Lady Antebellum have had quite a year. They won their first Grammy for Best Country Performance by Duo or Group for “I Run to You” in January while just last month they swept the Academy of Country Music Awards with three wins; Top Vocal Group of the Year, Single Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Need You Now.”
While “Need You Now” continues to heat up the country and pop charts, current single “American Honey” shows much promise for the Nashville-based trio as New York concertgoers sang along word for word Monday night at Nokia Theatre. Playing just over an hour, Lady A demonstrated their impeccable harmonies and energetic stage show.
An appropriate start, the band kicked off the night with “Stars Tonight.” With edgy electric guitar and percussion before Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott entered on vocals, the music captivated the crowd.
“Girls in their heels and a skinny pair of blue jeans/Boys in black pearl buttons looking just like Springsteen/Mama says why you wanna play in a silly rock ‘n’ roll band/Well if you stood here mama, I know you’d understand/It’s the lights, it’s the high/It’s the roar of a crowd on a Monday night,” Kelley and Scott sang as the crowd danced along.
The energy never wavered as the band continued right into “Love Don’t Live Here,” the first track from their debut album. “Perfect Day,” off recent release Need You Now, showcased the band’s country roots while beautiful ballad, “When You Got A Good Thing” switched gears and slowed down the night. On each song, Kelley and Scott alternated vocals and harmonized throughout the chorus.
A few months ago, Lady Antebellum played two nights at Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium and performed Hank Williams’ “Lost Highway.” With Dave Haywood on guitar and Kelley and Scott singing close to the edge of the stage, the band showcased the song unplugged to a hushed crowd.
“There’s nothing like the energy in this city and in this room right now,” Scott said after the song.
As their backup band left the stage, Haywood, Kelley and Scott told the crowd, “All We’d Ever Need” was the first song they wrote together. Lady Antebellum proved they can rock the sold-out venue with their stripped down acoustic ballads just as well as the more energetic numbers as they showcased their songwriting and harmonizing on the track.
The trio remained onstage alone to perform Luke Bryan’s “Do I,” a song they co-wrote, before the full band rejoined for current single, “American Honey.” Haywood began the song alone with a killer guitar solo before Scott and Kelley joined on vocals.
“Lookin’ For a Good Time,” “Need You Now,” and “I Run To You” closed the set before the band’s encore.
“I’ve been on the verge of tears all night long because you’re being so sweet to us,” Scott said as she walked back on stage.
“This next song is off our brand new record. We didn’t write it. Tom Douglas, Tony Lane and David Lee wrote it for us. We want to dedicate it to everyone in Nashville affected by the floods,” Kelley said before they began “Hello World.”
An energetic end to their set, Lady Antebellum closed with a cover of the Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” As the entire room erupted into “Na na na na’s” the band called out opening act and fellow Nashville singer-songwriter Dave Barnes to help finish the night.
“We’ll see ya next time New York City,” Kelley said as Lady A exited the stage. With their growing success and current tour with Tim McGraw, lucky fans won’t have to wait too long.