They scrambled to buy tickets for the chance to get close to Deacon, Scarlett, Avery, Gunnar and Will. Yet, by the looks of the adoring sold-out crowd at Joe’s Bar in Chicago Friday night, they ended up falling in love with Charles, Clare, Jonathan, Sam and Chris.
Make no mistake—there were the gaggles of 40-somethings swooning over Deacon, and 20-somethings admiring Scarlett’s Pink Pewter headband and blue sparkly dress she just might have borrowed from the fine ABC wardrobe department. But then there were the moments where everyone packed into that room forgot about the television show and the ratings and the story lines, and concentrated simply on what’s important—the music.
Backed by an impressive-sounding four-piece band, a sometimes distracting merry-go-round of characters from the ABC’s hit show Nashville assembled in the Windy City for the first-ever Nashville Concert Tour stop, bringing with them their Hollywood looks and some undeniable singing and playing talents.
The biggest ovations of the night seemed to go to Charles “Chip” Esten’s rendition of “Like New”, with hat-wearing Sam Palladio taking over on drums, and Chip’s original “Whiskey Lips,” which had him leaving the stage to grab a shot of whiskey for himself and ultimately offering up the first spontaneous-feeling moment of the otherwise overly scripted night.
The incredible lyrics of “This Town,” performed by Chip and starlet Clare Bowen, lacked a bit of impact over the clanks of beer bottles and ongoing conversations, but the hush returned with Clare’s version of “Black Roses,” in which her endearing innocence and undeniable talent collided within an awe-inspiring performance.
Sam made us fall in love with him again during his duet with Clare on “If I Didn’t Know Better,” and Chris Carmack impressed the country die-hards with his homage to recently deceased songwriter Jesse Winchester on “A Showman’s Life.” Jonathan Jackson even got to show off his piano talents on “Morning of the Raw.”
And the all-cast sing-along to “A Life That’s Good” at the end of the night? Well, it was indeed the perfect ending to a storybook evening.
See more photos from the event on Country Weekly HERE.