Lady Antebellum brought their country-pop-rock sound into Utah Tuesday for the third time this year, but it was their first headlining tour. Based on Tuesday’s show, Lady A won’t have to worry about going back to filling an opening act slot.
Lady Antebellum were excellent Tuesday night before a sold out Rail Event Center in Salt Lake City. The band and the crowd fed off each other all night during the high energy 1 hour and 45 minute performance. At the end of the night, lead singer Charles Kelley seemed to be enjoying himself so much that he didn’t want to leave the stage and kept prompting the other band members to play more cover songs, from John Cougar Mellencamp’s “R.O.C.K in the U.S.A.” mixed with The Romantics’ “What I Like About You,” to Weezer’s “Beverly Hills” and Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer.”
Lady Antebellum may be best known for their mega-crossover hit “Need You Know,” which was one of the highlights of Tuesday’s show as the closing song before the encore.
But if anyone was expecting a night of ballads, Lady A put those notions to rest right away as Kelley, Dave Haywood and Hillary Scott’s three part harmonies blended beautifully with guitar-heavy, upbeat rock songs for the majority of the evening.
Lady A opened with one of their big hits, “I Run To You,” starting off with just the three main members singing before their backing four piece band joined in.
They followed that up with the rockin’ “Stars Tonight” and “Love This Pain,” both off the Need You Now album. Other songs that kept the tempo upbeat during the evening included “Love Don’t Live Here” and “Lookin’ For a Good Time.”
The band played the radio hits fans expected, like “American Honey” and “Our Kind of Love” which was one of many songs fans in the sold out venue sang along to loudly.
The trio also each took turns doing a cover tune solo, Haywood doing Luke Bryan’s “Do I” while Kelley did a mash-up did Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire” followed by a sample of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.”
“Hello World” was the encore before the band went into a string of cover tunes.
The vocals were solid, the enthusiasm high, many of the songs sounded better live than on their albums, and the show entertaining. It wasn’t hard to see Tuesday why Lady Antebellum have become country music’s newest big stars.