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C2C Festival 2018 | Friday Review

We review Day 1 of Country To Country Festival - featuring Danielle Bradbery, Kelsea Ballerini and more!

C2C Festival 2018 | Friday Review

Photo: Luke Dyson; Kelsea Ballerini on stage at C2C Festival 2018

Jordan Powell

W!ZARD News Author

There is something for everyone on Day 1 of Country 2 Country festival.

From classic country artists (legends Faith Hill & Tim McGraw headline Night 1) to cross-over artists (pop star Kelsea Ballerini supports them on the main stage), despite being the smallest of the days, it did not fail to impress.

When you first approach the O2 Arena, the Town Square area is Nashville – with so much variety, including country collectibles, outfits, food and drink… it’s the taste of Tennessee in London. It also features a stage, which on Friday featured performances from The Adelaides, Mo Pitney, Delta Rae and a particularly impressive performance from Danielle Bradbery.

Danielle’s new album, “I Don’t Believe We’ve Met' peaked at #6 on the US Top Country Album Charts. With this being Danielle’s debut to the UK, expectations were high and she delivered. The standing room-only area was pushed to the back as Danielle’s souring vocals rippled through the town square – she even mentioned W!ZARD Radio Station, thanking us for supporting her single ‘Hello Summer’!

As the main arena started filling up for the headline performances, Old Dominion opened – a particular highlight of the evening. As the five-piece country-rock group dominated, they opened with ‘Song For Another Time’, a feel good anthem which got everyone up their feet. The band have been up and down the UK with Thomas Rhett and have reassured UK fans that they will be back in the Autumn for a headline tour of their own… a ticket not to miss!

Morgan Evans was a busy man on the Friday of C2C with three performances across the day. The Spotlight Stage (a smaller stage at the back of the arena for performances between acts) held the biggest crowd as he opened with his hit single ‘Kiss Somebody’, displaying impressive skill with his loop pedals (or as he calls, his “American Band”).

Kelsea Ballerini kept up the tempo after Old Dominion’s set – especially tracks ‘Legends’ and ‘Unapologetically’ were the highlights of the set, although the 11 track set list went down perfectly song-after-song. It feels like it won’t be long until Kelsea is back with a headline tour of her own as the cross-over potential is evident.

Brett Young took to the spotlight stage straight after Kelsea with an inspiring performance of ‘In Case You Didn’t Know’ and ‘Like I Loved You’ which left the crowd speechless and wanting more.

Now onto the headliners! Tim McGraw headlined the first ever C2C in 2013; since then the country superstar has never returned until now. Headlining the Friday night alongside superstar-wife Faith Hill, the duo performed tracks from their new album ‘The Rest of our Life’ which peaked at #1 on the US Top Country Album Charts.

The packed two-hour set opened with a Aretha Franklin and George Michael’s ‘I Knew You Were Waiting For Me’ which got the crowd riled up for the evening. The superstars had individual sets and collaborative hits highlighting the biggest tracks from their careers – including Faith’s ‘Breathe’ and Tim’s ‘Humble & Kind’.

The Friday of C2C did not disappoint… we are left wondering how Saturday and Sunday could live up to the excitement!

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