Lady Antebellum performed at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Tuesday 17th March (With support acts 'Kristian Bush' and 'Maddie and Tae')- Country All Over's Melanie Thompson attended their final show on the Europe/Australian leg of the “Wheels Up” Tour.
Review by Melanie Thompson
All the way from Sugarland, Texas and Ada, Oklahoma, Duo
Maddie and Tae take to the stage to open the show. You would think these two
pint size performers who are relatively new to an Aussie audience wouldn’t be
able to connect but they do. With clever lyrics (likened to that of Grammy
winner Kacey Musgraves) and obvious talent both playing guitar with ease and
the sweetest of vocals they definitely win the crowd over.
“Sierra” is a stand out, the girls penned the song about a bully in high school and now they get the ultimate revenge singing the song and telling the back story to thousands of people all over the world.I have to admit I had a little tear in my eye when they sang their latest single “Fly” an inspirational song, appealing more so to the younger fans with Its’ inspirational theme on not giving up and following your dreams. Here’s a snippet from the show: CLICK HERE
The song that fired a shot at “Bro Country”, “Girl In A Country Song” not surprisingly closes their set and it’s one the Aussie crowd knows word for word. (The song even made it into the International Video Of The Year Category at this years’ CMC Awards, Australia)
Pictured above: Lady Antebellum Photo Credit: Megan Hopkins
I was lucky enough to meet the duo after their set, probably two of the nicest people you’ll ever meet! They were appreciative and a little shocked at how far fans had travelled for the show. One fan had even flown over from New Zealand. They were very bubbly and excited to be performing in Australia.
I think it is safe to say that these girls are going to be around for a while and “Start Here” their brand new album set to drop June 2nd, is one of the most anticipated country albums of the year.
Kristian Bush (Known to most from the duo “Sugarland”) is next to support and his experience with a crowd shows. Kristian is not afraid to have a joke with the crowd, asking them where the nearest beach is and how many beers it would take to get there. Mention a joke about beer and the beach to an Aussie crowd and you’re pretty much guaranteed a laugh.
The single that launched his solo career last year, “Trailer Hitch” sounds great in the arena with It’s soulful/pop sound. You would think the title suggests another ‘Bro Country” song but if you dig a little deeper on the lyrics it’s about how the world today is focused on material possessions. Check out the official video via our link.
“Southern Gravity”, the title track from his debut album is my favourite from the set, check out this snippet from the show: CLICK HERE
Kristian’s passion for his solo music shines through and he won over some fans by doing a signing after his set.
“Bartender” is Lady Antebellum’s opener, which I expected maybe a little bit later in the set, but I was pleasantly surprised. I loved that it focused on Hilary’s vocals right away. Immediately it was evident that Lady Antebellum don’t need all the bells and whistles of props, lighting and moving stage parts. The focus is on their stunning vocals and chemistry which we love them for.
They seemed particularly amped tonight, being that it was their last show in Australia. They wanted the audience to get fired up. Charles constantly interacted with the crowd and at one point said to Hilary, “girl your vocals are stunning tonight” Which I have to agree with. This being the first time I have seen the trio live, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Hilary just seemed to be pulling out all stops when it came to her vocals.
Charles brings out to the front of the stage the whole band for the Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton classic, “Islands In The Stream” a great way to introduce them, saying it’s one of the best country songs ever written. Check out the video below.
Pictured: Lady Antebellum. Photo Credit: withlovechristy_
I remember in an interview a few years back, they wondered if they might have it in them to write their own “Imagine” someday. I think they have done it with “One Great Mystery”, of which Charles said they are very proud of writing. I’d like to see this as a single or as a special performance at the Grammy’s one day. It was stunningly performed tonight, the harmonies being the best of the night.
Their biggest hit “Need You Now” is of course the shows encore and it’s simply breathtaking. Starting off with Dave at the piano, and building into that melody we all know too well.
To end with the cover of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up’ threw me a little to begin with. But it was just such a good crowd pleaser and a great song to sing along to and finish the show. The fan in me wanted “Generation Away” or something from their latest album “747” but I understand they wanted to end on a high. And that they did. Lady Antebellum are definitely at the top of the list when it comes to performing vocally and connecting with a crowd. If you haven’t seen them live yet, make sure you put it on your bucket list.
Lady Antebellum continue their “Wheels Up” tour with a North American leg starting in May (With support Sam Hunt and Hunter Hayes)
2. Long Stretch of Love
3. Our Kind of Love
4. Just a Kiss
6. Love Don't Live Here
7. American Honey
9. Lookin' for a Good Time
10. Islands In The Stream (Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton cover)
11. One Great Mystery
12. Dancin' Away with My Heart/Wanted You More/Goodbye Town/Hello World
14. I Run to You
15. We Owned the Night
16. Need You Now
17. Wake Me Up