t usually get to perform and invited The Adelaides back on stage to harmonise. This was a sensational part of the night and the girls held their own on hits including ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘Undermine’.
To end his set Esten performed ‘He Ain’t Me’ which is always a major crowd pleaser and last night was no different. The entire St George’s hall were on their feet cheering and singing along before Chip exited the stage to some of the loudest cheers I have ever heard.
He then returned for an encore of the heartfelt ‘Life That’s Good’ alongside The Adelaides’. This hymn is always a special moment in any live set and last night it felt even more powerful in the converted Georgian church of St George’s. The auditorium lit up their phones, stood arm in arm and sang every word back to the performers.
Charles Esten knows how to entertain and last night he confirmed his status as a Country superstar. RATING 5/5
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