C2C 2019 Lainey Wilson - The Saloon at Night & Indigo
Saturday night and there was only one place to be and that was the Saloon Bar. :Lainey Wilson may have only made fleeting appearances during Country Music Week in October last year but the impression that she made in those shows was immense along with her excellent "Workin' Overtime" mini album .
For the Saloon at Night shows the chairs in front of the stage are cleared away and the room takes on the feel of a hot sweaty club. The crowd in general are the hard core fans, they've been around since the opening shows at 10:30 and are ready for one last hit before staggering off to their beds. The word of mouth for Lainey has been very strong and the prime positions at the front of the stage have been taken well before Lady Antebellum have finished their encores in the main arena. The audience are expecting something special - they will not be disappointed.
Arriving about 30 minutes before showtime Lainey could not have looked more relaxed, wearing a pair of tinted glasses, she quietly set about her business of setting up, this time with a three piece band who would prove to be the perfect backing.
Things eventually kicked off with a quick "Hi I'm Lainey Wilson i'm so excited to be with y'all tonight thanks for hanging out with me - let's go" delivered in a delicious Southern drawl before launching into "Workin Overtime", the band immediately making their presence felt by giving a rootsier bluesy feel to the song over which Lainey laid down some fearsome vocals. The addition of the band also meant that Lainey was no longer tied to playing guitar and for the second song "Waste Of Good Whiskey" she took to holding the microphone, and even encouraging some Brothers Osborne style clapping. This was full on late night mode, with Lainey even handing the microphone out to the audience to fill in the vocals with a gleeful smile.
For "Dreamcatcher", the song about taking the pain away, Lainey took the lead on acoustic guitar accompanied by some inventive drumming while the rest of the band were fairly muted. The results were simply beautiful and she closed it out on a huge big note earning a large round of applause.
Lainey once again was able to ditch the guitar for "Microphone" lleaving her free to become a whirl of gestures and pointing. Eventually after the first verse she wrestled the microphone from the stand and became even more animated bouncing around the stage. The band once again worked up a marvellous support and Lainey's delivery was absolutely perfect - when she pointed out into the crowd she did it with such conviction you'd have thought the subject of the song had turned up at the back of the room - absolutely spellbinding performance,
This little lady is going to be huge and it was an absolute privilege to be able to watch her at such close quarters. She is such great company the intro about picking up her Nan from a nursing home and telling her she was the inspiration behind "Middle Finger" was an absolute hoot. The song, "A shout out to my best friend" is the epitome of sassiness, with Lainey throwing out middle finger gestures to demonstrate as she played. With some great guitar and backing vocal from the band she positively beamed as she asked the audience to show their middle fingers.!!
There was room for new material as well and it sounded absolutely awesome. "Rolling Stone" forinstance was furiously upbeat and had the power of a steam train as she ran through it. There are two sides to Lainey Wilson though, she is as adept at being sassy and in your face as she is delicate and thoughtful, "2 Story House" about how she and her sister have taken different paths despite growing up within the same four walls was a testament to that.
She cited Dolly Parton as an influence, and if you shut your eyes you can definitely hear a touch of Dolly come through so it was entirely appropriate for her to have a new song called "What Would Dolly Do?", for which she again picked up the microphone and prowled the stage.
The tender side of Lainey once again came out during "Breakin your Heart", which saw Lainey back on acoustic guitar delivering a beautifully sung ballad
For the final nmber there was an absolute swampy blues fest of a song in "High On Something" with a rocking funky chorus to die for. It even managed to incorporate a snatch of The Beatles "Come Together" and closed the night out to a storming round of applause,
After putting such a show she then spent a lot of time with the crowd, signing and posing, pretty much ensuring that whenever she returns they'll be plenty of people waiting to see her.
Having gone to bed with Lainey literally ringing in our ears there was only one place to head the next day and that was over to the Indigo for a second helping, it also provided a chance to compare and contrast, a late night show in a bar against an all to early appearance on a big stage. In truth the latter is more likely where we'll be seeing Lainey in the future as she seems set to become huge.
After a quick introduction from Baylen Leonard, she took to the stage in jeans with a "What's going on London?" before launching into "Workin Overtime". The bigger stage saw her revisit a habit she has of taking steps back from the microphone before taking a huge stride forward whenever she needs to resume her next line. The Indigo stage gave her space to roam and kick out and she was going to do that to the max putting down her guitar leaving her free to run dance and spin around on "Waste Of Good Whiskey"
The guitar was back for a new song "Pour Pour" which came with some Shaft style funky guitar work from the band. The drum intro to "Middle Finger" was the cue for the appropriate gesture from her "Best friend". and she laid down another great version.
There was a lot of last nights set but everything just seemed bigger, adjusting to the move up in levels phasing her not one bit. The songs just sounded even better "Microphone" was blistering, while the new song "Rolling Stone" sounded even more like an unstoppable force and it will be great to see the results when she goes into the studio with Eric Church's producer.. The crowd have already taken this song to their heart and were quick to join in on the chorus. There was another outing for "What Would Dolly Do?", and before starting "High On Something" she called out "Let's crank it back up" - we hadn't noticed it had dropped off. Once again there was time to incorporate "Come Together" and it closed out a successful set and a great C2C for Lainey Wilson..