AS IF REAL life country music isn’t already enough of a soap opera, the hit show Nashville has dramatised the lives, loves and machinations of an intersecting bunch of fictional musicians in the titular city across six seasons, becoming a lucrative franchise along the way – not least for the actor-musicians and the actual Nashville songwriters who contribute to the show’s very convincing soundtrack, in some cases bettering the output of genuine contemporary country stars.
Hydro, Glasgow ***
This slick, no-nonsense farewell concert celebration kicked off with the touring cast members – rugged Charles Esten, sensitive Sam Palladio, hunky Chris Carmack, indie rocker Jonathan Jackson and pixie-ish Clare Bowen – joining in one by one on a typically tuneful if bland curtain-raiser.
Camaraderie established, the stars and backing band of seasoned sessioneers roamed around the country subgenres but never far from the middle of the road. Carmack and Palladio made good on their onscreen bromance with some pop-inflected fare but laid on the tremolo effects for a more rocking Going Electric.
The infectious Bowen was fond of a foray into the crowd but at her best replicating her onscreen chemistry with Palladio on sonorous slow waltz Fade Into You.
Everyone fell for the gritty charm of unofficial MC Esten who led the touching closing singalong Life That’s Good, but it was self-confessed Simple Minds fan Jackson who took the vocal honours of the night with a soaring rendition of Unchained Melody, which was more Radiohead than Righteous Brothers.