Live Review: Chase Rice (The Borderline, London)

Ciara Headlines, Live Review

I’d always thought that handmade signs were made for stadium shows, but they were out in force for Chase Rice’s intimate gig at London’s Borderline venue, with Sharpied ‘London Loves You’ and ‘It’s My Birthday (Follow Me On Twitter)’ carefully sketched onto cardboard. Whilst never having toured the UK before, Chase clearly has many a loyal fan this side of the pond.

The crowd last night was lovely – strangers took selfies with each other, and we all joined in for a collective chorus of Maren Morris’ My Church. I stand by my opinion that country music has the best fans so it was good to be surrounded by kindred spirits for a night of good music.

At 8pm, opening act Twinnie took to the stage. She’s very much an artist for the millennials with plenty of fun songs like It Won’t Stop and Better When I’m Drunk. Nowhere was this more clear than during self-penned track Social Babies, probably the only song out there to use ‘iOS’ (as in Apple) as a lyric. I preferred the more heartfelt songs like Looking Out For You, interestingly written from the point of view of her grandfather, and Superhero, written with the brilliant Lucie Silvas. Whilst some of the crowd chatted away at the bar, it was nice to see others easily picking up the words to her songs and singing along.

Chase’s set started in a way reminiscent of the man himself – with no fanfare as he walked silently on stage and took a seat in front of the mic. No ‘how you doing London?!’ or ‘you ready to party?’ that other artists would be tempted to do, but the ideal entrance for a no holds barred artists like Chase. He began with Do It Like This, occasionally pulling his head back from the mic whilst singing to create a sense of depth, difficult to do in such an acoustic setting.

As he began How She Rolls, I found myself thinking that whilst his style worked well in such an intimate gig, I could see easily how he could play the same songs to arenas full of screaming fans as the opener for the likes of Kenny Chesney. No doubt the songs would sound very different, so I would be interested to see how he would perform in situations like this. We were told last night that he’ll be returning next year with a full band, so I guess we’ll see then!

A lot of his songs are what I would call ‘Saturday night songs’, party anthems like I Like Drinking, Cause It’s Fun and Jack Daniels Showed Up, which even if you’ve never heard before, you can guess what they might be like. Nevertheless, if you wanted an artist to get the party started on a Tuesday night, you’d be hard pressed to find one better than Chase, with glasses raised all round.

As well as his drinking songs, Chase is far from a PG-13 artist, as evidenced by songs like 50 Shades of Crazy and Ride. However, whilst the crowd may otherwise feel awkward singing some of those lyrics in a room full of people, Chase helped to diffuse the atmosphere, inviting a girl from the front row up for the latter song and jokingly instructing her boyfriend to sing it to her at some point.

I must admit, my favourite songs from the night were the less usual ones that showed what he termed his ‘sweeter side’ and I think as well, his vocals. On softer tracks like Three Cords and the TruthCarolina Can, his favourite song that he’s released, and the romantic Eyes On You, about missing all the sights the world has to offer because you can’t take your eyes off the one you love, his raspy voice took on a different tone to the ‘new country party sound’ of many of his other tracks.

He finished his set with some of his successful hits, including Gonna Wanna Tonight (easy to sing along to!), Ready Set Roll, and one of the most successful country hits of our time, which I was unaware that he had written, Florida Georgia Line’s Cruise. Whilst certainly not an artist I imagine is to everyone’s taste, Chase has very loyal fans and some great party tracks. For a Tuesday night, he sure put on a good show.

Interested in more reviews like this? Make sure to follow us on Twitter @CiarasCountry and @nashoverhere and let us know of any upcoming concerts you’d love to see a review of!


More Information

Birthday

19th September, 1985


Hometown

Asheville, North Carolina



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About the Author

Ciara

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Hi! I’m Ciara, long time country music fan, host of ‘Ciara’s Country’ on Purple Radio, and blogger on a mission to bring country music to a wider audience in the UK by proving it’s not all about trucks and banjos! I love all kinds of contemporary country, from big Nashville names to the latest UK artists – I’ll listen to just about anything. You can normally find me reviewing and interviewing artists at any country music gigs I can find in London or scouring social media looking to find the next big thing!