During this performance, I realized how loyal Stapleton fans are to him and how loyal Stapleton is to his fans.
The Fabulous Fox Theater, St. Louis
Chris Stapleton is no stranger to the country/folk/bluegrass scene. Before Chris Stapleton was the solo touring act he is today, he was the lead singer of The Jompson Brothers, later becoming the beloved frontman of the SteelDrivers.
His debut album, Traveller, has no doubt earned his spot in country history. The album—comprised of 14 tracks—was released in May 2015. Not only does he play guitar and sing on the record but he co-produced the masterpiece as well. Stapleton said that the album was inspired by a road trip he took after his father died in 2013. He said he wrote the title track, “Traveller,” while on the trip with his wife.
On June 30, The Fox Theater in St. Louis welcomed him with open arms, ready to hear the gems from his debut album. The house was packed, sold out, and the concert-goers quickly became rowdy with excitement when the lights dimmed upon his humble entrance onto the stage. He performed most songs from Traveller with an amazing band supporting him. The quartet included J.T. Cure (from the Jompson Brothers) on bass, drummer Derek Mixon, and his lovely wife, Morgane Stapleton, singing harmonies alongside him. I haven’t seen a performer with a supporting group like this in a long time. Everyone played tastefully alongside one another. There was no competition for volume, which I’ve seen quite a bit with bands playing live. Each member knew their place and was in full support of the next member and especially Chris.
The chemistry was completely visible on the stage. Not one player broke eye contact from one another. The vocal harmonies between Morgane and Chris not once faltered, creating a beautiful sense of security for the audience. My two golden moments were when they performed the highly anticipated song “Fire Away” as well as their rendition of “You Are My Sunshine” which featured Morgane. The crowd became silent after the first phrase, and after each lyric, they cheered and began chanting the chorus. When the spotlight was on Morgane, the house was all-ears as soon as the first note was released. It was her moment in which she executed with perfection. It was such an inviting setting at The Fox and I know Chris, along with his bandmates, felt welcome in St. Louis.
Throughout the entire night in between tunes, he didn’t miss a chance to say, “I love you St. Louis” or “This one’s to you St. Louis” as he took a swig of whatever was in the red solo cup. I’m guessing whiskey due to the fact that at least three of his songs have that word in the title. During this performance, I realized how loyal Stapleton fans are to him and how loyal Stapleton is to his fans. Next time we will see him in St. Louis will be for Loufest on September 10. | Tonina Saputo