Having arrived early for Day 2 of Country On The Coast, #TEAMw21 caught a glimpse of Lily Garland during her sound check where she was so spectacular that it stopped us in our tracks while typing up the previous nights reviews - we knew that we were in for something special.
As she took to the stage with a full band including a trio of backing singers, this had the look of a Soul Revue and immediately announced that this was going to be something of a treat, Like Kezia yesterday, sightings of Lily in the Metropolis are rare, not unheard of but rare and certainly have never been on the scale of this performance.
Starting with Cam's "Diane" there were 5 initially voices singing a capella , the backing singers, the bass player and Lily, before launching into the full band version with Lily’s big voice powering its way over the band.
In a slightly strange move the next song was also a cover, a bassy, rootsy cover of Maddie & Tae’s Girl in a country song that was full of oomph.
The title track of debut EP “Time to Fly”, was the first original of the evening, Lily proving to be a commanding stage presence with a voice leading from the front. “He’s Not the One” followed sending a soulful warning message of signs to look out for in a man, with the backing singers really playing their part in maintaining the soulful vibe
Another cover, only previously performed once, a Carrie Underwood cover that Lily felt strong affiliation with, “Cry Pretty” saw Lily pour every ounce of her being into the vocal The next song was “Queen Of The World" from her soon to be withdrawn from digital platforms EP "The Next Chapter", a pearl of a country song.
The TV series Nashville provided the next song with “Don’t Put Dirt On My Grave”, and after being told that the song was to big for her she has proceeded to add it to every set since. Lily undoubtedly draws from that experience as inspiration, as she powered through it. A chance to get her breath back came as she slowed it down with one of the few romantic songs that she has written. in “Tonight”, another great performance. A new cover, a live debut of a Dixie Chicks cover “Not Ready To Make Nice” really suited Lily well.
For final 3 songs it was a move upbeat and into dance mode – a Miranda Lambert cover of "Gunpowder and Lead". Like Danny McMahon before her, Lily used every inch of the stage coming to the very edge to build up audience involvement, the band also then came to the edge and then onto the dance floor itself in a somewhat riotous closing.
From there it was into the thunderous metal opening of “I’m Coming For You” with Lily able to turn into a rock chick with relative ease For the first time in the weekend the dance floor was pretty much full, to perhaps one of the least country songs of the weekend but no matter they were up and dancing. With just time for one last song a rock n roll closer in the form of Dixie Chicks "Some Day You Gotta Dance. Our hostess for the weekend well and truly delivered,