GIG REVIEW: LANCO – Live At O2 Institute3, Birmingham

The latest country act having a crack at the UK scene is LANCO, who are currently on their first headlining tour over here, the ‘Hallelujah Nights’ Tour. The Nashville five-piece made a huge impression at last year’s Country2Country festival, particularly with a rocking set at the Indigo which certainly raised some eyebrows. They’re becoming recognised as a highly credible live act in the genre, and it was our pleasure to see them at the very intimate O2 Institute3 where they provided a hugely entertaining 70-minute set.

Opening the show was rising star Bailey Bryan, who has already played shows with the likes of Kane Brown, Dan + Shay and Kelsea Ballerini in the States. She came to visit us in 2017 at C2C, and is now looking to build on that successful introduction. With an EP under her belt, she’s now ready to release a second EP, which she says is an insightful look into her vulnerabilities and personal side. We’ve been loving ‘Songbird’ (released last year) and new single ‘Perspective’, so it was great to hear those live. She brings a really cool Pop/R&B influenced vibe and has a really endearing stage presence; definitely one to keep an eye on in years to come.

Kicking off the set list with ‘Hallelujah Nights’, it was a high energy start for Lanco, and that energy was never really lost from start to finish. They powered through all the big anthems from the debut album, including ‘Long Live Tonight’, ‘We Do’ and ‘Singin’ At The Stars’, and I honestly can’t remember the Institute3 being as loud before. It was rocking! Every track on the ‘Hallelujah Nights’ has a memorable hook that makes it so damn catchy, and it makes for a really engaging set list. A special mention for the new single ‘Rival’, too, which is a superb addition to their catalogue and was a big highlight from the live show. That has to be a hit.

Their choice of covers was inspired, too. It’s always difficult when you’ve only got one album to delve into, but they managed to stretch out the set with some fan favourites, all the way from John Michael Montgomery to The Killers! ‘Mr Brightside’ always gets a crowd bouncing; one of those iconic tracks that music fans of all genres just connect with. JMM’s ‘Sold’ followed, as we entered the ‘Honky Tonk’ section. Brandon and the boys jumped into the crowd and stood in the centre of the room for a medley of Broadway favourites ‘Drink In My Hand’, ‘Free Fallin’’ and ‘Springsteen’. They certainly know how to work a room!

They brought the set to a close with their two hit singles ‘Born To Love You’ and of course, ‘Greatest Love Story’ which was a great way to end the show with a big singalong. There were some proper Lanco die-hards in that crowd who knew every single word all night long – there were probably some sore throats on Saturday morning!

I don’t think we’ll be seeing Lanco in these kinds of venues for much longer – this is still just the beginning of a very special journey for these guys in the UK. We know how loyal the country fan base is over here, and it is only going to get bigger and bigger for them. They’re a perfect choice for The Long Road, and I can’t wait to see their big festival show that they do so often across the pond.

Dan Wharton
@LifeInASong_Dan

Set list:

Hallelujah Nights
Long Live Tonight
We Do
Win You Over
So Long (I Do)
Pick You Up
Singin’ At The Stars
Rival
Mr Brightside
Sold
Drink In My Hand / Free Fallin’ / Springsteen
Middle Of The Night
Trouble Maker
Born To Love You
Greatest Love Story