On a cold damp day in the centre of Manchester fans queued outside all day to see Brett Eldredge, to take a selfie as he stepped off his bus or get to the front of the O2 Ritz. He's been over to the UK a fair few times now and each time his fanbase grows and it's no surprise! This time he had the lovely Lauren Jenkins supporting him, a young lady I had the pleasure of interviewing at CMA Fest last year, a hard working musician with a passion for writing songs from the heart. She charmed the Manchester crowd by opening her set with an unreleased song which had been requested by a fan earlier in the day, it was called Maps. Despite it just being her and her guitar she captivated the crowd and filled the room, the crowd particularly enjoyed her cover of Champagne Supernova in which they all loudly sung along. She talked between songs, telling the stories behind why she wrote them. Another popular number with the audience was Running Out of Road. My only regret was not tweeting her earlier in the day to play No Saint - I love that song! At the end of her performance she had a queue of fans at the merch stand waiting to meet her.
The main man, Brett Eldredge then appeared on the stage, the crowd cheered and screamed. I hadn't realised how tall he was until this point, this was my first thought but it wasn't long before I thought what a lovely genuine smile! He seemed really happy to be here. He alternated between playing his acoustic guitar along with the band and strutting up and down the stage. The crowd reflected his energy particularly in well known hits such as Love Someone and Something I'm Good At. When he didn't have his guitar he bounded across the stage like an excited puppy, all the while grinning like a Cheshire Cat. He leaned into the crowd, pointing into their cameras. The audience enjoyed his cover of Crazy Little Thing Called Love as people towards the back started dancing together. The sound man was going crazy as he bounced along to it too.
He talked between songs about being a struggling songwriter in Nashville. He tugged at everyones heartstrings as he talked about the emotional true story behind Raymond - the first song he released and took to 23 on the charts. He wrote it for his Grandma when she got Alzheimers. He stripped it back as the band left the stage and it was just him and his acoustic guitar. I looked around about halfway through and many of the people around me had a tear in their eye. He stayed acoustic as he played Long Way Around. As he re-introduced the band the night got cranked up another level. Lose My Mind was full of energy as he roamed the stage. At various points he introduced the different members of the band, letting them have a solo here and there, he had two exceptional guitarists and a pianist who really shone before The Reason and it was in this song that I realised just how good a vocalist Brett was and no matter how much he bounced around his vocals remained flawless. He threw in a couple of new songs which must be daunting especially overseas but they were received well by the crowd. One was more of a ballad, it was well written with a strong chorus. All in all it was a high energy, vocal masterclass of how to really perform. It had something for everyone, big party numbers, tight, professional musicianship displayed by the band and stripped back intimate moments that really connected with the crowd on a deeper level!