On a warm but damp summer night in Manchester, Americana country music enthusiasts gathered at The O2 Ritz to witness a performance by the multi-talented actor and musician, Kiefer Sutherland, and his band. Mostly known for his iconic roles in film and television, Kiefer is also a well established musician and took a departure from the glitz of Hollywood to deliver a captivating night of country-rock infused music on his “So Full Of Love” U.K. leg of his tour. All Music’s
Long lines are waiting outside the O2 Ritz as we arrive and make our way into the venue. Kiefer is obviously very popular we even hear American voices as one lady explains to a security guard that she is from Pennsylvania.
We get into the pit just in time to see local band “Fine Lines” come onto stage in support. This Seven-piece Americana band, featuring BBC radio presenter Mark Radcliffe, from Knutsford, as drummer and lyricist are the perfect match for tonight. The band which was formed in 2016 are full of quality country music and with a fiddle, piano and Hammond organ, pedal steel and bass the sound is full and tight. The twin vocals of David Boardman and Zoe Blythe match perfectly and are a joy to listen to and are complimented well by Gary O’Brien (piano and Hammond organ), Emily Doggett (fiddle), Chris Lee (pedal steel), Jim Broughton (bass) and Mark Radcliffe (drums). If you love great country music try to catch these guys live and check out their album “Deadbeat Lullabies” A really great set to warm up the ever growing crowd.
As the lights dimmed, the stage came alive with an electric atmosphere as the band members took their positions. The anticipation in the air was palpable, and the crowd erupted into cheers as Kiefer Sutherland stepped onto the stage, wielding his guitar with a confident smile.
The set kicked off with the foot-stomping “Ole’ Lonely Life” an up-tempo number that immediately got the audience grooving. Sutherland’s gritty and soulful voice immediately won over the crowd, proving that he wasn’t just a Hollywood actor trying his hand at music; he was a seasoned musician with genuine talent.
The band’s chemistry was undeniable, each member complementing the other’s skills, and together, they delivered a tight and dynamic performance. It was evident that Sutherland and his band were not merely going through the motions; they were genuinely passionate about their craft.
Throughout the night, Sutherland’s charisma shone through as he engaged with the audience, sharing anecdotes about his journey into music and the stories behind some of his songs. This personal touch created an intimate atmosphere, making the concert feel like a gathering of friends rather than a typical celebrity performance.
While Kiefer Sutherland is primarily known as a country artist, the band showcased versatility, incorporating elements of blues, rock, and folk into their sound. From heart-wrenching ballads to foot-stomping anthems, the setlist had something for everyone.
The O2 Ritz proved to be the perfect setting for this intimate gig. Despite its sizable capacity, the venue retained an intimate atmosphere, allowing fans to connect with the music and the performer on a personal level.
As the night drew to a close, the band returned for a two song encore that left the audience clamouring for more. Kiefer Sutherland expressed his gratitude for the warm reception from the enthusiastic Manchester music lovers.
In retrospect, Kiefer Sutherland’s gig at The O2 Ritz Manchester was an unexpected delight. While some might have attended out of curiosity, they left as genuine fans, impressed by the passion and authenticity of the performance. Sutherland’s transition from acting to music was no mere vanity project; it was a testament to his artistry and dedication to his musical craft. A really enjoyable night of classic country rock.
1/ Ole’ Lonely Life
2/ Can’t Stay Away
3/ Chasing the Rain
4/ Going Down
5/ Going Home
6/ Something You Love
7/ Reckless & Me
8/ Two Stepping in Time
9/ Blame It on Your Heart
(Patty Loveless cover)
10/ Bloor Street
11/ County Jail Gate
12/ Ways to Be Wicked
(Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover)
13/ So Full of Love
14/ Set Me Free
15/ This Is How It’s Done
16/ Honey Bee
(Tom Petty cover)
17/ Down in a Hole
18/ Friday Night
FOLLOW KIEFER SUTHERLAND
FOLLOW FINE LINES
Warren is a live music and festival photographer based in Cheshire and covers gigs/festivals mostly in the North West of England. He has been photographing live music for over 10 years and has covered major artists and festivals