Chris Stapleton’s American Roadshow Tour rolled into Toronto’s Budweiser Stage on Thursday and unsurprisingly sold out. The forecast for the night was not ideal, but even a torrential downpour just prior to Chris’ set could not damper the crowd’s mood in the least. The bill included Georgia native Brent Cobb, and current Nashvillian Margo Price. Two great artists, prepping the full house for an entire night of solid Americana sounds.
Now, everyone by this point is aware of the talent that Chris Stapleton possesses. His resume for songwriting is a lengthy one. He has been around for a long time, fronting The Steeldrivers and The Jompson Brothers. His first solo album Traveller was huge, really taking off after winning multiple CMA’s and his infamous performance with Justin Timberlake. Now out with a new album From A Room: Volume 1, the guy is just pure talent.
So, obviously Chris Stapleton live is one of the best experiences one could have and I could go on and on about it. But, I want to talk about his dynamic with his talented wife Morgane. It became apparent early on and it is something I was focused on through out the show. Often the two can seem like they are just singing in a small space to one another, not another soul around. Meanwhile there are 16 000 fans singing at the top of their lungs to all the chorus’, rain soaking half of them, people dancing and screaming, and Chris and Morgane can just drop into their own loving world with a glance and a smile. The peak of all this was during More Of You, where the couple turned and sang it directly to one another. Nothing gimmicky or put on, everything seemed so refreshingly genuine. Much like Stapleton’s music itself.
I knew and saw a lot of people that night. It seemed almost like every musician in the GTA showed up to watch as well. Everyone was blown away, adding that getting drenched was easily worth it. As great as Chris Stapleton’s music is on the albums, it is that much better in person. Goosebumps are a symptom that can last the entire set. Powerful vocals, poetic songwriting, entrancing guitar solos, swampy riffs, it’s all there. Morgane’s voice compliments Chris’ perfectly and we should all hope they keep putting out as much music as they can for a long time to come. Please come back to Toronto soon. With some of the craziness going on in the world today, a Stapleton show is a cathartic release that is forever welcome.
Photos and words: Mike Highfield