Interview: Jennifer Nettles on What to Expect From Her Christmas Concert and Go-Big Show
Nettles takes the virtual stage in Hallelujah Anyway on December 23.
You can tell by the photo that this isn't going to be your traditional Christmas concert. There's Grammy winner Jennifer Nettles in a sparkly green coat, smirk on her face, full martini in hand. It's the perfect look for a show that will allow viewers to "laugh in the face" of the torturous year known as 2020.
Nettles's special event is titled Hallelujah Anyway, and it streams on Christmas Eve eve, December 23, at 8pm ET. The concert, as she puts it, is both a celebration of the holidays, featuring tracks from her 2016 album To Celebrate Christmas, as well as a way to recognize the resilience that has carried so many people through such a "challenging and painful and uncertain" year.
What can we expect to hear from the Sugarland singer-songwriter? Most, if not all, of the music from that Christmas record, with standards like "O Holy Night" and "The First Noel," as well as, perhaps, some theater-related songs from a record that may or may not be released in 2021.
The show will be "scrappy and lean, in the true spirit of 2020. It was originally supposed to be me with an acoustic ensemble version of my band, but as Covid numbers have continue to rise, it's not safe or responsible to travel," she notes. "So my band will be together, and I will be very, very solo. I was so looking forward to actually getting together with them" — Nettles, like most musicians, has been off the stage since March — "but that wasn't the safest thing to do."
As 2021 kicks off, Nettles will take on a new role, celebrity judge, alongside Snoop Dogg, Rosario Dawson, and Cody Rhodes on the TBS extreme talent competition program, Go-Big Show. "It sounded so wild," Nettles notes of the project, which premieres January 7 and is a showcase for acts that you don't usually see on TV, like alligator trainers and monster truck drivers, "but it was pretty spectacular. There are many fantastic competition shows in this country that are performing arts-based, either vocals or dancing, more than anything else. This is not that show. This is everything but that show. It's really, really fun."
But first is Hallelujah Anyway, and Nettles sees it as a delightfully tongue-in-cheek way to end 2020. "We've almost made it through, and this show is the opportunity to celebrate in spite of everything." Hallelujah, indeed.