Concert Review By Darren Hancock Brent Cobb Margo Price Chris Stapleton Played the budweiser Stage Aug 17 2017

Chris Stapleton
Budweiser Stage
August 17, 2017
Concert review by Darren Hancock
Before Chris Stapleton hit the Budweiser Stage, I got to experience one of the opening acts: Margo Price, and she is a voice to watch out for. Her 6-piece band was top-notch, blending pedal steel and keyboards with drums and bass along with lead guitar and Margo’s acoustic (I particularly enjoyed seeing her hold the same vintage sunburst Epiphone acoustic that I play on stage), creating a Country Rock sound that is high energy and very catchy. Songs like “Seeds and Stems again”, “Weakness” and “This Town Gets Around” (a song she wrote about Nashville) showcased her musical abilities. Margo’s strong Miranda-Lambert-style voice with edgy lyrics seamlessly combined traditional Country roots with a contemporary twist that made this opening act a pleasure… not to mention her fantastic version of the classic “Me and Bobby McGee” that would have made Kris Kristofferson and Janis Joplin proud. We’ll be hearing a lot more from this girl!

On to the main event: The crowd was already worked into a frenzy when Chris Stapleton hit the Budweiser Stage, and he did not disappoint. Despite a torrential downpour just before the set, fans were elated when Chris and his band walked out and started playing “Might As Well Get Stoned”. Pure and simple, the 3-piece band was comprised of bass, drums, and Chris playing rhythm and lead guitar, with his wife Morgan playing tambourine and singing her signature backup vocals throughout the show. Playing hits like “Nobody To Blame”, “Broken Halos”, “Traveler” and “Parachute”, Chris seldom spoke between songs… but when did speak and said “How you doin’ Toronto?” the fans went crazy. In addition to performing bluesy numbers like “Them Stems”, and the soulful “I Was Wrong”, Stapleton’s voice and an acoustic guitar filled the air with the haunting solo ballad “Whiskey And You”. He was joined by the band again to perform perfect live replicas of album recordings “More Of You”, “Outlaw State Of Mind”, and “Death Row”. Some cover songs were also included in the set, like The Steeldrivers’ “Midnight Train to Memphis” and Lynyrd Skynrd’s “Tuesday’s Gone”. During the fan favorite “Fire Away” Chris got everyone in the crowd to light up their phone’s and lighters, turning the concert hall into a star field of glowing lights. To close the show, the familiar bass line started for Chris’ soulful version of the David Allen Coe song “Tennessee Whiskey” and Chris used his killer voice to sing the band introductions while the bass line played on… after the band was introduced they played the song to an uproar from the audience and left the stage, returning for one encore number called “Sometimes I Cry”. As I looked around at the sold out venue at the sea of people who came to see this 3-piece band, it hit home that the reason why Chris Stapleton is so beloved is because he is authentic, simple, and deep. There is a genuine quality to his music and demeanor that is lost on much of today’s Country music, and the fans came out in droves to hear something real. They got what they came for, and so did I.

Setlist

Might As Well Get Stoned

Nobody to Blame

Broken Halos

Midnight Train to Memphis (The SteelDrivers cover)

Hard Livin’

Them Stems

Trying to Untangle My Mind

I Was Wrong

Whiskey and You

More of You

Parachute

Outlaw State of Mind

Death Row

Tuesday’s Gone (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)

The Devil Named Music

Traveller

Fire Away

Second One To Know

Tennessee Whiskey (David Allan Coe cover)

Encore: Sometimes I Cry

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