Photos by Kendall Wilson
Country favourites Midland took to the main stage of the O2 Arena on Saturday night for C2C Festival, bringing the Texan heat to the heart of London with a fiery set of neo-traditionalist bangers and immaculate covers.
Fronted by Mark Wystrach (aka Holler's Most Fanciable Artist, as voted for by our readers), who glided about throughout the performance with toweringly smooth moves and an all-knowing cheeky charm, the band kicked off with a dramatic Spaghetti Western-esque intro, leading straight into The Last Resort: Greetings From's 'If I Lived Here'.
The packed-out and adoring crowd were up out of their seats from the get-go, swaying along with interlocked arms to the mellow numbers and boogying down the aisles to the honky tonk tunes.
Midland certainly have a knack for bringing a modern twang to their sun-drenched, traditionalist country vibes, in large part thanks to the sheer creative skill of their songwriting and musicianship. The instrumentation throughout the set was flawless; loose, groovy and jamming whilst remaining perfectly tight. Members regularly switched roles - bassist Cameron and guitarist Jess each taking their own turns to sing lead vocals and front songs.
This was most notable during the surprise cover of Thin Lizzy's 'The Boys are Back in Town', Cameron taking centre stage and leading a call and response with the 20,000-strong audience, before going on to shred hard enough to rip his jeans.
Speaking of covers - Midland's execution of their choices was flawless, taking on Garth Brooks' 'Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old), Glen Campbell's iconic 'Wichita Lineman' and Jerry Read's 'East Bound and Down', before ending on a jaw-dropping rendition of Chris Isaak's 'Wicked Game'. Sure, it's a song that's covered by everyone, but it marked a perfect end to an arena set for the ages.
Taken from The O2 in London, UK on March 11th 2023.
For more on C2C Festival 2023, see below: