In the sea of today’s bro-country and outlaws, lie the jewels of country – the women. With Sugarland on hold, Jennifer Nettles began to hit the road this spring in support of her solo project, ‘That Girl’ (click here to read my review). I was lucky enough to head to the Milwaukee tour stop last night. Here’s my review of the show:
To open the tour, Jennifer brought out another heavy-hitter in country, Brandy Clark. If you don’t know Brandy for her solo work, you might know a few of her songs – “Better Dig Two,” “Follow Your Arrow,” “Mama’s Broken Heart”. With a thirty minute set, Brandy had full control of the audience only armed with a guitar and her captivating voice. Much of the audience was not familiar with Brandy’s current project, ’12 Stories’, but that didn’t prevent them from listening to four of the stories including her single “Stripes” and crowd favorites “Get High” and “Pray To Jesus”. For 30 minutes, you could hear a pin drop, until she played her massive co-writes “Mama’s Broken Heart” and “Better Dig Two” and the occasional hoot and holler. Ending with a standing ovation, it’s safe to say that with nine songs, Brandy Clark had gained 2500 new fans.
Um….Milwaukee you have blown my mind. First time here and you guys know how to make a girl feel welcome!!!! #loveyouguys
— Brandy Clark (@TheBrandyClark) March 15, 2014
At 9 o’clock the one, the only Jennifer Nettles made her entrance to the stage. Pre-empted by “Jolene”, she kicked off the show with “That Girl,” which she has called ‘The Ballad of Jolene’ in the past – only fitting. With a simple set and a four-piece band, Nettles let her voice guide the night. The set list included all songs from her solo album. For those who knew her from Sugarland, there was ‘Something More’ thrown in there. Four songs from the Sugarland days were thrown in the set that made the audience ‘Stay’. I don’t want to reveal too many secrets for those die-hards that have yet to see the tour, but there were a number of other musical additions to the set.
Much like the album, the tour also has a 70’s influenced theme. This went from the music to the merch to Jennifer’s style on stage. Quite literally, the night went back to the 70’s as Jennifer Nettles sat at the piano to cover a few of her favorite songs from her childhood. The night wasn’t stuck in the past, however as she also covered the not-so-country Imagine Dragons. This is no new feat for the singer as she has covered everyone from Beyonce to Pearl Jam to Kings of Leon in the past.
Between songs, Nettles kept the crowd entertained through her stories. If the country music career hadn’t worked out, comedian could be a back-up career. Maybe the jokes came from the sip of beer that Jennifer took from a fan in the crowd (she says that wine is her drink of choice, however). Jennifer told us of events that had happened earlier in the day. Some what she donned ‘eBayers’ waited outside the bus for autographs to profit off of. She said he had no problem going along and signing for the eBayers…until one didn’t quite know who she was. The businessman had a picture of none other than Miranda Lambert. Let’s just say Jennifer didn’t sign for that “fan”.
As the night came to an end, Jennifer dedicated “Thank You” to everyone who has supported Jennifer’s career. She topped the night off with her own rendition of the Segar song “Like A Rock”, which also brings her album to a close. With the tour headed west, if you are out that way I highly suggest you pick a date to go to. The night was one that I will never forget.
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