The Cadillac Three, originally named The Cadillac Black, are an American Southern Rock group, consisting of Jaren Johnston on guitar and lead vocals, Kelby Ray on acoustic guitar and Neil Mason on drums, take on Manchester Academy with support from Lindsay Ell, a Canadian Country Pop Singer.
One thing to say before Lindsay took the stage for her performance, there was such a divide of fans for The Cadillac Three and Lindsay Ell, normally at most shows you have the crowd being there for the main act and they get a bonus with the supports, but this time around it seemed like a lot of the crowd knew exactly who Lindsay was! The room quickly began to get packed out the second the doors opened at 7pm.
Fans flock to the barrier to get the perfect spot. Lindsay walks onto the stage with her drummer Petar Janjic, she’s wearing a leopard print sleeveless top, black latex pants with her hair down and wavy on her shoulders. Supporting her white guitar as she walks towards the mic.
The crowd is already ready to go as the lights come on and the guitar gets its first use.
As she kicks off her set the crowd already have their full attention on Lindsay. Not one person has their eyes elsewhere. She provides insane 80s inspired lyrics and guitar solos, giving appreciation to legends such as Queen and Prince, the perfect blend of a classic pop rock to get the crowd amped up for the night.
The energy from the crowd was certainly one to remember, a core memory for everyone there, especially for the young country fans that joined in.
An electronic backing track plays as front man and guitarist Jared Johnson takes to the stage with a pint already in hand, he approaches the mic and puts the cup in a holder attached to the stand as Kelby Ray and Neil Mason take their spots.
But don’t worry about him running out during the set, they had an honorary legend to fill up their cups whenever they got a little low.
“That is f***ing cool!” – I heard a member of the audience say next to me.
They start the show with ‘Hard out here for a Country boy’ starting a singalong from the crowd from the get go.
The energy from the lyrics and intense guitar solos amps the crowd up even more, and the room is without a doubt alive! The energy never dies for a single moment during their set, as they go into ‘Blue El Camino, Crackin’ Cold Ones With The Boys,’ and ‘The Jam.’ A brief pause comes in, as Jared Johnston introduces the crowd and any newcomers to the rest of the band, as well as mentioning that they’re from Nashville Tennessee. They follow this with ‘Bury me by the boots’ and ‘Slide’ the crowd is brought in with the band even further as Jared asks the audience, “Can I get a hell yeah?Can I get a alright?” as Mason stands up to join in on the craziness of the crowd.
“Tennessee Mojo” and “Back it Up” follow up next, as Jared then addresses the crowd by mentioning how often people in Manchester use the term ‘gutted’, adding that they were “Gutted not to come back” to promote their previous two albums, due to the pandemic. He added that Manchester was the first place where they really felt like rockstars and that this was the only thing they’re good at.
Like any rock set, you can have the energy but sometimes you just need to take the energy down a notch, as they go into a more heartfelt, Peace Love and Dixie’, ‘Hank and Jesus’, ‘American Slang’, and ‘Take Me To The Bottom’.
And if the crowd aren’t loving the set even more, TC3 brings out Lindsay Ell back onto the stage with her guitar to play some more insane riffs, sending the crowd into a series of cheers at the sight of the singer. Kelby Ray now comes to the front of the stage, sporting a bass guitar with all four of them at the stage front together. They play “Head over Wheels” and “Sweet Southern Spirit”, before jumping into “Tabasco and Sweet Tea” Where Jared and Lindsay trade guitar solos. After this Lindsay leaves the stage, sending us into the home stretch of the set.
“Down to the river” and “Raise Hell” throw in some more hard hitting riffs from Jared, followed by “Days of Gold” which lead Jared to hand his guitar to a member of the crowd, still sounding as musical as ever.
They finish with “White Lighting” bringing back the singalong aspect of the set from the start back for the end, and finally “The South” bringing the crowd to sing along to the incredibly brilliant lyrics “This is where I was born, and this is where i will die”,even pausing to repeat the line a cappella.
Plectrums and drumsticks get launched into the crowd, as the cheering never stops. Jared gets down to the barrier of the stage and trades hats with a member of the crowd, truly showing appreciation for the fans and showing that the connection they have with them will never die, no matter what city they may be in.
Images & words: Lauren Allard.