Reviewed by Debbie Talbot
I first came across Charles ‘Chip’ Esten in the TV show Nashville. This is a show which I have watched all seasons of over and over again because the talent of those involved with the show was phenomenal. I was blown away by his talent and his moving portrayal of his character Deacon Claybourne. He was so relatable and the on-screen story of himself and character Rayna James, played by amazing actress Connie Britton was gripping. I think I speak for many when I say that TV show Nashville is missed, #BringBackNashville. When I was told I could review the 27th October Royal Albert Hall London tour date I was like an excited teenager, as was my guest who attended with me last night. Before coming to London the tour went to Manchester, Glasgow, Gateshead, Birmingham and Bristol.
The Royal Albert Hall was well signposted from South Kensington tube station and approximately a 10 minute walk away from it. Attending such an exciting event in such an iconic building was so special. We were seated in the main part of the arena with an excellent view of the stage. The atmosphere within the audience was fantastic in the build up to the show. You could see how excited people were to see the concert and young and old alike made up the audience.
A wonderful support act called The Adelaides from The Midlands in the UK appeared for half an hour at 7.30pm. They sing a fusion of Country and Pop and their vocal talent was excellent with the words to their songs so relatable. My favourite song they sang was called Jelly Baby. It was lovely to see that they could sing the songs wonderfully whether they were slower pace songs or those of a faster pace. The 3 female singers within the band, Paris, Abi and Alicia looked so beautiful in their outfits. They came across as down to earth which I really like. It was also lovely to see how well the band members interacted with each other. It was lovely to see that the other musicians within the band clearly loved every moment of their performance. Song and musical instrument changes took place flawlessly. Abi and Paris played the guitar beautifully. I cannot wait to hear more of their music. I would see them as a support act or at their own gig. In my view, someone needs to sign this talented band if someone has not done so already.
After a 30 minute break during which time things were set up for Charles Esten’s performance, he came on to such an amazing reaction. I have one word, wow! This man makes musical magic. I was mesmerised by his vocal and guitar playing talent. I just say as well, he is even more handsome in person than he is on TV. During his time on stage, Charles engaged really well with the audience and explained the background of his songs. My absolute favourite was ‘Sanctuary’ which he sang with The Adelaides. That song moved me to tears on Nashville the TV show and last night was no different. The interaction between the members of The Adelaides and Charles Esten was beautiful to see. My second favourite song was ‘Trouble is’ which is a song his character Deacon Claybourne wrote with character Juliette Barnes (played by Hayden Panettiere) on Nashville. He even performed one song alone with an acoustic guitar. I think he found the perfect balance between his own music and songs familiar from his time on Nashville. His performance of ‘Shallow’ with The Adelaides was a showstopper. My guest particularly loved this song. Charles Esten comes across as such a well-grounded, down to earth person. He is so funny. I think many members of the audience particularly liked it when he took his suit jacket off later into his performance too. I love the fact that one of his band members used to do Deacon’s guitar playing on Nashville.
Charles Esten well done on your acting and singing accomplishments. They are truly well deserved. I know that my guest and I hope to see you perform in Nashville someday. We will certainly be coming to your performance next time you are back in the UK.
For more information, visit his website www.charlesesten.com to see his upcoming events and tour dates, to read more about him or to purchase his music.