• Words Sarah Webb Pictures John Berresford

Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini Brett Young Birmingham / London


Having managed to miss Lady Antebellum on every other visit they have made, this time it wasn’t happening. After a 6 month wait the Lady A drought was about to end. Coming off the back of Country Music Week in the seven days prior to the gig, this event was going to be hectic to attend, even so the offer of tickets to the Birmingham show as well was too good to pass up and so it was to be Lady A two nights running.

Having never been to the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, now to be confused with the NEC or the O2 Academy, it is near the Jewellery Quarter and right in the centre of town. Getting in and out for someone who doesn’t know the area was not easy. In fact leaving was the biggest issue, as multiple car parks converge on one street, bad idea! We made it just in time for Brett Young and my first observation as a true country music fan was, oh dear this is going to be a struggle. The venue was fairly full of older clientele who just sat and listened, no toe tapping, no jiggling in their seats, no singing along and definitely no dancing. The conversations going on behind me, about being on “google” about this chap on stage made me very disappointed but I suppose Lady Antebellum draw a more commercial crowd.

Brett did a great set, He has been on tour with them in the USA and now Europe for the whole summer and he was definitely comfortable with his act. There were a few die hard country fans singing along and thank goodness he could interact with them. There were sound problems in Birmingham, so if you didn’t know any of the songs, it did sound a bit distorted, maybe this was because it was set for Lady A? It was a short but sweet set, but if I am honest it has left me wanting more, I would like to see him again and get to know more of his repertoire.

Brett Young - Songs

  1. Sleep Without You

  2. In Case You Didn’t Know

  3. Like I Loved You

  4. Hallelujah

Having made her UK debut earlier in the year at Under The Bridge and with her upcoming appearance at C2C 2018 announced this was an early chance to get to see one the major stars.

As the lights went down to announce the arrival of Kelsea, a few screams went up from the die hard country fans but most of the crowd just stayed in their seats, very disappointing in our opinion. Her set was vibrant and fun, she is full energy and I liked when she sat on the stage to chat with the audience, it felt like a bit of one on one time, even though there were probably 8000 of us there. We had new music mixed with old, fun videos of Dibs the puppy and Morgan the fiancé it was an insight into her life, it felt personal. I personally love "Peter Pan" and was thrilled when she sang that, it gives me goosebumps and tears always prick my eyes, there was a beautiful video wall and the smoke effects all added to the song. She ended her set on a high with Yeah Boy" and it was a high as she ordered the whole arena to their feet and they obeyed, it felt good to get up and dance, it is wrong to permanently sit down at a music event especially when the music is this good.

Kelsea Ballerini - Songs

  1. Love Me Like You Mean It

  2. We Were Roses

  3. Dibs

  4. I Hate Love Songs

  5. Unapologetically

  6. Stilletoes

  7. XO

  8. Heartbreak Medley

  9. Peter Pan

  10. Legends

  11. Yeah Boy