Main Stage @ C2C Festival - Jake Owen
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Jake Owen Sells 90s Charm At His C2C Debut In London

March 10, 2024 10:55 am GMT
Last Edited March 18, 2024 11:29 am GMT

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Photography by Kendall Wilson

Jake Owen made his C2C debut on the main stage at London's o2 Arena on Saturday night.

Long-haired and limbed, he could easily have been mistaken for Keith Urban cosplaying as the fourth member of Midland, if he'd only got halfway through a TikTok challenge to take a bath in custard; his bright yellow flares glaring against a smoky black backdrop making him look, at times, like a literal canary in a coalmine.

Leaving the stage for impromptu selfie sessions, melodramatic electric guitar solos and to show off his core strength as he threw his torso back further than a Russian ballerina with a strut to rival Freddie Mercury, he charmed the crowd in a 70-minute set that contained his biggest hits such as 'American Country Love Song,' 'Down To The Honky Tonk' and 'Barefoot Blue Jean Night'.

The crowd rose to their feet as he evoked the spirit of 90s country, encapsulated in his song 'I Want My CMT', which reimagines Dire Straits' 'Money For Nothing' in an ode to the days of country music when Brooks & Dunn and Alan Jackson ruled the airwaves. He continued his penchant for referencing classic tracks with his tunes 'I Was Jack (You Were Diane)', and 'On The Boat Again', alongside a cover of Ben E King's 'Stand By Me'.

Tracks such as 'Southern Summer' and 'Homemade', set against a backdrop of vintage stock footage of American coastline, mountains, open roads, classic cars, football games and bucking bulls, gave us a glimpse into Jake Owen's world, one in which the sky is always blue, the sand is always white and the good guys always win in the end.

It was perhaps best summed up with a cover of Hank Williams Jr's 'O.D'd in Denver'. "Then I O.D'd in London and I can't even remember her name", he sang to cheers, some that might have seem misplaced for the subject matter if Owen didn't possess that rare quality of being able to sell everything that comes out of his mouth with a smile that's as dangerous as it is blinding.

For more on C2C Festival 2024, see below:

Written by Holly Smith
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