Natalie Stovall and The Drive brought its talents to Nashville‘s venue 3rd and Lindsley last night, May 28th, for a show packed with high-energy performances, stellar musicality, stunning vocals, and a flock of friends. To begin the show, Natalie (and her beloved locks) entered stage left following a recorded introduction of her singing an a cappella opening of The Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Instantaneously, the attention of the room was captured and the interest of the crowd never once faltered.
Natalie explained, as she laughed at herself, that she was backstage “freaking out” and couldn’t wait to step on to the stage because “as soon as I saw y’alls faces, I knew I would be okay!” While it was obvious Natalie’s nerves quickly escaped, she was not even close to okay. She was an absolute superstar that exuded pure joy every second of her time on (and off) stage.
Natalie Stovall and The Drive played a large collection of originals to the delight of fans front and center who sang along to every word, and also worked in covers that resulted in high fives between onlookers. Natalie also ensured that the party at 3rd and Lindsley largely took place on stage, inviting several friends to join her and the group throughout the well-rounded set list. Included on the list of accomplished artists who joined the stage were Ruthie Collins, Jessica Roadcap, Hailey Steele, and show opener “Nathan Frickin’ Chapman” (as introduced by Natalie). While many of the show’s standout moments came from the collaborations with these musicians, the event was so thoroughly constructed that it was truly a highlight from start to finish.
As the show progressed, Natalie grabbed instrument after instrument, proving to be a prodigy on every member of the string family of a band. From the guitar to the mandolin to a gorgeous fiddle, Natalie strummed, plucked, and bowed away, sitting, standing, and even laying across a speaker, engrossing the crowd with every note. Aside from the string instruments, Natalie also shined using another device — her voice. On songs like “Dear Dolly” (with Ruthie Collins and Jessica Roadcap), Natalie sent shivers down the spines of attendees, filling the entire room with pitch perfection and deep-rooted emotion. She likewise shattered all vocal boundaries on a collaborative performance with Nathan Chapman of a song the pair wrote just last week.
Incorporated on the set list to supplement a wide array of originals were cross-genre covers that ranged from country to classic rock to R&B/pop. Placing her usual show closer at the middle of her list, Natalie fiddled and finessed her way through a full version of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” leaving the audience unaware of the astonishing parts of the event that still remained.
What remained were a few more originals, a couple more guest performances, covers of Aerosmith’s “Livin’ on the Edge” and Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” that were absolutely unexpected and unforgettable, and a show-ending medley of unparalleled proportions. The medley included, but was not limited to, Buck Cherry’s “Crazy Bitch,” Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love,” Scorpions’ “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” and Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way?”
Before leaving the stage, Natalie expressed her gratitude to everybody who came out to the show, sharing love for “all of your beautiful faces” and ending the night with an excited “Peace, Love, and Fiddle!”
A night that was truly filled with peace, love, and a fiddle, Natalie Stovall and The Drive took fans on a trip across decades and genres, proving their broad range of abilities and significance in the industry. What the event left me wondering is why are we not hearing these masterful musicians on the radio amongst the chart-toppers? A true sampling of the talent that exists in Nashville, Natalie Stovall and The Drive is an act for the music lover in all of us who has a sincere appreciation for happiness, passion, and a pure enjoyment for what these artists were put on this Earth to do.
And while Natalie may be one of a group, she is certainly no undervalued “tomato.” Instead, she is everything wonderful and colorful that sits firmly atop a solid foundation of musical support. A true team of talented individuals, Natalie Stovall and The Drive consists of the perfect ingredients for a recipe that will instantly become your favorite.