Written by Dave Clements
ImageIt’s no secret that I can get on a mild rant sometimes about the cookie cutter performers coming out of Nashville these days. That’s one big reason why I was really looking forward to attending the Lady Antebellum concert at the Woodlands Pavilion on Sunday, May 3rd.

Lady A (aka Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood) has managed to stand out with their excellent harmonizing and ‘hard to get out of your head’ lyrics.  While some might accuse this band of leaning farther into pop than country, their sound is uniquely theirs.
There were two opening acts to get the crowd warmed up.  First up before the sun went down was Sam Hunt.  I was not familiar with him and was very glad I had a chance to hear his music.  It’s a little strange to call Sam a newcomer at the age of 30.  He has been around Nashville for a while writing hit songs for Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, and others.  It was only last year that he started performing and released his first album.  His musical style is part rap, part country, and all confidence and strut.  My wife informed me that he has quite a bit of eye appeal for the ladies.  All I know is that he has a great sound and knows how to engage an audience.

The next performer for the night was the very popular Hunter Hayes.  At the ripe old age of 23, Hunter has been singing literally since he could talk. This Louisiana native eventually signed a record deal in Nashville 7 yrs. ago!  No doubt from the crowd’s reaction as he took the stage that there were many of his fans in attendance.  Having been around the music industry all his life, it was obvious he was a consummate professional.  I can think of many musicians out their today, some twice his age, that would do well to take a cue from this guy.

Lady Antebellum came out to entertain us with their Wheels Up Tour with all the bells and whistles.  The amazing visual effects at the Woodlands Pavilion never disappoint – and add so much to the sound experience.  With Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley doing most of the heavy lifting vocally they launched into Long Stretch of Love, quickly followed by crowd favorite Bartender.  Hillary’s sweet voice then gave us American Honey…and they were on their way!

Hunter Hayes joined Lady A on stage for the song Compass to the delight of his cheering fans.   Then Hillary, Charles, and Dave headed out to a stage set up behind the reserved section to address all of their fans on the lawn.  Very cool move! They serenaded the lawn crowd with Love Don’t Live Here, followed by several more tunes, before heading back to the main stage.

A highlight of the evening was toward the end of the set when Hunter Hayes came out again, this time also joining Lady A was first opener, Sam Hunt.  They all treated us to a cover of Aerosmith’s Walk This Way.  Lots of really great energy there!

After an encore that included my wife’s favorite Need Your Now, we believe most all walked out smiling.  It was a well orchestrated evening of music, obviously designed with the fans in mind.  Gotta love it!

Until next time remember there’s no time to kill,