London fans had to wait an additional five months to see country outlaw Chris Stapleton take to the stage at Budweiser Gardens on September 10, 2022 for an evening of country, blues and rock. The original show was postponed during the early stages of post-COVID travel across the North American borders, but he came back this week to chug a little Tennessee Whiskey with Londoners far and wide.
Early in the evening, Stapleton said he’d keep the banter short and let the music do most of the talking, which he did for about two hours straight. It was a long and satisfying set (although not as long as the 24-song show he recently performed in Montreal) mostly centered around his four studio albums and his latest single Joy of My Life.
Stapleton is a unique voice in country music. His traditional country sound is laced with heavy doses of blues and Southern rock, at times sounding like Charlie Daniels, Bob Segar or Otis Redding. Never without a guitar in his hands, his sound just wails with as much blues as someone like Muddy Waters. That playing was highlighted with a gorgeously long and thrilling version of the 2017 Gold single I Was Wrong.
Fans spent the night singing along to number one hits like Starting Over, Broken Halos and You Should Probably Leave, but the audience went frantic when he broke out to Tennessee Whiskey, his 2015 breakout hit from the debut album Traveler, which sparked one of the loudest encore screaming crowds of the year.
The show ended with the crowd in a frenzy and Stapleton singing one of his semi-autobiographical songs Outlaw State of Mind, which he wrote the lyrics about pieces of his own life.
He doesn’t say too much, he mostly stays put in the center of the stage, and he eyes his lovely wife Morgane a lot! Anything else wouldn’t be Chris Stapleton though – as evidenced by his show in London, the music clearly does the talking.
Support act Nikki Lane is a bit of an outlaw herself, and a perfect start to an evening of Chris Stapleton. She’s out on a tour promoting her upcoming album Denim & Diamonds, which comes out on September 23 and she kept her set mostly focused on that album, while lightly diving in to her 2017 hit album Highway Queen.
It feels like Lane is on the brink of really breaking out. There’s something about her new songs that dig deep into the psyche. She seems unafraid of telling stories that dig deep into every day emotions and that really touched the hearts of all who heard her perform tonight.
Chris Stapleton with Nikki Lane
September 10, 2022
All photos by Dan Savoie