Y’all know I’m a sucker for concerts where we see a Kentuckian come home. We’ve covered many of ’em and one of our favorites will forever be Mr. Chris Stapleton.
On Saturday night, Kentucky’s current King of Country Music returned to his home state and invaded the KFC YUM! Center with Brothers Osborne and Kendell Marvel.
You may recognize the name Kendell Marvel, as we had the opportunity to interview Kendell here at Capture Kentucky. (You can read that here)
Kendell is a pretty prolific songwriter in Nashville. He’s worked with Mr. Stapleton on many, many songs and he recently released a new album through Easy Eye Records. Working with Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys, Marvel released ‘Solid Gold Sounds’.
Kendell’s performance was a great way to kick off the evening. As the crowd filled in, Marvel’s set picked up steam and he quickly found that Kentucky loves music. Kendell and his band played several songs within their thirty-minute set. None were more awesome than “Gypsy Woman” or “Cadillac’n.” At least in my book!
Next up were the Brothers Osbourne. I’ll admit, I absolutely never turn on the radio, so I wasn’t all that familiar with the band. Sure I looked up setlists and listened on Spotify, but this was my first jump in the pool with em.
I recognized a few songs and melodies and I enjoyed their performance. Songs like “Drank Like Hank”, “Shoot Me Straight”, “Weed, Whiskey and Willie” were highlights as was “It’s Not My Fault.” The band has a great stage presence and they worked the blossoming Louisville crowd with ease.
I can also say that I walked away looking to dig a bit deeper into their catalog of music. Hopefully, they continue to sway me over as a fan.
Next up? The man every single person in attendance was eager to see perform. The one and only Mr. Chris Stapleton took to the stage around 9 PM and didn’t leave the stage until after 11 PM. That’s a long set for anyone and the crowd ate up every single note.
Knowing this show was the last show of the tour, I figured we’d be treated to a surprise or two and we definitely were. Stapleton played four new songs, but more on that in a bit!
Saturday was my first show without Stapleton’s wife Morgane in the band. It was a different vibe on some songs, but with a voice like Chris has, he could get up there and sing bingo numbers and still impress ya.
Songs like “Nobody To Blame”, “Parachute”, “Trying To Untangle My Mind”, “Whiskey And You” are always spectacular, but for this article, I’m going to focus on a few songs that I feel made the night such a memorable one.
The most beautiful moment came during “Fire Away”. The crowd was singing along and sounded really good. Chris noticed this as well and he asked the crowd to pull out their phones or lighters and light em up! He asked that everyone sing the chorus back to him one last time, and man, oh man, Louisville did not disappoint. What a beautiful moment!
Let’s tackle the first new song on the night, “Bad Side Of The Blood.” Talk about a foot-stomping Southern anthem! This one tells the tale of inheriting the bad genes, the wild genes, or his words, the “Bad Side Of The Blood.” This song falls in line with Stapleton’s Outlaw vibe that runs through songs like “Death Row” (which was an awesome surprise later in the set) or say “Outlaw State Of Mind.”
The next new song I want to talk about was a heartbreaker. Chris Stapleton isn’t one to shy away from being sensitive or loving in his songs. It’s a trait that many male performers prefer to keep hidden, but Stapleton shows them all how it’s done. He began by saying, “I lost a really good friend recently and this song was written about them.” The was “Run Maggie, Run” and it absolutely broke my heart.
The friend he lost was his dog named Maggie. We’re animal lovers around here and that song immediately found a home deep within my heart. I’ll just let you watch this video, because we all need a good cry every now and then.
“Starting Over” will 100% be a huge hit. The melody in this one was strong enough that the ladies ladies behind us, that had CLEARLY been drinking too much, actually listened. If you can play a brand new song, on an acoustic, and grab the attention of a whole row of drunk folks…you’ve got yourself a winner.
Stapleton invited his buddy Kendell Marvel to join him for a song. He mentioned that Kendell was one of the first people to give him an opportunity to write with and how they’ve remained friends, as well as co-writers.
Together they tackled “Hard Livin'” and as soon as I heard Chris and Kendell harmonizing, it all made sense. DANG!! They sounded amazing together. Here’s to hoping that Kendell’s voice makes it onto a record.
After “Hard Livin'”, Chris welcomed the Brothers Osborne to the stage. Stapleton told the story of receiving a fast car for his birthday from his wife, Morgane and how he and JT drove the car about as fast as they could push it and how that trip is where the song “Arkansas” was born.
The opening reminded me a lot of the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic, “Travelin’ Band”. So in my mind, I immediately visualized Chris and JT driving through the Ozark Mountains with the windows down and the CCR up!! What a flipping barn burner!
The last 3 and 1/2 songs that I want to discuss are the “Devil Named Music”, “Broken Halos”, and “Tennessee Whiskey”. Now you may be wondering, where’s the 1/2 song at. Stapleton sang an acapella version of the Skynyrd classic “Free Bird” before kicking into the “Devil Named Music”. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, it was amazing!
“Broken Halos” brought us the loudest sing-a-long on the night and you all know just how loud and rowdy the fans get for Stapleton’s take on the David Allan Coe favorite “Tennessee Whiskey.”
One last honorable mention here before I wrap this up. My personal favorite performance on the night was “Midnight Train To Memphis.” Man alive, did he the blow the doors off the Yum Center!! That song has never sounded better than it did on Saturday night.
This was the last show of the year for Chris and it seemed to be the last show on his All-American Roadshow. He toured extensively for both Volume 1 and Volume 2 of his albums titled ‘From A Room.’
With the introduction of four new songs, it’s pretty clear that Stapleton is gearing up for another album and subsequent tour to follow. If you’re a Kentuckian, or just a music lover in general, that should be music to your ears!