I am not sure who was more excited when the lights went down for the second act in the O2 Arena on Sunday: Ashley McBryde or the audience? Ashley’s journey to success has almost been something we have all shared. Last year at C2C she graced the Spotlight Stage and since then, her name has been on everyone’s lips and demand for her return has been so incredibly high that she has come back a fair few times in the space of one year and guess what? Nobody’s bored yet, nobody’s gonna ever get bored.
Ashley belonged on the main stage, if she was going to go anywhere after the spotlight stage it was the main one. Nominated for several awards including a Grammy, Ashley is the real deal and a rare authentic artist in todays country music. There is something about Ashley that is just so damn loveable and man we all love just about everything about her. Her inviting personality shines on and off stage and her music, well it speaks for itself but she is way up with the greats and is our modern day bad ass Loretta.
Ashley is vocal perfection. There’s no forced riff, no exaggeration just plain old fashioned decent singing and singing about the truth. This time Ashley brought a full band when we are used to her acoustically. The band rocked the joint and the collective stage presence was amazing and so atmospheric. Livin’ Next to LeRoy opened up the set and something magical happened. I think everyone was emotional and proud of her, she’s like a friend you know? Even if we don’t know her on a personal level we care about her enough to feel as if she is and that’s the friendly vibe she gives off.
Grateful for her success Ashley doesn’t forget to mention that but she also doesn’t forget about all those people who said she would never amount to anything. “Slap on your face to those in the past” songs such as Fat and Famous and Girl Goin’ Nowhere were like a celebration. The lyric in Girl Goin’ Nowhere where she sings “I hear the crowd” well a 20,000 strong chorus of O2 Arena voices cheered and cheered. I don’t think she was quite prepared for that. What made it more special was she played it acoustically and it gave you chills.
Songs such as American Scandal, Little Dive Bar In Dahlonega had everyone singing along. New song Rattlesnake Preacher was absolutely rockin’ and Home Sweet Highway was powerful.
Closing with Tired of Being Happy it made me realise that McBryde is the stuff of legends and in years to come, people will say “Oh man, I wish I’d seen her at the start” and students at her old school where they said she wouldn’t go anywhere will say “Today we learned about Dolly, Loretta, Tammy and Ashley McBryde in music class”.
I can’t wait to watch Ashley’s journey go from strength to strength. I look forward to the day she becomes a member of the Opry, inducted into the Hall of Fame but until then, just keep coming back Ashley, we Brits will be there, every time.
Livin’ Next to Leroy
Fat and Famous
Girl Goin’ Nowhere
Home Sweet Highway
A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega
Tired of Being Happy