Lady Antebellum burns up the night at Verizon
by Scott Kiefer
If it wasnt the record-setting mercury readings on Friday night, it would have been the hot musical entertainment coming from the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre stage that overheated fans as Lady Antebellum brought their "Own the Night Tour" to St. Louis. Opening for the super-trio were bonafide country star Darius Rucker, and newcomers Thompson Square.The extreme heat conditions seemed not to inhibit any of the performers on the stage as each act stepped up to the plate and entertained as if they were performing inside an air-conditioned venue. However, Lady A singer Charles Kelley mentioned how extreme the heat was, and instructed crew members to bring out a couple coolers of water to pass out to fans standing in the pit area in front of the stage immediately after the second song was finished.
"It's hot up here, and I know its hot for these guys right up front," Kelley said. "Get me a cooler full of water right away, they need it."
An approximate ten minute event called the "LADP- Lady A Dance Party" preceded the group's show that featured dance music from all genres to get the audience pumped up for the trio's arrival that included numerous camera focusing in on the audience members dancing and having a good time. At one point the party included a "Just A Kiss Cam" (a play on the group's hit single), where couples in the audience were zoomed in.
Lady A's female vocalist Hillary Scott (who happens to be the daughter of country singer Linda Davis) and David Haywood held up to the level of performance set by Kelley with Scott's smooth, yet powerhouse vocals, and instrumental expertise of Haywood culminating the trio into what has become a country music phenomenon in the past six years the group has been together. Add to the fact that the North American tour would be over after just one more performance Saturday night, the audience at St. Louis got a well-polished show that seemed just as fresh as the first day the bus rolled out of Nashville.
As the group set sail with "We Owned the Night" to open the show, it was a smooth sailing as the trio leaped through hits as "Just a Kiss," "Love Don't Live Here," and "American Honey," it wasn't until the encore where the group performed their monster hit "Need You Now," that the audience went into overdrive, and some possible overheating, one might expect.
Rucker pleased the audience with a near hour-long set that included his country hits "Alright," and "Come Back Song," among others, and closing his show with his version of Prince's "Purple Rain." Given the fact that the temperature tossed between the 104 to 106 degree marks during his set, any kind of rain would have been welcome, but Rucker delivered a shower of a good time to his fans.
Opening act Thompson Square (husband and wife duo) set the upbeat tone for the evening, and
performed their latest hit single, "Glass" (co-written by Southern Illinois native David Lee Murphy) and their breakthrough single "Kiss Me or Not."
After Saturday's show in Milwaukee, Rucker and Thompson Square head out on the road in their own respective directions (with Thompson Square set to perform at the Du Quoin State Fair), as Lady Antebellum takes about ten days off before playing their first gig in Ireland on July 10 that will keep them abroad until finishing their Australian tour in October before returning stateside.