When Chris Stapleton played a show at Forest Hills Stadium on July 23rd, he had tough shoes to follow. In the past few weeks Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and other artists played shows there.
The 2X 2016 Grammy winning artist ( Best Country Album and Best Country Solo Performance) lived up to the task.
Any of my loyal readers would guess I went to Greg Allman’s Laid Back Festival in Jones Beach this past Saturday evening instead. To the contrary, one of my New Years’ resolutions has been to listen to more Post-1980 music. I’d lie if my new liking for Chris Stapleton had not nothing to do with the Allman Brothers though. I first heard of him when I saw this video of him guesting for Warren Haynes during ” Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” in Nashville last October:
Unsurprisingly, he did play lots of hits off his Grammy winning album “Traveler”, including the title song itself, the opener “Nobody to Blame”, “The Devil Named Music” and “Tennessee Whiskey”.
Whiskey turned out to be a theme of the show; in addition to “Tennessee Whiskey”, he played “Drinkin’ Dark Whiskey” and “Whiskey and You”.
The highlight of the one long set show was a cover of “You are My Sunshine”, in which Chris Stapleton and his wife Morgane Stapleton exhibited high-pitched vocals and encouraged a lot of audience participation ala Paul McCartney.
After “Fire Away”, we got a tease of the song everyone wants to hear at a rockshow- none other than “Freebird”. It would have been nice if the band played the whole thing; Stapleton and his backup guitarist played some nice bluesy solos.
For the encore, I was able to get up to the third row and snap some good shots from my phone camera. Stapleton did a good job singing “Sometimes I Cry” in a low but loud pitch like Greg Allman does on “Whipping Post.”
I do have a bit of mixed feelings that I missed Gregg’s festival over this show but I am definitely happy I went. Once Stapleton produces a few more albums and has a larger songs catalog, he will become a true top-tier artist and will attract more guests of his one.
Here is the full setlist: