Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush are quite the duo. Sugarland stormed the stage of the Shoreline Amphitheater in Northern California to the raucous cheers of thousands of adoring fans. The country super stars have become accustom to venues the size of football stadiums. This breezy California night was no different. Vonda Shepard filled the opening role then it was time for the head liners to take the stage which they did in a very unique Sugarland way.
On stage chemistry cannot be rehearsed, bought or forced. Sugarland has no problem in this department. Throughout the night Nettles infectious laughter would boom from the amp’s and Bush would smile back. These two genuinely enjoy making music together. The atmosphere they create on stage spread to the audience quickly. Although this show has its fair share of production, it also has an intimate feel. As if Nettles is constantly ad libbing and Bush is constantly catching up, complimenting those ad libs perfectly.
Sugarland’s “Incredible Machine Tour” has lasted two years. They made an appearance in the Bay Area on both legs of the country wide jaunt. They were met by sell out crowd’s each time. The show was tweaked a little and new bits were added.
A young girl given a flag by Nettles and marching through the aisles waving it proudly was a highlight. And Bush running through the seats trying to find the right fan to receive a hand signed guitar always creates a kind of chaos reserved for country concerts. All of the showmanship adds to the overall production. But the most powerful moment of the night is Nettles solo performance of “Stay.”
Nettles has the unique ability to connect to thousands of people within two minutes of being seen by them. She made the massive audience seem small. Once she had delivered “Stay,” in her usual moving way, many were in tears.
Sugarland didn’t expect tears the whole night. “All I Want To Do,” and “It Happens” were performed with a breeziness that brought the party atmosphere back to life. There was a quick segment of the show saluting members of the military which got an ovation as well.
Nettles voice is the star of the show. The catchy song writing doesn’t hurt either. Sugarland ended the 90 minute performance on a high note and left the audience wanting more. The Incredible Machine should be back soon and will no doubt be met with another sell out crowd.