In 2017, Nashville trio Lady Antebellum released their seventh album, Heart Break, which they
called their “spiritual follow-up” to 2010’s Need You Now. After their 2017 ‘You Look Good World Tour,’ they’re now out on the road with Darius Rucker and Russell Dickerson on their ‘Summer Plays On Tour.’
On Friday, September 21st, the ‘Summer Plays On Tour’ stopped at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, New Jersey, just across the river from Philadelphia. Summer is officially coming to a close, and what a better way to celebrate than with an outdoor concert? Country music fans poured into the venue by the dozens and by the time Russell Dickerson took the stage, the amphitheater was packed to near capacity.
Although, Dickerson is relatively a newcomer to the industry, with only two songs on the radio [“Yours” & “Blue Tacoma”], Dickerson knew how to work the crowd with his energetic set. It was hard not to sing (and dance) along as he performed a unique medley that combined Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” with his track “MGNO.” Closing out his set with his first No. 1 single, “Yours” whilst thanking anyone who had chosen it as their first dance song for their wedding, saying, “If this song means anything to you, god bless you. This song has changed my life – I wrote it about the woman who changed my life.” Whether you’re in a relationship or not, “Yours” is such a sweet and relatable love song that made everyone want to fall in love.
Just a few minutes later, a voice over the speakers welcomed the crowd to “the main event,” as Darius Rucker took to the stage and the near sold out crowd stood up with a roaring cheer. From the start, Rucker’s set was a lively, fun one, beginning with “Homegrown Honey” and “Radio.” A few tracks in, he took a break to talk to the crowd. He originally made a name for himself in music as the lead vocalist and guitarist of rock band Hootie and the Blowfish in the 90’s, and he told the crowd that ever since the 80’s, he wanted to make country music – “and now here I am with Russell and Lady A,” sharing his gratitude for the country radio stations that played his music when nobody else did, and thanking the audience for proving wrong all the people who thought the world wouldn’t accept an African American country singer.
In addition to his solo material, Rucker played two Hootie and the Blowfish songs – “Let Her Cry” and “Only Wanna Be With You” – as well as two more covers: Drivin’ N Cryin’s “Straight To Hell” with the help of Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and finally closing his set with a wild sing-along, Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel.” Regarding his original songs, “Alright” and the sentimental “It Won’t Be Like This For Long,” which was accompanied by a slideshow of his kids growing up, were clear fan favorites – but the fourteen-song set was a good time from start to finish.
When it came time for Lady Antebellum’s set, there was no hesitation as they kicked things off with the debut single “You Look Good,” off of their latest record, Heart Break. “We are Lady Antebellum and we are so excited to be with you tonight!” they proclaimed after the song, immediately launching in to fan favorite “Hey Bartender.” As the only woman performing that evening, vocalist Hillary Scott led the way for some songs that were “just for the ladies,” beginning with “Heart Break,” a relatable anthem for anyone needing a break from romance.
With seven albums and nine number one singles, Lady Antebellum has an impressively extensive discography from their twelve-year career. Some highlights from their set included “I Run To You,” which they introduced as “our first rock country song” and “American Honey,” a song that “takes us back to growing up,” reminding the crowd of their sweet Southern upbringing.
While Scott, fellow vocalist/guitarist Charles Kelley, and guitarist/background vocalist Dave Haywood were the stars of the show, they made sure to introduce each and every member of their backing band, allowing everyone on stage to get a chance to shine vibrantly. Through years and years of touring, Lady Antebellum certainly knows how to work the crowd, and Kelley even left the stage to run throw the aisles of the amphitheater, as excited fans got up close to sing along. There was hardly a dull moment during their set, and right after the classic and highly emotional “Need You Now,” which ended with a massive crowd sing-a-long in which then the band were then joined on stage by Darius Rucker on guitar during “We Own The Night” and then again for a cover of Hootie and the Blowfish’s “Hold My Hand.” That wasn’t the only cover in the set: Lady Antebellum also shared their take on The Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women” and Deana Carter’s “Strawberry Wine” in which they were joined on-stage by Russell Dickerson. When the set then ended with “Love Don’t Live Here,” everyone was sad to see the night end – but happy that they’d gotten to sing along to their favorite songs and had a great time with their friends. Make sure you check out the ‘Summer Plays On Tour.’
Check out the exclusive photos of the ‘Summer Plays On Tour’ by our photographer, @AWendowskiPhoto: