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”
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 AntebellumPhoto 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.
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)