IMG_2864There are concerts that must be seen, others that must be heard and then there are concerts that need to be lived. The Country To Country in London is one of the latter, and the European fans in London on the 11-12 and 13th of March experienced the same emotions and same atmosphere that can be felt in Nashville, during the Fan Fair. As he has done every year, in fact Bob Harris, a former Dj with the BBC and father/organiser of this event, has managed to bring, in partnership with the CMA, “Music City” to England. Many concerts of so-called “minor” artists (I counted 57, including Americans, British and Canadians) as support acts to the superstars, who perform in the main arena, theme stands, related events, queues for photos and autographs and press conferences, just like in the States during the Fan Fair. A great success, that catapults London as one of the new capitals of Country music. Divided for the first time in three days, it’s up to Thomas Rhett, (son of Rhett Akins, one of the most successful new names from overseas), to open up the C2C on Friday at the O2 Arena, the terrific indoor facility with more than 20,000 seats, located in Greenwich, just outside London. Thomas Rhett has a couple of good songs which are going well, (Die A Happy Man and Make Me Wanna), which are both part of his set list, which is mainly dedicated to his latest album, “It Goes Like This”. Very talented, pleasant voice, good songs, not too country, but this is an occurrence of almost all American artists who, when they play at the C2C, opt for a repertoire and arrangements, not too country sounding, in order to meet the musical tastes of the London audience, the majority of which being of a young age. As if to contradict what I just wrote, after Thomas Rhett, it was Dwight Yoakam’s turn, and he is pure country music. The years pass, (born in 1958), his hair is graying, but the voice remains the same. When he starts singing “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere” I am sure a shiver went up the back of every older spectator. Dwight is a legend, and hearing him play live, you’ll understand why. An hour of pure country music, Bakersfield Sound without interruptions, playing some of his best songs, from his infinite repertoire. Just seeing him was worth the visit to London, but the superstar of Friday evening has yet to go on stage. At 21.30 on the dot (I always wonder how the English manage to be so punctual, here in Italy, not even the parish choir is able to start on time), Miranda Lambert appears, and the O2 Arena explodes. As well as being beautiful, she is really good. Her latest album “Platinum”, (released in 2014), is the main theme of her show, that alternates between rock, country and even semi-acoustic moments, like the duet with Ashley Monroe. An hour and a half of great music that brings Friday to an end. Tomorrow, Maddie & Tae, Sam Hunt, Little Big Town, and above all Carrie Underwood will be on stage. (Gianluca Sitta- Fulvia Foresti)