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Lady Antebellum at Arena Birmingham - Review

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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Award-winning trio are looking good in concert
The success of gigs by the stars of the Nashville TV show over the past couple of years proves there is a great appetite for American country music in Birmingham. So it's no surprise that Grammy award winning trio Lady Antebellum, who formed in Nashville (the city) in 2006, matched Nashville (the TV show) by performing at the city's giant Arena Birmingham as part of their You Look Good world tour.

Lady Antebellum, Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood, Heart Break, You Look Good World Tour, Arena Birmingham, Country Music
On stage: Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood at Arena Birmingham


Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood excel in polished country pop and rock but their set began with a trumpeter and trombonist performing a funky instrumental, a sign that Lady A were making a move away from pure country. Indeed, opening song Downtown, the first single from their 2013 album, Golden, was given a powerful boost by the addition of the brass. The duo, borrowed from Justin Timberlake's touring band, really came into their own on the tracks culled from new album Heart Break, especially You Look Good and the soulful Good Time To Be Alive which sounds like a future chart-topper.

Lady Antebellum, Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood, Heart Break, You Look Good World Tour, Arena Birmingham, Country Music
Looking good: Lady Antebellum in Birmingham


While the brass section edged Lady A into Stax and Gospel territory the rest of the seven-piece band backing Hillary (who is pregnant with twins), Charles and Dave seemed determined to rock out. Invited to each contribute a short solo during Good Time To Be Alive both guitarists struck classic Rock God poses and wrung monster riffs from their instruments. We were also introduced to band drummer Chris Tyrell, Hillary Scott's husband.

There was also plenty for lovers of early Lady A material. The band's first number one single, I Run To You, got an airing, as did fan favourite American Honey. Dancin' Away With My Heart, from 2011's Own The Night, showcased the three-part harmonies of Hillary, Charles and Dave.

Lady Antebellum, Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood, Heart Break, You Look Good World Tour, Arena Birmingham, Country Music
Crowded: Charles Kelley, Brett Young, Hillary Scott and Kelsea Ballerini at Arena Birmingham


The stage became even more crowded when support acts Brett Young and Kelsea Ballerini were invited to join Lady A for Shania Twain's Still The One. Charles later left the stage to walk among the audience during set closer Love Don't Live Here.

The encore of Lady A's most successful song, Need You Now, and Tom Petty's Learning to Fly, a fitting tribute to the singer who died just a few days ago, brought the 95 minute show to an end.

Lady Antebellum conclude the UK leg of their world tour at London's O2 Arena on October 10, 2017.

Lady Antebellum, Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood, Heart Break, You Look Good World Tour, Arena Birmingham, Country Music
Venue: Arena Birmingham


Setlist:

Downtown
Our Kind of Love
This City
Dancin' Away With My Heart
Heart Break
Compass / We Owned the Night
American Honey
Somebody Else's Heart
I Run to You
Good Time To Be Alive/ Lean On Me
Hurt
Still the One
Just a Kiss
You Look Good
Bartender
Love Don't Live Here Anymore

Encore

Need You Now
Learning to Fly
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Why? American country music at its best
When: Lady Antebellum play O2 London on October 10, 2017
Phone: 0844 33 88 222
Where: Arena Birmingham and O2 London
Cost: £57.05 & £40.18 plus fees
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