Fresh off the back of their recent CMA award win, rising US country stars Midland ride into the Boiler Shop in Newcastle.

Following one of the stand out performances at this year’s C2C Festival, Midland are currently on the road as part of their first ever UK headline tour. So much has been the demand to see the Austin-based outfit that this run has largely been sold out. Subsequently, a packed out crowd awaits the band on their first visit to the North East at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle.

The fans in attendance tonight are dressed for the occasion; many of whom arrive sporting cowboy hats and plaid shirts. Although the venue itself looks equally impressive, with a huge and beautifully decorated Christmas tree towering over the building from the side of the stage.

The atmosphere at fever pitch as John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” resonates around the room, as Midland hits the stage. The band kick off the show with “Check Cashin’ Country”, “Burn Out” and “Electric Rodeo”, which in turn creates somewhat of an impressive opening. The group has the Tyneside country crowd captivated from the off.

With its incredible three-part vocal harmonies and catchy hooks “Gator Boys” is one of the stand out songs of the first half of the set. The band have a bit of fun with the track live, as they segue a few bars of John Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane” into the mix, to great effect.

Despite the fact that Midland’s debut album is still pretty fresh, the band already has their sights firmly focused on the next chapter. This evening the band showcase a pair of numbers which will feature on their sophomore album in the shape of YouTube favourite “Fourteen Gears” and the groove-heavy “21st Century Honky Tonk American Band”. The latter of which has undertones of the Allman Brothers Band, due to its incredible twin part guitar harmonies.

This evening, Midland also showcase the breadth of their musical influences with the inclusion of several covers. The band put their country stamp on the Beegee’s “Stayin Alive” before they turn up the funk with a superb rendition of The Rolling Stones “Miss You”. However, it is Midland’s beautiful performance of Bruce Springsteen’s “Tougher Than The Rest”, which is the best of the bunch.

Midland pay tribute to guitar great Jerry Reed with their take on “East Bound and Down”, which is a definite crowd pleaser. Of course, the song was made famous due to its inclusion in the movie Smokey and the Bandit. With his Stetson hat, and handlebar moustache, frontman Mark Wystrach maybe resembles the star of the aforementioned film, but he jokes that Burt Reynolds is not his father.

The band takes the crowd higher with “Altitude”, which features some rather fitting green lights, before bringing their main set to a close with the hit single “Make A Little”, leaving the crowd wanting more.

A five-song encore, featuring megahit “Drinkin’ Problem” and culminating in a spellbinding rendition of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” brings the night to a close.

Tonight may well have been Midland’s first visit to the North East of England, but judging by the response the band received this evening, it most certainly won’t be their last.

Midland
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Event Date: 02-Dec-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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