Having previously toured the UK in February in smaller venues alongside Whiskey Myers, this time around The Cadillac Three brought along fellow Nashville natives Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown.
Whether or not the audience had heard TB&TS prior to the gig, one thing is certain; afterwards they’d have a hard time forgetting them. Having last played the UK supporting AC/DC on their European tour, TB&TS got the chance to experience the British fans in a more homely setting.
From the initial contact with the audience they ambushed listeners with their ballsy hard rock opening track; riffs reminiscent of AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’. Evidently this proved to be a popular move, as they immediately had the audience in the palm of their hands, ensuring everybody took notice. Being the only support band allowed the band to serve up a decent 8 track set list, each track offering up a variety of styles and employing their inspirations on each track. One thing that is apparent is that Tyler is a natural born showman; confident and encapsulating, with a healthy dose of Angus Young antics coupled with the flamboyancy of Mick Jagger thrown into the mix.
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Largely they stylistically played hard rock with a twist, except for Downtown Tonight where their Nashville heritage shone through employing delta blues and jam/guitar solos throughout.
If their performance wasn’t encapsulating enough, Tyler took a moment to engage with the audience by reminiscing on his first encounter with TC3’s front man Jaren Johnston; being at the tender age of sixteen and experiencing alcohol for the first time. Finishing their show-no-mercy performance at 8pm, with the drummer taking the spotlight and his bass drum with him to the front of the audience, then delivering a high velocity solo; they’d certainly warmed up the crowd.
Hitting the stage at 8:30 were headliners The Cadillac Three, with a tour entitled “Don’t Forget The Whiskey” you can make sure TC3 fans wouldn’t forget, after all their fan club is named ‘TC3 Drinking Club’. Touring in support of their latest release ‘Bury Me In My Boots’ they opened their set list, after a huge applause from the sold out crowd, with the self titled track from the album. Despite the album having only been out 3 months, the crowd appeared to have familiarised themselves lyric for lyric of the new tracks that followed.
The first portion of songs seemed to lack the typical energy expected of TC3’s usual performances, although should be noted Jaren stated in his southern drawl “We haven’t slept in like 3 days” and given the first night of the tour there’s always the chance of falling victim to this. Needless to say once the band led into their 4th song, teasing the endearing audience with a mere few notes, Tennessee Mojo followed suit which was met with a riotous cheer. Once TC3 got going there was no stopping them in their stride, knocking back fan favourite after another.
Major foot stomper, adrenaline pumping Party Like You, a track which wasn’t included in the set list in the last tour; the song that spawned TC3’s first music video, was certainly one of the high points of the evening, ensuring a major dance and sing-a-long frenzy would ensue.
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Briefly leaving the stage to then return, after a change of guitars, indicated this was time to take things down a notch. After addressing Jaren’s wife, Evyn, the band proceeded to deliver a near perfect rendition of Runnin’ Red Lights, showcasing the bands softer side. It’s always baffling how a song so well written and executed has yet to reach astronomical chart success; by the crowd reaction especially towards the last chorus, delivered in acapella form, was a beautiful memorable moment for all involved.
With variation being key, TC3 delivered a number of older fan favourites taken from the 2012’s self titled album, even tagging on the opening riff of Metallica’s Enter Sandman on the end of the swampy Down To The River, showing these southern boys go beyond their country roots.
Continuing the momentum Days Of Gold was next in the firing line. This song in particular thrives in a live setting, the studio version is a tamer country/bluegrass one, however the rendition that night was more Jake Owens’ cover version on steroids, pumped up and played full throttle. With a prolonged jam medley towards the end followed by the band leaving the stage to gear up for the inevitable encore.
There were two songs that would be a criminal offence to not play, regardless they weren’t left out. White Lightning, the penultimate song of the night, was an emotional affair. It may have been written for Evyn but the connection gave the feeling it was it was written for the fans; the genuine adoration for the Nashville trio truly is second to none.
Closing the evening was staple track The South, TC3’s anthem representing their heritage; a track that goes down better than even a double shot of Jack Daniels. With further overwhelming accompanying vocals from the audience, with the audience in his hand Jaren encouraging the repetition of lyrics “This is where I was born, this is where I’ll die”.
Although the set list weighed in at 90 minutes, compromising of 15 songs it’s clear everybody was hungry to be served more. Manchester may be a northern city but that night it sure had taken a southern injection.
Once again, TC3 prove that every time they visit this shore they guarantee handful of days of gold. As promised “If y’all keep comin’ back we’ll keep coming back”, if Manchester’s sold out crowd was anything to go by, TC3 will hopefully return very soon.
Bury Me In My Boots
Soundtrack To A Six Pack
Back It Up
Party Like You
Runnin’ Red Lights
Peace, Love & Dixie
Down To The River
Days Of Gold