There’s something about country pop music which sparkles with its precision. Like a well oiled machine Little Big Town march straight to the back of the stage for the opening bars of Turn the Lights On before moving in a uniformed fashion to the front. From here they blast through 5 or 6 songs with only so much as a ‘it’s great to be here’. Nevertheless what’s lacking in the more personal touches is more than counterbalanced with the perfection of their sound.
With not so much as a note or beat out of time, tracks from Tornado and the more recent Pain Killer feature heavily, but this still gives way for earlier tracks like Little White Church to have their place in the spotlight. Moving through pop, ballad and rock sounds the songs are diverse and varied, but at times it’s all a bit too saccharine. Though Girl Crush offers more grit and gravel, with Karen left to steal the show, and Faster Gun and Stay All Night allow Jimi and Phillip to take centre stage, the whole affair feels somewhat mechanical; as if they’re going through the motions, rather than truly embracing the show.
The polished performance doesn’t quite translate to a UK crowd and instead it feels more like a large arena show in an unfitting venue. Their performance is pristine, it just lacks a bit of individuality. It’s almost half way through the show before they finally move away from the rehearsed to deliver their best English accents, and it’s here they finally begin to unleash their potential to fully connect with the crowd, if only for a few short moments.
That being said, tracks from their new album clearly show they’re onto a winning formula and Sober ensures that every member of the crowd (myself included) is singing along. Meanwhile their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain and Pontoon act as other musical highlights of the set. Sadly though, the end result is something which seems almost over rehearsed and though musically it can’t be faulted, it lacks the personality to make this a standout evening.