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It is not often that a concert venue can be seen packed on a Sunday evening but when country super group Lady Antebellum comes to Grand Rapids, Michigan, fans pack the venue from all across the state for an evening with Lady A. Before the group took the stage, opening acts Kacey Musgraves and Kip Moore took over the stage and the crowd.
Musgraves is one of the major up and coming artists in country music today. She kept her down to earth and laid back style throughout her performance, which did not energize the crowd at first. Musgraves opened with “The Trailer Song,” which had a slower tempo and did not engage the crowd. What is unique about her musical styling is that she embraces more traditional and classic country music sounds, which is refreshing but not as appealing as the pop inspired country songs that keep topping the mainstream charts today.
It took until the end of Musgraves' set to really hit it off with the crowd. Songs like “Follow Your Arrow” and “Merry Go ‘Round” helped but fans didn’t seem to be interested in her lack of energy on stage. Musgraves is without a doubt talented and has a beautiful vocal range but it is clear that she hasn’t been on tour for long.
After she closed out her set and a quick set change took place, Kip Moore took the stage. Moore, who is known for his songs like, “Hey Pretty Girl” and “Beer Money” had such a different energy than Musgraves. Moore came out loud, powerful and owned his sound. As a result, the energy in the arena turned up from a five to a ten. The set was louder, brighter and woke up the audience that had fallen asleep. At one point during his set, Moore even encouraged the audience to go get another drink and let their hair down.
Moore has the energy and passion that can be heard on his album and that translates to the fans effortlessly. He played crowd favorites like his latest single, “Young Love” and “Somethin’ Bout a Truck.” Moore really got the crowd going when he covered “Stand By Me,” which was the first time that the crowd could really be heard singing along with every word.
Moore had turned the energy up in the venue but fans had been waiting for Lady
Antebellum. Before the group arrived on stage, a full on dance party started to happen on the floor of the venue and up in the seats. By the time the lights went down and the group came on, the venue's energy level was off the charts.
“Compass” was the opening song for their set and the band started the night off with a surprise. The group started off the show by arriving at the back of the venue and working their way up to the stage. The band has a natural chemistry on stage that can only be gained through years of touring and a little musical luck.
The group really got the crowd on their feet when they broke out into their cover of Grammy winning artists Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.”
From that moment on Lady Antebellum had the audience in their hands and every note was better than the last. They played classics like “Love Don’t Live Here,” “Just A Kiss” and “Get To Me," which showcased the true musical talent and harmonies between the members.
The group seamlessly transitioned into “American Honey” and off of their latest album Golden, “It Ain’t Pretty.”
At this point the evening was well into 10 p.m. and the crowd seemed to be just getting started when the band went into their hit “I Run To You.”
The chemistry within the band can be felt during each song and intermission when the band members are honestly just enjoying being on stage and seem very pleased to be playing music together for thousands of die hard Lady A fans.
The group went into an acoustic set that featured singles like "Dancing Away With My Heart,” “Wanted You More,” “Goodbye Town” and “Hello World.”
The night really came to a grand conclusion when the group returned for their encore performance. The band played a fan favorite “Need You Now” and didn’t let the fun stop after that emotional and powerful performance of their chart-topping hit. The group went into a cover of “Wake Me Up” by Avicii featuring Aloe Blacc that made the crowd go wild and dance even more.
This night was perfect for musicians and music fans alike. It takes a lot to move up from opening a stadium concert to being the headliners. Musgraves has the talent to become a huge headliner but will need to spend more time on the road working with the crowd and increase her energy level; Moore is well on his way to becoming a mainstream and huge country superstar but in the end Lady Antebellum set the bar for both acts on how to rock a crowd and deliver a one of a kind performance.
In the end, Lady Antebellum owned a Sunday night in downtown Grand Rapids.