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Live Review: Morgan Wallen – 4th July 2024 – BST Hyde Park, London, UK

5 min read
We were at Day 3 of @BSTHydePark last night as country music superstar @MorganWallen delivered a stadium worthy spectacle for UK fans as part of his One Night at a Time World Tour.....

Morgan Wallen | Photo by Dave Hogan

Over the last decade or so, Britian has become weakened at the knees by Country music. While the 90’s was an era that helped the genre become more mainstream here in the UK, thanks to the likes of Shania Twain and Faith Hill crossing over into pop terrain and a decade later with Taylor Swift following suit, musical palettes on this side of the pond have become a little more refined and British fans have really fallen in love with the much more traditional Country music acts that were once reserved only for US audiences. These days we are seeing a flood of the cream of the Country crop visiting our shores and playing to tens of thousands of fans a night in some of the countries biggest venues and stadiums.

With that love affair not looking like it will be coming to an end anytime soon, it seemed appropriate that a megastar of the genre would be added to the incredible, star-studded line-up of this years BST Hyde Park series, and a genre first for the series as he would make note of during his powerful London takeover last night.

Morgan Wallen’s journey from unknown Nashville singer to global megastar has been quite a remarkable one. At a fresh 31 years old, the former The Voice contestant has become one of the most successful musicians in the US in an impressively short space of time, gathering up countless awards, number ones and sold out tours – as well as a handful of minor controversies – so we were particularly excited to be heading along to see the bad boy of his genre deliver his One Night at a Time World Tour spectacle to a buzzing Hyde Park crowd.

Morgan Wallen | Photo by Dave Hogan

We arrived at Hyde Park a little later in the set last night than we had hoped for but just in time to catch Wallen take to the iconic tree framed BST stage. The cowboy hats and cowgirl boots were out on full display for the US superstars arrival and what better way to show the influence Wallen has had on British fans that a fashion tribute to his homeland. Wallen was last in the UK in 2023 where he headlined and sold out the O2 Arena – something he pointed out early on in the set when comparing the arenas capacity to last night’s staggering 50,000 attendees.

At a little after 8.20pm the screens lit up and displayed an approaching Wallen who was dressed in head to toe white and donning a Stream & Field cap. This is an element to Wallen’s shows that have become a tradition and one that evidently works the crowd into an early state of frenzy as the star is shown making his way toward the stage while mouthing along to Broadway Girls and Whisky Whisky which was being blasted over the park and atop thousands of screaming fans eager to get their first live glimpse of the singer.

As soon as each of the name tag branded band members had taken their positions, the cue was given and Morgan leapt onto the stage to a roaring applause from a crowd that was surprisingly made up of predominantly twenty and thirsty-somethings. Diving straight into a punchy opening offering of Ain’t That Some the show was off to an absolutely cracking start right form the get-go.

Morgan Wallen | Photo by Dave Hogan

Morgan promised fans to deliver as many songs as possible before the nights curfew. He delivered on that promise with a meaty 23 song set that included powerful live renditions of the pop influenced One Thing At A Time, which saw the stage screams lit up in blue and green bars of neon light, and a massive crowd sing along to I Wrote The Book with the superstar confessing, “I never thought I’d spend 4th July right here” as his fans belted back “I love you’s” and held adoring signs or US flags in the air to further help Wallen feel at home on the momentous US day.

Wallen’s interaction with his fans was something to commend. In the mid-section of the set, the singer and a couple of his bandmates made their way into the depths of the 50,000 strong Hyde Park crowd and over to a small stage that was set up for him to perform a string of crowd-pleasers. Ocassionaly shaking hands of fans that outstretched their arms to him, he offered up some of the shows highlights including a cover of Jason Isbell’s Cover Me Up, big ballad and guitar picked Thought You Should Know – which he dedicated to his mother back home and all of the mothers in attendance last night, and new single, Lies Lies Lies which he explained was recorded at the famous Abbey Road Studios and would be released as soon as the shows draws to a close. A piano was then unveiled for Wallen to offer fans a beautiful and moving performance of Sand In My Boots which allowed the stars rich, charismatic southern drawl to wash over the crowd.

Heading back to the main stage, Wallen welcomed back support act ERNEST for a duet on Cowgirls before further stomping catalogue gems including a colourful performance of This Bar, which had various US bar images cast upon the giant screens that were starting to light up the park as the sun began to set.

No Hyde Park show would be complete with some pyrotechnics and Wallen delivered bursts of heat into the crowd during catchy performances of Up Down which had bursts of flames propelled downward form the top of the stage structure and also served as one of the biggest karaoke style moments of the night, as did his collaborative hit with Post Malone, I Need Some Help. Lasers also helped paint Hyde Park in vibrant colours throughout many of the numbers performed, helping elevate the performance into an even brighter stage spectacle.

With Whisky Glasses closing the main section of the set, Wallen returned to the stage after a few moments to deliver a meaty encore of Thinkin’ Bout Me, fan-favourite and near-billion streamer Last Night before capping the icons stellar Hyde Park performance with closing hit, The Way I Talk, leaving fans smiling ear to ear and looking truly satisfied as they sang arm in arm with friend or were held on shoulders of the boyfriends and punched arms into the night air as a signal to their devotion of the US hitmaker.

Early in the set Wallen announced to the cowed, “I’m the first country music artist to play the Hyde Park stage”. After his spectacular first round, there seemed little doubt that this was going to be his last.

Morgan Wallen | Photo by @ISHASHAHPHOTOGRAPHY