Country 2 Country Festival (C2C)

Cassadee Pope – C2C Festival Review

To have a totally unique, distinctive voice these days is fairly rare, mostly because there are so many singers out there that they have some sort of influence, a slight hint, no matter how small of another artist even if their voice is recognisable alone, it can often remind you of someone else. This is not the case with Cassadee Pope. Cassadee has a voice so unique that I can honestly say that I have heard no one like her. She has a pure, soulful vocal with a sweet- sounding yet raw tone that can suit almost any genre and as she has already had a career in the rock genre as well as currently being in country pop, I guess this has already been partly proven.

If you are not familiar with Cassadee’s music, then I highly recommend getting familiar. There is something very inviting about Cassadee’s voice and music that makes you want to keep on listening. Her like ability as an individual is also an instant draw. She has such a sweet personality and a sunny disposition that makes her adorable yet strong and a wonderful role model.

Before her solo career in country music, Cassadee was the lead singer of the rock band Hey Monday. The band had great success and toured all over the world including a support slot at London’s O2 Arena with Fall Out Boy.

Just a few years later, Cassadee auditioned for the US version of The Voice as a solo artist, had every chair turn, chose Blake Shelton as her coach and won the whole show.

Cassadee released her debut solo album Frame by Frame via Big Machine Records after securing the crown on The Voice. This album still remains one of my favourite country pop albums of all time.

As well as undeniable vocal talents, Cassadee is also a very talented songwriter. Co-writing many of her songs off Frame by Frame including my favourites You Hear A Song, 11 and Proved You Wrong, Cassadee has a style of writing that is so relatable, especially to young women and girls which makes her fans have a strong connection with her.

Since her debut release Cassadee released her hit single Invincible as well as her epic and critically acclaimed EP Summer. Her vocal and writing talents then caught the attention of country superstar Chris Young who had been searching for a duet partner for his song Think Of You. Snapping Cassadee up for the duet, the song has since become one of Chris’ most successful singles, earning them both various awards and nominations including a Grammy Nomination.

Cassadee made her live UK debut as a solo artist back in 2014 for an industry showcase alongside The Shires. Since then, we, the fans, had been eagerly awaiting her return – so when she was announced as part of C2C, well, let’s just say that I am pretty sure I felt the ground shake even out in the Cotswolds where I live just from the sheer excitement all over the UK.

Cassadee was playing in various venues across the festival including a songwriters session at The Bluebird Café pop up stage at NY-LON as well as The Yamaha Stage, Radio 2 Stage and Roadhouse stage at Building Six. As much as I would loved to have caught every single one of her performances, I could only get to her Building Six performance due to scheduling. I was also in attendance for her Yamaha set but that is a separate review.

Building Six was completely crowded by the time I arrived. Her hardcore fans who had attended every show across the weekend were in full force at the front row making sure Cassadee had the support she deserved. This did not go unnoticed to Cassadee as she later gives them all a shout out.

Cassadee skipped on stage in a stunning two piece top and skirt, in fact Cassadee needs to be recognised for being the best dressed all weekend. Her outfits collectively were some of the most stunning, flattering and wonderfully designed clothes I have ever seen. She was also sporting her new engagement ring which I saw up close and have to say WOW! I know nothing about jewellery but her fiancé did good, he did real good.

Shining on stage from the very start, she begins the set with hit single I Wish I Could Break Your Heart off debut album Frame by Frame, the entire crowd sang along and created a really warm, buzzing and energetic atmosphere and I found myself getting completely soaked up in the vibe and singing as loud as I possibly could like a massive fan girl ha!

Cassadee is so charming and sweet on stage as well as being a total powerhouse. She asks the audience if we are familiar with her EP Summer, which of course we are and as she sings the title track, she seemed genuinely surprised that people knew the words. Sounding even more impressive than the studio version, Cassadee wowed the audience with the difficult vocal techniques of the song.

We were also treated with other songs off the EP such as Alien and Kisses At Airports. Alien is such a relatable song that resonates with many fans and the song’s lyrics explain that whether you are popular, a band geek, whoever you are, you can feel alone, different, unrelatable, just like an alien.

Kisses At Airports is a song that means a lot to Cassadee especially with her love and respect for the US Troops who so often say goodbye to their loved ones at airports. This song translated beautifully in a live setting which made me hear the song in a completely different way. Emotion and passion on stage is so different than on a recording and is a very difficult thing to portray live but Cassadee has such a natural ability to provide an honest and emotional performance which makes her a true joy to watch and listen to.

Cassadee also did a cover of Martina McBrides This One’s For The Girls. That song, in my opinion can never get old, never go out of date and it was nice to see it resonate with an artist like Cassadee who can bring the music of artists such as Martina to a younger audience. A lot of the audience knew the words though, I shouldn’t expect anything less from country music fans as we do seem to know every country song out there.

A highlight of the evening was when Cassadee sang her new song Me, Myself and Wine. This song was a nice indication of what to expect from Cassadee’s forthcoming album which I hope will be released soon. I can only imagine that the album will stay very true to Cassadee’s current sound with a more mature twist.

Ending the set with her debut solo single Wasting All These Tears left the crowd feeling quite emotional. It was obvious that Cassadee too was emotional which is hardly surprising as the crowd passionately sang every word back to her. It was sad having the set end so quickly but that’s festivals for you and I hope that the reception and love that Cassadee received means she will be planning a return trip to the UK soon.

Cassadee is quite the talent on stage. Her voice was even more flawless than her recorded sound. For me and many others, Cassadee was a highlight of the entire weekend and she wasn’t even on the main stage. Having Cassadee perform with Chris Young on the Friday night on the main stage as part of their hit single Think Of You certainly set an atmosphere for just how excited fans were to see her and people who did not know her were without a doubt going to catch one of her shows and buy her music. That performance was so insanely good that it showed the C2C audience that Cassadee has one of the best vocals in country music today.

Sylvia Rodriguez
I watched her at the building 6 and she blew me away, I knew she was good but live was something else.


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