Despite Weather & Delay, Outer Banks Actor Rocks the Beach Stage
By: Jeff Walker, Entertainment Writer
While fans know him primarily as an actor mostly due to his six-year stint on ‘Nashville’ and his current run on ‘Outer Banks’, Charles ‘Chip’ Esten is very much a well-rounded entertainer with an equally strong singing career. Saturday night 800 plus fans braved inclement weather and a 90-minute delay to witness Esten rock the The Windjammer for over an hour and 20 minutes, before the 10pm noise curfew shut Esten and his band down.
‘Nashville’ may have ignited his country music roots but make no mistake Esten can rock with the best of them. His blend of outlaw country, Texas boogie, and soft rock ballads prove he is one gifted singer songwriter. Long before his role as Deacon Clayborne on ‘Nashville’ Esten was slinging a guitar and writing catchy tunes.
Although casual fans of Esten may be new to his music mainly because he’s not one to get traditional radio airplay, diehard fans are familiar with his songs through his website and several streaming formats. After taking selfies for nearly 30 minutes Esten did make it to the stage, thanking fans for hanging out before offering up one hellacious show which began appropriately with ‘Buckle Up’ a true roadhouse number.
Esten likes to mix it up throwing in up-tempo ballads along with poignant love songs. ‘Taking You Home Tonight’ was a nice salute this wife Patty a beautiful woman he’s been taking home every night for over 31 years. ‘Whiskey Lips’ and ‘I Used to Smoke and Drink and Love You (I Still Do)’ solidify his country music roots, while ‘Sweet Summer Saturday Night’ and ‘Dr. Beach’ reflect more of his Kenny Chesney / Jimmy Buffett side.
Midway through his roughly 15 song set Esten a self-proclaimed man of faith paid tribute to Alexander ‘AJ’ Jennings the young actor and stand-in on ‘Outer Banks’ who tragically lost his life earlier in the week. It was a touching moment.
Rising Music City star Julia Cole joined Esten on stage for their latest number ‘Worst Day’ which got the crowd moving, with Esten asking her to remain on stage as she and the crowd joined in on what Esten calls the ultimate country song ‘Take Me Home Country Roads’.
The two weren’t done yet offering a recent chart topper they only rehearsed hours earlier. The crowd went wild when they recognized the familiar lyrics to ‘Shallow’ made famous by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper from ‘A Star is Born’. They capped off their time together with several selfies and videos from with the crowd as the ultimate backdrop.
With only a light drizzle filling the air fans didn’t seem to mind trekking through the wet sand with even Esten hopping down into the crowd during several numbers. Esten recognized his new backing band, a bunch of guys he said he met recently in Nashville and were one of the best at performing Bruce Springsteen, which was a perfect segue way into the closing number ‘Born to Run’, proving the band and Esten are great at wielding their axes.
Charles ‘Chip’ Esten is without a doubt a great showman. His concerts prove he loves to entertain, and he is a blessed songwriter. Esten is a very capable actor, but his songs are phenomenal. Country music radio doesn’t know what it is missing. To hear more of his songs, visit his website at https://www.charlesesten.com/music
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