Lady Antebellum - Ak-Chin Pavilion - 3/22/14

Lady Antebellum Ak-Chin Pavilion 3/22/14

The weather was perfect Saturday night for Lady Antebellum's first outdoor concert of the year at Ak-Chin Pavilion as they provided a fun and energetic performance the crowd will not soon forget. And it also included a few surprises.

Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood started the night with their latest hit, "Compass," immediately getting the crowd pumped and bouncing around.

They wasted no time throwing in a cover of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" while they were singing their own song, "Our Kind of Love." Things got a little intimate as the Tennessee trio sang "Just a Kiss" and Scott and Kelley teased the crowd and went in for a "kiss" of their own -- although it was never finished -- at the end to play into the song.

Kelley had a little fun of his own when he grabbed a video camera and walked around the stage with it to get up-close shots of him with the crowd projected on the large screen behind the band. The camera then proceeded to find itself attached to the bottom of Haywood's guitar as he played a short solo.

Audience participation was highly encouraged during the band's performance of "American Honey" with Scott directing the crowd as they sang the majority of the first verse. Scott asked that only girls (or the titular American honeys, as she referred to them) sing, seeing as they are whom this song is about.

Following that sweet song was "It Ain't Pretty" to which they asked that everyone pull out their lighters or cell phones to put in the air. The crowd quickly obliged to this request and the now darkened pavilion lit up with thousands of small lights that were peacefully swaying back and forth.

Lady Antebellum decided that they wanted to get closer to their fans on this tour so to make it happen, they moved from the big stage to a smaller stage they had set up in the center of the pavilion so those on the lawn could have a closer seat for a short while. While on this stage, they performed "Dancin' Away With My Heart," "Goodbye Town," and "Wanted You More".

They took the opportunity here to talk about their origins and Kelley explained that he and Haywood, as they were growing up, wanted to be songwriters and hoped that one day stars like Reba McEntire or George Strait would want to cut one of their songs.

"Apparently we didn't get the call," Kelley chuckled. "But we were lucky enough to meet Hillary..."

Upon returning to the stage, they decided to try something new with their show and invited tour mates Kacey Musgraves and Kip Moore back out to perform Fleetwood Mac's standard "Landslide." The entire group, including Lady A's band, lined up at the front of the stage as they performed the song acoustically with all of the vocalists showing off their ability to harmonize.

Kelley showed his jokester side as he told the crowd about Musgraves's work out session on the lawn earlier in the day. To which she jokingly replied, "Working out a.k.a. dying."

Lady A promised the rest of the night would be everyone having the chance to rock out - no more slow songs. They fulfilled that promise as they sang "Downtown" and utilized the big screen to paly their humorous music video in which Kelley and Haywood are cops and Scott is a girl having a wild and rebellious night out. They continued with "Lookin' For A Good Time" and got people dancing as they built up to a load of confetti being dropped during "We Owned The Night."

The encore performance was introduced with a montage of covers of the smash hit "Need You Now" coming from many YouTube channels and even TV shows such as NBC's The Voice when it was performed by Shakira and Blake Shelton and FOX's Glee.

Scott, Kelley and Haywood then came out to sing the song themselves and finished off the night with covers of Avicii's "Wake Me Up" and "Cups", which was most recently made famous by Anna Kendrick.

Critic's Notebook

The Crowd: The age group was a little older than I was expecting, but that might have just happened to be how my section ended up because there were still a lot of young girls screaming over Kip Moore.

Personal Bias: I'm a fan of Lady A and have been since their second album.

Overheard in the Crowd: "Are we expected to stand for the entire show?" If you're curious, she did end up sitting down for a little while.

One More Thing: I really like how they did "Landslide". It's such a great song and they performed it very well.

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Chelsea Hough
Contact: Chelsea Hough