Jennifer Nettles is better known as being one half of superstar country music duo Sugarland alongside Kristian Bush. Admittedly, I was never a Sugarland fan. I have never given them a full chance in truth as they just became one of those artists that I only knew of their singles. However, I had listened to Jennifer Nettles solo music so was looking forward to her performance and was rather intrigued to see how the audience would respond.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer the day before her show. Right away, Jennifer was incredibly polite, welcoming, kind, funny and very respectful. Whilst the interview will be an entirely different article, I have to say that Jennifer in person has so much energy, confidence, drive and comes across very ambitious in a really nice way that there was no doubt she would put all of those traits into her performance and that assured me her performance was going to be one to remember. There is no wonder that Jennifer has had and still has the success she has. Her sheer determination, ambition and intelligence were certainly traits to be admired.
After speaking to Jennifer, I was even more excited to see her performance. Jennifer was the first act on the main stage on the Friday of London’s Leg of C2C Festival.
Making quite the entrance after gearing up the crowd with a energising, arena filled guitar playing, Jennifer skipped on to the stage singing the title track to her current album Playing With Fire and on fire she was, wow! What a way to kick off what was set to be one hell of a festival. Jennifer made sure she entertained the crowd for every second she was on that stage. Not a seat was empty, hardly anyone was sat down and the floor seat guests all had their arms in the air having the time of their lives.
Jennifer is infectiously funny. Her stage banter between songs was witty and I can only describe her as barmy, but we LOVE barmy. The madness of Jennifer’s performance is one of her greatest assets, that with having one of the most strongest and powerful voices I have ever heard.
The next song she performed was Sugarlands Baby Girl, a song we just heard ex duo partner Kristian Bush sing the night before at the songwriters round. This was wonderful to hear live as was for me, one of the few Sugarland songs I actually knew. Singing Drunk In Heels next, one of the many songs Jennifer wrote with the exceptionally talented Brandy Clark, which Jennifer tells me in our interview was so much fun to write. She explains that Brandy had this idea for a song about how everything Fred Astaire did, Ginger Rodgers did in heels and backwards. Whilst Brandy and Jennifer were on tour together, Brandy was struggling to start the song. Jennifer, being a new mum was breast feeding her son and was exhausted and later she suddenly knocks on Brandys trailer and says “I have the first verse” Tired, tired, dog ass tired, Tired down to the bone…..
Drunk In Heels is the perfect, fun-lovin, catchy song that is a must in a live setting. Although it sounds very similar to Brandy Clarks Stripes, it is still a fantastic song and Jennifer sings the hell out of it and with so much sass and attitude that I will not be forgetting this performance for a long time.
Some of the most memorable moments were single Hey Heartbreak, the emotional Stay and her smashing mash up of Sugar/Whatta Man/Shoop which got the crowd roaring. The covers didn’t stop there either as she performed a mind blowing version of Tears For Fears Everybody Wants To Rule The World. I don’t know about the world, but Jennifer certainly ruled the stage and the arena that night making her a very tough act to follow. I have definitely come away as a Jennifer Nettles fan and I think a lot of other people did too. What a show, what a performance and what a powerhouse. If she is playing with fire near you…go get tickets.
Playing With Fire
Drunk in Heels
Everybody Wants to Rule the World