Lady Antebellum, Kip Moore and Kacey Musgraves Rock Roanoke

Lady Antebellum

Lady Antebellum  2014

Three quarters into their headlining performance January 12 at the Roanoke Civic Center, the third stop on their “Take Me Downtown Tour”, Lady Antebellum singer Charles Kelley asked the cheering near-capacity crowd, “How y’all feeling out there? Are y’all still with us?” before pressing for one last call of the weekend. “I know its Sunday night, but are y’all still looking for a good time?”

Indeed, they were.

Seven-time Grammy award-winning country trio Lady Antebellum rolled into the Star City of the South fired up and ready to go, bringing along two of the next generation of country music stars in Kip Moore and Kacey Musgraves for a share of the spotlight. The tour is in support of their latest album Golden, released in 2013.

Kacey Musgraves opened the night with a crowd-pleasing set, showcasing her songwriting chops and rebel’s edge, born in Texas and honed in Nashville.

The Nashville-by-Golden, Texas singer-songwriter is making a name for herself these days, weaving a knack for storytelling, sharp wit and clever wordplay – throwing in a little Texas twang – into radio and concert-ready country music.

Backed by a five-piece band, Musgraves’ set came with a trailer park backdrop, bordered by a white picket fence and turf grass – reminiscent of the Paradise Park honky tonk in Nashville’s Lower Broadway district – fitting for her latest effort, the critically acclaimed Same Trailer, Different Park.

Early into her highly melodic set, she got things rolling with “The Trailer Song”, followed by “Blowin’ Smoke”, “It Is What It Is”, and gave a nod to reggae during “Step Off”, venturing into Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”. Trading in her guitar for a banjo on “Merry Go Round”, Musgraves later drew cheers during her newest single, “Follow Your Arrow”, before closing out her set with “My House”, joined by her band at the front of the stage for the final upbeat number.

Musgraves, beginning on Nashville Star in 2007, moved to Music City a year later in the pursuit of songwriting, singing on other artists’ demos, landing her a publishing contract with Warner/Chappell. She has since co-written songs for Miranda Lambert and ABC’s Nashville while writing and recording her own material, signing with Mercury Records in 2012.

Same Trailer, Different Park, Musgraves’ first under the Mercury label, put her star on the map in both country and pop music in 2013, earning her both four ACM and Grammy nominations. Musgraves will continue touring with Lady Antebellum through the spring.

Next came Kip Moore, the rowdy and energetic singer-songwriter hailing from south Georgia, returning to Roanoke for the fourth time. Backed by a four-piece band, Moore showed off his workingman’s determination during his Sunday night set. His electric guitar the tool of choice, Moore worked the stage like a night shift, his gravelly vocals aided by cutoff sleeves, work boots and trademark backwards cap.

He moved to Nashville in 2004 in pursuit of becoming a songwriter, eventually landing a recording contract with MCA Nashville. Best known to date for his hit “Beer Money”, Moore’s gritty and honest highway country rock gained the crowd’s appreciation early on with “Good Time Girl” and “Young Love”, a new single Moore is planning for his follow up album.

Moore had no issue showing off his softer side, perched on a barstool for “Hey Pretty Girl”, his third hit single from Up All Night, segueing into Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” before launching into a pair of spirited tunes, “Cigarette” and “Fly Again”.

Moore brought his blue-collar ethic to the stage and off, heading out into the crowd several times throughout his set, closing out with “Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck”, the first hit single from his 2012 debut album Up All Night.

Country giants Lady Antebellum, making their third visit to the Roanoke Valley, looked energized and ready for the road again, packing in the hits, some new tunes and a dash of some covers for a rocking good time on Sunday night in the Star City before the workweek started.

Lead vocalist Hillary Scott, vocalist Charles Kelley, and multi-instrumentalist Dave Haywood began their harmonies from a stage in the crowd, proceeding down the aisle and onto the main stage, where the trio were backed by a five-piece band – including Scott’s husband, drummer Chris Tyrell.

Golden debuted atop the Billboard 200 – their third number one album – keeping strong the group’s success across country, pop and adult contemporary music. Scott and Tyrell welcomed a baby girl in July 2013, and the band was unable to support Golden at the time. Originally scheduled to play Roanoke on December 12, Lady A briefly postponed their visit to promote their single “Compass” and the deluxe album release of Golden, which came out in November.

Early into their Sunday night set was the group’s 2007 single “Love Don’t Live Here”, and “American Honey”, the trio’s 2010 hit, which Scott remarked the song reminds her of her childhood in Nashville, now of her baby daughter. Performing with a montage of childhood photos of each band member on the video screens and backdrop, Lady A enlisted the crowd for the song’s final chorus.

Moving through their harmonic set, Haywood switched up his masterful guitar duties for the piano on “It Ain’t Pretty”, which found the band sitting front and center stage for the slower, soulful number, which appears on Golden.

The group took to the front stage risers into the crowd for “I Run To You”, their first number one single, even sharing the mic with a few star-struck loyalists in the audience.

Lady A made sure the fans knew they were glad to be back in Roanoke, showing plenty of love interacting with the crowd between and during songs, high-fiving the audience, asking a young fan sporting the band’s t-shirt onstage for a kiss on the cheek from Scott, Haywood filming himself and Kelley during a song with a fan’s cell phone, to the group donning a fan’s gloves with LED fingertips with the lights out, Haywood playing Madonna’s “Celebrate” on his acoustic to the impromptu lightshow. Kelley remarked that he and Haywood used to play the song as ‘a reliable’ during their days playing covers before helping start Lady Antebellum.

Kelley then told the crowd he and Haywood  moved to Nashville to become songwriters, dreaming of writing for Tim McGraw and George Strait to get their songs played, though that wasn’t meant to be. Eventually, the two met Scott, and knew with their talents they had something special in the works. Kelley said the group wanted to share with the audience a few songs in the manner in which they were formed, “sitting around, writing on the acoustic guitar.”

Lady A then performed acoustic versions of four of their tracks, “Dancin’ Away With My Heart” and “Wanted You More” both from 2011’s Own The Night, with the second single on Golden, “Goodbye Town” and “Hello World”, their fourth single from 2010’s Need You Now.

All band members moved up front for “And The Radio Played”, a respectful homage to the country songs of the past which inspired the band growing up listening to the radio, highlighting a streaming collage of album covers and songs by country legends George Jones, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Alan Jackson, mentioned throughout the lyrics.

Knowing well their geographical territory, Lady A played a pair of folk classics from O Brother, Where Art Thou? right in the heart of Virginia’s “Crooked Road” folk trail, asking Moore and Musgraves back onstage for covers of “Man of Constant Sorrow” and “I’ll Fly Away”.

Throughout their set, Lady Antebellum’s backdrop included song lyrics, stage footage, photographs of the band’s history, and a few comedic moments. During the group’s lead single for Golden, “Downtown”, the song’s music video played on the video screens, depicting Kelley and Haywood as two daydreaming, screwball cops, and Scott with Beth Behrs from CBS’ 2 Broke Girls as a pair of glam-loving would-be shoplifters.

As the performance headed towards the finale, the group made a final go of keeping Monday at bay with “Lookin’ For A Good Time” followed by “We Owned The Night”, showering the audience with confetti and another trip out into the eager crowd.

Without a doubt, Lady Antebellum owned the night, yet they were gracious enough to share it with over a few thousand of their friends in Southwest Virginia.

The band will continue touring behind Golden into late May, concluding the “Take Me Downtown Tour” in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, before continuing on a solo tour into summer.

Kacey Musgraves
Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves  2014

Kacey Musgraves  2014

Kacey Musgraves  2014

Kacey Musgraves  2014

Kip Moore
Kip Moore

Kip Moore  2014

 Kip Moore  2014mbs

Kip Moore  2014

Kip Moore  2014

Kip Moore  2014

Lady Antebellum
Lady Antebellum

Lady Antebellum  2014

Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum
Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum
Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum
Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum
 Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum
Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum

17_MG_0102_la_mbs

Lady Antebellum  2014

Lady Antebellum  2014

Lady Antebellum  2014

 

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