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Review: Nashville Live at the State Theatre

By Carly Fisher

Nashville Live has been making its way across 20 Australian venues – both metro and regional – to bring the best of country music straight from Tennessee to the Australian shores. Finally hitting Sydney this past Saturday night, the State Theatre was filled with fans of all ages who love the glamour, energy and music of the great country stars.

The stage was adorned with old-school microphones and an ‘on air’ sign that would certainly have others in the audience who have also visited the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville drawing the obvious connections. The show begins by counting us in to going live on the radio and from there we are treated to songs from some of the greats, ranging from Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers to a certain crowd pleaser, the queen of Country, Dolly Parton. Song after song, as country music fans, we, as an audience, couldn’t help but sing along to those we knew, and enjoy the introduction to those songs that we didn’t yet know.

Interrupting the songs were the old ads that were never pre-recorded but instead performed live on stage through these radio recordings, even with the live audience present. This was a feature that I really loved when I visited the Grand Ole Opry last year and I was really pleased to see that it was kept so honest and truthful on stage in Nashville Live. The ads offered some great humour to the evening whilst also acted as a way to set the time period. With no establishing information at the top of the show in regards to era or place, the ads guided us through some changing times and a quick nod to the Ryman Auditorium set our stage.

As if the great music wasn’t enough, the performers are perfection. All 8 performers on stage – this includes the PHENOMENAL live band that accompany every song – are true masters of their craft and it was refreshing to see a performance with not a single note or cue out of place. They are evidently seasoned professionals who also have a passion for country music and this shines through to the equally passionate audience they are sharing their gift with. Whether or not you’re a country music fan, if you like live music, you should see this show anyway just to appreciate the talent of the exceptional cast on stage.

The saddest part of the show is that it was only in Sydney for one night – many who surrounded me in the audience mentioned wanting to go again the next day and no doubt, word of mouth would help secure another audience. Evidently Sydney was hungry for a show just like this one – with all the bells and whistles of great talent singing songs they love – and simply put, we want more.

All in all, we loved the show and loved our night at Nashville Live – it was fun to sing and dance along and it was awesome to see such wonderful international talent take to the stage!

Photos from the evening

All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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