A friend and I had talked about Reba headlining C2C Festival since the very first one and to be honest, I don’t think we ever believed that it would actually happen. When she was announced I was over the moon and impressed with the festival organisers for securing such a legend.
The countdown to Reba had begun for many fans. When it finally came to Reba’s day it was really nice to see so many fans in their Reba t shirts. Her fans had waited a long time for her to return to the UK.
Reba’s stage setting was pretty basic with a huge REBA backdrop. However, she doesn’t need an impressive setting though, she’s Reba and you focus on her and her voice, not much else.
When Reba walked on stage the crowd went wild and my attention went to familiar faces to see how excited they were. Reba began her set with Can’t Even Get The Blues. Having Reba on stage at C2C was a nice change from what we were used to and it was nice to have a traditional artist perform and a legend at that.
She didn’t connect with everyone though for some reason. A lot of people left during her set which was a shame and I hope that she didn’t notice. It just goes to show how much modern country has taken over now or perhaps it was just that Darius Rucker was so good that people felt that her performance wasn’t on par. Either way, I stayed and always intended to and so very glad that I did. Reba is one of the queens of country music, not too far behind Dolly Parton and having been in the industry for over 40 years, I felt privileged to be able to say that I was there.
Having just released a double faith album titled Sing It Now – Reba sang only one song from it called Back To God. As a country which isn’t as religious as others, she probably knew not to do too many from the album.
There were some really emotional, tear jerking moments of the set. One being her praise of Kelly Clarkson and saying how close they have been since Kelly was on American Idol and picked Reba as her duet partner for the final. Stating how she has always thought of Kelly as family and then saying how her son married her to make it legal. This moved on to the moment when Reba praises Kelly as a songwriter and sings Because Of You which Kelly impressively wrote at just 16 years of age.
The most emotional part though was Reba’s dedication to her father with The Greatest Man I Ever Knew. With a back drop of childhood photographs, you could not help but cry. It really was a beautiful moment.
One of my highlights though was when she sang Strange. This is one of my favourites since I saw her perform it at CMA Festival in Nashville.
Another memorable moment was her cover of The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia by Vicki Lawrence and written by her husband Bobby Russell. Reba tells us an interesting story of how Bobby felt he had written one of the best songs of all time yet none of the big time singers he pitched it to would record it. She explains further that he was baffled, could not understand it and went back to the singers telling them this was their last chance, that his wife could record this song and make it number one. “Let her” they told him and she did and the song became number one. A few years later Reba records her version and then treats C2C fans with a live version on this night.
The most sing along moment with the crowd was during Take It Back/Why Haven’t I Heard From You. That moment was a lot of fun as the Reba fanatics were singing in full force and the energy in that moment was on fire.
The greatest part though, the epic draw, the show stopper, the moment we all had all been waiting for was during the encore. Awaiting Reba’s return on stage we, the audience were teased with the intro to the music video of…..Fancy! It was almost as if everyone in the audience had held their breath. As the video stops playing, the intro to the song, that famous, familiar riff filled the 02 Arena in such a way that is indescribable.
Reba slowly returns on stage with the red dress that makes the song so well known, well a red dress not the same one. I don’t think I have ever felt so happy to hear a song live. I, with the rest of the arena chanted the hell out of that chorus and with no shame whatsoever. What a moment! Fancy is one of the greatest story telling songs of all time with such a build up that it was a life changing moment. I only wish she had the stage setting for that song as she does on other live versions I have seen of it but I didn’t really care. That finale was worth every penny, every second, every moment and I will never forget it.
Fancy, you didn’t let me down.
Can’t Even Get the Blues
The Fear of Being Alone
One Promise Too Late
Whoever’s in New England
Going Out Like That
You’re No Good / The Heart is a Lonely Hunter / Walk On / I’d Rather Ride Around With You The Greatest Man I Never Knew
Back To God
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Because of You (Kelly Clarkson cover)
Turn on the Radio
The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (Vicki Lawrence cover)
Does He Love You
Take It Back / Why Haven’t I Heard from You
I’m a Survivor
Is There Life Out There