Cassadee Pope Shines at Country Summer
June 10, 2015
The Country Summer festival in Santa Rosa, Calif., got off to a big-time start on Saturday with Cassadee Pope’s high-voltage set.
The Season 3 winner of NBC’s The Voice has been taking the country world by storm with a platinum debut record and a billing at the 2015 edition of Stagecoach, and she continued that momentum at the Sonoma Country Fairgrounds.
From the start of her 1:30 p.m. slot, Pope had the enthusiastic audience at rapt attention, both with her unbelievable singing ability and her stage presence.
Diving into smash solo album Frame by Frame, Pope opened with “I Wish I Could Break Your Heart” and “Champagne,” which had Pope strutting up and down the catwalk that reached out into the crowd as she showcased her incredible range.
She also added a little bit of a snarl on the track “Proved You Wrong,” which she originally wrote when she was fronting her Florida pop-punk band Hey Monday several years ago. The track sounds like a breakup lament, with heavy relationship imagery, but it is actually about the obstacles she’s faced in the music industry.
Pope also featured “This Car,” “Easier to Lie” and “Everybody Sings” from Frame by Frame, which was produced by Dann Huff, another musician who made the jump from rock to country, having worked with artists ranging from Megadeth to Faith Hill.
In addition, she pulled out two bonus tracks that appeared on Frame by Frame’s deluxe edition – the chunky riff-driven “Cinematic” and “Edge of a Thunderstorm.”
To pay homage to a few classic rockers, the West Palm Beach, Fla., native turned in a killer cover of the Eagles’ “Hotel California” and a joyous version of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “I Won’t Back Down.”
As uptempo as Pope’s catolog is, she also shined in a poignant moment during the song “11,” which she explained was the most personal she’s ever written. Dealing with her parents’ divorce at the age of 11, one could tell that Pope gets emotional every time she sings it.
At several points during her performance, Pope was generous with those who sat up front and held up things in the hopes of getting an autograph. She also was successful in getting people to stand and dance along to her pop- and rock- influenced country tunes.
But Pope’s voice was a real stunner, showing range and passion no matter the pace of the songs.
Judging by the enthusiasm of the crowd, the country world is welcoming Pope with open arms.