Reba McEntire was the last of the headliners announced for this year’s C2C: Country to Country and her Main Stage performance marked her return to the UK after many years away.
With the recent release of a double faith-based collection Sing It Now, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from Reba’s headline set. UK fans aren’t known for embracing the more religious side of Country music and thankfully Reba was savvy enough to realise that. Her set was made up of all the hits you’d want to hear along with just two selections from Sing It Now.
Reba arrived on the stage at 9.10pm starting her set with Can’t Even Get the Blues. It was quite refreshing to have some more traditional Country music getting Main Stage time as many of the artists that have performed on the Main Stage so far lean towards contemporary Country. Reba took the audience through her 41 years in music picking out selections that she knew people wanted to hear such as Whoever’s In New England, And Still and Going Out Like That.
One of the more emotive moments was a cover of Kelly Clarkson’s Because of You. Kelly is Reba’s daughter-in-law and the two first met when she was Kelly’s superstar duet partner on American Idol. The two have worked together a lot since then and Reba covered Because of You for her duets album with Kelly. It was one of the highlights of the night and Reba’s take on the song is very different to, but just as effective as Kelly’s.
Elsewhere in the set Reba performed a medley of hits including You’re No Good, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Walk On and I’d Rather Ride Around With You. She dug into her more recent catalogue with Turn on the Radio and Strange, and pleased the crowd by singing I’m a Survivor, the theme tune to her sitcom Reba.
For the encore, Reba came out with an outfit change to perform Fancy and it was a fitting end to a show that celebrated Country tradition and the remarkable career that Reba has enjoyed.
There’s no doubt that Reba is a legend. She delivered her set like the seasoned pro she is telling stories between songs, recounting memories from her career and singing the hits. I do perhaps wonder if she would have been better playing on the same bill as Marty Stuart and some of the more traditional artists performing over the weekend.
Set list: 1. Can’t Even Get the Blues 2. The Fear of Being Alone 3. One Promise Too Late 4. How Blue 5. Whoever’s in New England 6. Little Rock 7. And Still 8. Going Out Like That 9. You’re No Good / The Heart is a Lonely Hunter / Walk On / I’d Rather Ride Around With You 10. The Greatest Man I Never Knew 11. Back To God 12. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot 13. Strange 14. Because of You (Kelly Clarkson cover) 15. Turn on the Radio 16. The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (Vicki Lawrence cover) 17. Does He Love You 18. Take It Back / Why Haven’t I Heard from You 19. I’m a Survivor 20. Is There Life Out There 21. Fancy Performance Date: Saturday 11th March 2017