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Live Review: Lady Antebellum – 15th March 2015 – Qantas Credit Union Arena, Sydney, Australia

5 min read

Over the past few years we have been lucky enough to have seen Nashville superstar trio Lady Antebellum several times as they glide through one of the most successful careers in country music. The band released their debut self-titled record back in 2008 but it was 2010’s Need You Now that really pushed the pedal down on trio’s career thanks to the records title track and other notable singles like American Honey and Hello World. From then on out, Lady Antebellum have retained their status as one of the hardest working and most successful acts in the world.

The band released album #5, 747, a few months ago and soon after, with a new collection of hits in tow, took to the road to deliver the new pennings, and some of their biggest career highlights to fans around the globe on their latest Wheels Up World Tour.  It’s now Australia’s turn and so we joined Hillary, Charles and Dave as the 747 tour touched down at the very fitting Qantas Credit Union Arena tonight.

The multiple Grammy and County Music Award winning band came on stage at a little after 9pm to a crowd who were clearly eager to see the country stars, erupting into a cheer as the lights dimmed and the intro to opening track and 747 lead single Bartender filled the arena. A giant screen that filled the venues entire rear wall provided a very bright backdrop for the band as they made their way into a meaty set of 20 songs that were plucked from the outfit’s now lengthy and lucrative catalogue.

As Hillary and Charles drew attention to, following a powerful performance of Just a Kiss from the acts 2011 Own The Night record, the last time the band were on Australia soil was back in 2012 as part of the Own The Night world tour so it’s been some time for fans to wait to get their country fix from the Need You Now hit makers.

The band were attentive to their fans and that was shown during a stellar performance of early career hit Love Don’t Live Here as Charles took to the floor area of the audience to sing the track with fans rushing to have an up close moment with the country superstar and one lucky young fan getting the being offered the chance to take a photo with the musician before he return to close the number on stage. Hilary then took centre stage to offer us a sweet mid-tempo rendition of American Honey from the bands international breakthrough record, Need You Now and getting the audience to help her sing sections of the number.

Having performed the track recently in London during the Country to Country festival in the capital, the band turned out a fine predominantly acoustic cover of the Bee Gees classic and Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton cover, Islands in the Stream, a track Hillary explained was a popular number the trio to perform at karaoke sessions in Nashville when they first met 9 years ago.

An acoustic section was injected into the centre of the set with the band diving into a pitch perfect performance of One Great Mystery. The band then, after asking the crowd to put their lighters and lit up mobile phones into the air, offered a medley of guitar led hits which included Dancing Away With My Heart, Wanted You More, Goodbye Town, Hello World; the latter performed in flawless a capella and broken up by laughter as a fan shouted ‘you sexy man’ to Charles, one of country musics most happy and humble musicians, who then began to flaunt himself (and his rear end) on stage to the crowd who cheered him on.

Things got back underway with the rest of the band who then returned to the stage to deliver up-tempo hit Downtown to the audience before two of the shows highlights in the shape of I Run To You and foot stomping We Owned The Night got the crowd into a frenzy. The band then left the stage to prepare for their encore which was made up on signature hit Need You Now, which was opened by band member Dave Haywood on piano and gave the eager crowd another moment to sing at the top of their lungs while recording the performance on their mobiles, and a phenomenal country drenched cover of Avicii smash Wake Me Up which got the audience up on their feet and dancing along with the Nashville trio.

The trio were on the mark tonight with songs that have granted them mainstream success on the international stage and so performances of songs like Need You Now, American Honey and the bands first number one single, Run To You. Fan favourites from earlier records were also obvious highlights of the night with the crowd standing in the aisles, dancing along with the band and singing the numbers in sync with the country superstars who performed each song with an energetic prance around the stage and in amongst their fans as they interacted with the audience at any available opportunity, encouraging the crowd to be as involved as possible in the performance of each number.

Lady A once again blew us away during another stellar performance at the Qantas Credit Union Arena tonight where old songs combined with new numbers from the bands new 747 studio release with faultless precision. The band delivered a sturdy set list while engaging with fans on a very intimate level, despite the show being within an arena, offering everyone in the crowd a spectacular night full of crossover country at its very, very best.

Setlist:
Bartender
Long Stretch of Love
Our Kind of Love
Just a Kiss
Just a Girl
Love Don’t Live Here
American Honey
Compass
Liking for a Good Time
Islands in the Stream
One Great Mystery
Dancin’ Away with my Heart/Wanted You More/Goodbye Town/Hello World (Medley)
Downtown
I Run to You
We Owned the Night

Encore:
Need You Now
Wake Me Up (Avicii cover)/Cups (You’re Gonna Miss Me) (Lulu and the Lampshades cover)