Lady Antebellum’s Take Me Downtown tour just got bigger. A lot bigger, actually. They’ve only gone and added 36 dates to the thing and they’re headed straight for 2014!
The new leg of said tour kicks off on January 9th 2014 in Charleston, West Virginia and sees the band work their way down the East Coast, back up the East Coast, play six dates in Canada, cross the country to the West Coast and wind up in Knoxville, where it all ends on April 27th.
I think I speak for everyone when I say that I hope, with every fiber of my being, that they make the most of Christmas.
When the tour was originally announced, Lady Antebellum’s Chris Kelly said: “We spent almost every day last year backstage writing for our album Golden, so we were really focused on writing songs that would connect with the fans in these arenas.”
Kelley added “We definitely learned a lot about ourselves as live performers and the type of catalog we wanted to have so that we could go out and try to give the fans the best show they’ve ever experienced.”
The tour itself doesn’t actually kick off till November 8th in Southaven, Mississippi.
Kip Moore and Kacey Musgraves will be accompanying the band on the Take Me Downtown tour, with Moore posting “My buddy Charles Kelley from Lady Antebellum has something he wants to share with y’all. Who’s coming to see us on the#takemedowntowntour?” on his Facebook page after Lady Antebellum announced the additional tour dates.
[Quick question: Is it now OK to use hashtags in Facebook updates?]
Lady Antebellum’s most famous song “Need You Now”, apparently, won all of these Grammys in 2011:
Woah. Not bad.
Y’ALL: Lady Antebellum is back.
Or, they will be this fall. After extensively scaling down their tour plans for the first half of this year due to singer Hillary Scott’s pregnancy (she had a daughter July 22!), the band has announced the first leg of its Take Me Downtown Tour starting in November. Kacey Musgraves and Kip Moore will join.
The festivities kick off November 8 in Southaven, Miss., and continue through a Peoria, Ill. show on December 14. Other cities? St. Louis; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Toledo, Ohio; Fargo, N.D.; Minneapolis and Omaha, to name a few.
“We spent almost every day last year backstage writing for our album Golden, so we were really focused on writing songs that would connect with the fans in these arenas,” said Lady A member Charles Kelley in a press release. “We definitely learned a lot about ourselves as live performers and the type of catalog we wanted to have so that we could go out and try to give the fans the best show they’ve ever experienced. All of that was the jumping off point for this tour, and now it’s time to take it to the next level.”
The tour will be used to support Golden and is named for the first single from the record, “Downtown.” That song was released back in January.
Kacey Musgraves will continue to support her debut album, Same Trailer, Different Park, which I’ve said before is the best thing to come out of mainstream country music in quite sometime. I’m saying it again. She got all kinds of hype due to the first single “Merry Go Around,” and for the first time in recent memory of pop country, the hype was deserved.
Kip Moore does that song “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck,” which is pretty good, though it is obviously playing to the current feeling by label execs that every male country singer has to have at least one single about a truck. He’s put out some other singles too, apparently.
Apparently the new trend at country music festivals is to announce next year’s headlining artists before this year’s event is over. It happened not long ago when Brad Paisley was announced as the headliner of the 2014 Taste of Country Festival, and it happened again on Saturday night when Lady Antebellum and Jake Owen were revealed to be the headliners of the 2014 Country Jam Festival. The news was announced before the final act took the stage at this year’s incarnation of the festival on Saturday night.
Next year’s version of the long-running event will take place June 19-22, in Grand Junction, Colorado. Obviously many more headliners (and other performers) will be announced before that time rolls around.
This year’s festival featured a ton of big names in Country, including Miranda Lambert, Kid Rock, Gary Allan, Florida-Georgia Line, Rascal Flatts, Sawyer Brown and Montgomery Gentry, among many more. Speaking to KKCO News, Julia Shafer — sponsorship and marketing director of the festival — said organizers work year-round on the festival.
“We are very, very proud of this festival,” Shafer said. “22-years and we’re still growing, expanding, changing things up. We love our fans and the fans thankfully, really love us.”
The festival was first held in 1992 and has consistently drawn some of the most popular Country artists every year since.
An additional incarnation of the festival will be held in Eau Claire, Wisconsin next month. Running July 18-20, the festival will feature some of the same artists from the Colorado festival, as well as some additional performers. Artists not featured at the Grand Junction festival include Kelly Clarkson, The Band Perry, Craig Morgan, Big & Rich and Kix Brooks. Artists that will perform at both events include Rascal Flatts, Gary Allen, Lee Brice and Sawyer Brown.
Well I did it. It’s my fault, and you can place the blame squarely on me. I said day two of CMA Fest couldn’t possibly live up to the spectacle that was Thursday night’s opener, and I was right. I jinxed it. It’s all on me. Of course, that’s not to say that Friday night’s batch of sonic goodies wasn’t a heck of a lot of fun. It just wasn’t over-the-top to a sick degree like CMA’s opening salvo.
The threat of rain hung over Nashville for most of the afternoon on Friday. In the hours leading up to Friday night’s performances, the rain came. First, it was a mist that begot a shower, but it never amped up to the point where you thought LP Field would be water logged or that the storms might affect the performances.
Gloriana took the stage to sing the national anthem at close to 8pm. Just like the Oak Ridge Boys last night, their evening was done after fulfilling their patriotic duty. Jail bird Randy Travis opened up the music portion of our evening. The heavy boozing has made Randy an unfortunate regular on TMZ over the past year as the arrests just keep on coming. We even featured him in our best mug shots of music last week. Needless to say, it’s good to see the country icon back onstage, rebuilding his tattered reputation through song.
Like most CMA artists, Travis didn’t have long to wow the crowd, but he did the most with what he had to work with. He debuted his new George Jones tribute song he wrote with Joe Nichols, “Tonight I’m Playing Possum.” He closed the set with a stirring “Forever and Ever Amen.” He received a hardy applause from the crowd as the reigning elder statesman of CMA Fest.
Kip Moore took the stage next. He was introduced as one of People Magazine’s Hottest Guys in Country, and the ladies seemed to be behind that endorsement whole heartedly. The Tifton, Georgia product played up that imagine with his backwards trucker hat and torn up Rolling Stones tour t-shirt from 1975. In case you were doing the math at home, that is five years before Moore was born.
He stuck it to the old producer who passed him by with “Reckless (Still Growin’ Up).” He got all choked up when he sang “Hey Pretty Girl.” The show of emotion was something the ladies couldn’t get enough of. He was having a lot of fun onstage rocking out. He came down for a spell to give a collective high five to the fans gathered in the photo line. Kip Moore is a lot more than his chiseled abs and rugged good looks.
The previously mentioned photo line is a product unique to the CMAs. Anyone who bought a weekend pass for the CMA Fest was eligible to line up for their chance to come right down in front of the stage for that one perfect shot. It’s a crowded space and security do their best to herd the cattle through, yet it’s an experience normally reserved for the professional concert photographers. Even if you are just snapping a picture with your iPhone, I’d suggest you take advantage of this perk at least once when you are at CMA. Who knows. You may get pulled onstage to dance with Luke Bryan like a few lucky ladies did last night. Just be kind to security and move along when they tell you its time. They are just trying to accommodate all of the fans and you holding up traffic keep them from doing their job. Be courteous and realize this is a privilege and not a right at CMA.
It was interesting to watch the battalion of roadies shuttle equipment on and off the stage. With the feverous pacing of the artist sets, there really isn’t time for these hard working gentlemen to do their jobs. They make the best of it, and certainly earn their keep for the weekend. Little Big Town was due to take the stage next but a computer malfunction bumped Hunter Hayes up in the line-up. I think the delay may have had more to do with a special guest running late. That’s just me speculating of course.
Hayes has an interesting stage setup. All of his equipment, and even his piano, have lyrics scrawled across them. Any fan would recognize the phrase, “I don’t want easy, I want crazy.” Hunter has been touring with Carrie Underwood since the fall. The legend of his live show has been growing ever since as he scored the pretty posh gig last week, headlining the upcoming CMT On Tour.
Country music thinks a lot of Hunter Hayes, and it’s easy to see why. He’s a very likable guy with a great energy on stage. He frequently jams out, putting on his best tortured John Mayer face when he settles deep in the groove. He’s as comfortable behind the piano as he is the guitar and fosters a great connection with the audience. Ladies and gentlemen, we may be witnessing country’s next big star.
Singer-songwriter Jason Mraz made a special guest appearance at the close of Hunter’s set. He joined Hayes for their collaboration “Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me.” It was cool of Mraz to come around to help out a friend for such a short appearance.
Little Big Town was supposed to be flip flopping sets with Hunter, but as time wound down it was clear Lady Antebellum would find their way to the stage next. Hillary Scott is very pregnant at this point. Her due date is in July and the announcer said he hoped her little girl didn’t come to visit us early at CMA. I feel for her though, performing at this stage of her pregnancy. She is a trooper and a true professional.
Lady A opened with “Own the Night” off their new album. The trio sounded tight and played off of one another like they’d been doing this all their lives. As soon as Dave Haywood sat down at the piano, everyone knew what was coming. Their ground breaking single “Need You Now” got a big applause from the audience. Kudos to Hillary for making this moment happen at CMA.
Just as I’d sent out the search party for Little Big Town, they wiggled their way into the line-up next. They had a rather unconventional way to start out their evening. There was a satellite stage setup just behind the front field section at LP Field. The roadies trucked the essential gear over and the band performed “Your Side of the Bed” from there to get a little closer to their fans. Afterward, they made their way to the stage where they kicked up the wind machines and the smoke cannons for a rousing “Tornado.”
The quartet sounded great as they waded through the “Boondocks,” each member taking turns sunning under the spotlight. Sheryl Crow showed up to play a couple songs with the group. In fact as soon as she took the stage, she took over the set. She played “Soak Up the Sun” and her new country single “Easy,” usurping Little Big Town’s set. I’m all for guest appearances, but this was more of a co-billed set between Little Big Town and Sheryl. Let’s get the newly country Sheryl Crow her own set at next year’s CMA Festival.
Blake Shelton was Friday’s headliner at the CMA Music Festival. The star of The Voice left behind the judges’ chair for the evening to charge up the Nashville crowd. He certainly wasted no time setting the mood, opening with 80s anthem “Footloose.” I was a little surprised to see he and Miranda scheduled on separate nights. I would have thought they would have been a perfect duo to be scheduled back-to-back and perhaps give us a duet. Alas, it just wasn’t to be.
Shelton played crowd favorites like “Honey Bee” and “Drink On It.” The later was the perfect excuse to have a tall one brought to him in a Solo cup. Liquor and country music just seem to go hand in hand. He got his redneck on with “Boys Round Here.” I half expected to see a special guest during Blake’s set after Zac Brown spoiled us with two last night, but it never materialized. Shelton played a great set, showing why he’s become one of country music’s elite.
CMA Friday night was a great evening of country music. While it didn’t come close to topping Thursday night’s effort, there were a lot of memorable moments and fun guest appearances that will stick in the audience’s minds for years to come.
Our CMA coverage continues tomorrow as we feature Saturday’s crop of artists that include none other than Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson, Florida Georgia Line and Dierks Bentley. Keep checking in throughout the weekend as we retell the tale of CMA Festival 2013.
Country Music is coming to the Big Apple with a three day event at the Roseland Ballroom featuring Lady Antebellum, Sara Evans and Blake Shelton.
The concert series is presented by NASH FM 94.7, which is the only country station in New York City. The station was launched last month by Cumulus Broadcasting.
The series takes place later this month on February 18-20. Though the three artists mentioned above will headline, a slew of other artists will play as well, including Gary Allan, Randy Houser, Lonestar, Justin Moore, Brantley Gilbert, Dustin Lynch and The Henningsens. Additionally, Kix Brooks will appear as host all three nights, and he also will perform at each show.
“The response to launching New York City’s only Country radio station last month has been amazing and we’re excited about this opportunity to let our listeners celebrate with top Country acts as we roll out NASH nationwide,” said Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey in a statement.
The NASH brand will also contain a NASH magazine, television programming and online content. NASH FM will serve as the flagship station of the NASH brand, which includes over 80 country radio stations around the country owned by Cumulus.
Tickets to the show are not for sale, and instead must be won by listening to NASH FM.
In other Lady Antebellum news, the group will hold its first ever Ping Pong & Songs fundraiser on March 23. As the name would suggest, the event will feature ping pong as well as a songwriters-in-the-round event. Proceeds will benefit the group’s newly formed charity, LadyAID.
“This is really a dream day for us… getting friends and fans together to play ping pong, play music and raise money for LadyAID,” said Lady A’s Dave Haywood. “Charles and I… better known as ‘the Dynasty’… will challenge anyone who wants to try and take us at the table! It’s going to be a total blast.”
No word on whether Hillary Scott will join them at the table, though it would seem somewhat doubtful as the group has been canceling more shows than scheduling them lately due to her pregnancy.
The new festival will be held at the Hunter Mountain Resort in Hunter, New York, which is in the Catskill Mountains, and will take place June 13-15.
The festival has been called the “Northeast’s first large-scale country music festival” and also will feature Hunter Hayes, Billy Currington, Montgomery Gentry, Joe Nichols, Blackberry Smoke, Gloriana, Justin Moore and Dustin Lynch, among others.
The festival will be presented by Townsquare Media Group in partnership with Chet-5 festivals.
“We are very excited about our new partnership with the Townsquare Media Group,” said Gary Chetkof of Chet-5 Festivals. “Combining out experience producing the Mountain Jam Festival along with Townsquare Media Group’s assets makes for a powerful partnership that will produce a world-class country music event for many years to come.”
Mountain Jam will be held at the same location the weekend before the Taste of Country festival (June 6-9). That festival will feature Widespread Panic, Phil Lesh & Friends, Primus, The Avett Brothers, Gov’t Mule and many more.
Lady Antebellum has been in the news recently more for canceling shows than scheduling them because of the recent announcement that singer Hillary Scott is pregnant. However, TasteofCountry.com notes that this festival will be the final date on the band’s calendar before taking time off to prepare for the coming child.
Earlier this week, Lady Antebellum released the first single from their upcoming fourth studio album. The song “Downtown” will appear on that as yet untitled album that is expected to be released later this year. The album will be the group’s first since Own the Night was released in September 2011. That album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and was the 12th best-selling album of 2012.
Lady Antebellum has been forced to cancel previously scheduled 2013 summer festival appearances due to the recent revelation that singer Hillary Scott is pregnant.
Appearances planned in North Platte, Neb.; Manhattan, Kan.; Alberta, Canada; Cheyenne, Wy. and York Pa. have been cancelled, according to the group’s website.
“Lady Antebellum’s previously announced performance at NEBRASKAland DAYS in North Platte on June 21st, 2013 has been cancelled,” said a statement on the official website for that festival. “Hillary Scott is expecting her first baby and will not be able to travel and perform through the summer.”
Last week, Scott broke the news that she and her husband are expecting a baby on the trio’s Facebook page.
“Chris & I are excited to announce that our Christmas gift has arrived a little early this year! We are having a BABY! We feel so blessed,” she wrote on the page. Though the due date of the baby was not revealed, TheBoot.com speculates that since “most couples don’t announce their pregnancies until they’re past the first trimester, it’s likely that Hillary is expecting her baby sometime in June.”
Scott married Chris Tyrrell on January 7 of this year. Tyrrell is the drummer for Love and Theft, and the two met in 2010 during a Tim McGraw tour.
In a recent interview with the USA Today, Scott revealed one of her Christmas Eve traditions.
“We always open one present, and it’s always pajamas,” she said. “We both open it up, and we both run as fast as we can into my parents’ room and we change into our pajamas, and those are the ones we sleep in on Christmas Eve.”
It would seem that the love of Christmas spreads to the entire band, as the group used their appearance at the 2012 American Country Awards earlier this week to perform “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”
The festival will be held May 25-26, 2013 – which is Memorial Day Weekend – at Louisiana State University’s Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. This will be the fourth year the event has been held, and it typically draws around 75,000 country music fans.
Other notable act appearing at the 2013 event include Darius Rucker, Luke Bryan, The Band Perry, Rodney Atkins, Thompson Square, Love and Theft, and Frankie Ballard.
“Year four of the Bayou Country Superfest is a milestone,” said Quint Davis, the producer and director of the festival. “We have set a simple goal: to bring the biggest stars in country music together for the best show in America, a show that the world can only see in Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Memorial Day Weekend. And that is exactly what we have done: [the artists] will rock your boots off, and prove once again, there is no place more exciting than Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge on Memorial Weekend.”
The festival is a reserved seating event, and tickets can be bought in two-day packages or as single-day passes. Additionally, a limited number of VIP tickets will be sold for a standing room area near the stage known as the Golden Horseshoe, and tickets for box seats also can be purchased.
LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva also stressed that the event is great for fans as well as the region.
“LSU is pleased to continue to host the Bayou Country Superfest, an event that has proven to be an important annual event for our city and our region,” he said. “Tiger Stadium is one of the great sporting venues in the world and now has proven itself as an ideal site for one of the great music events of the world.”
Lady Antebellum, Toby Keith, Eric Church and Brantley Gilbert will headline the Arizona version of next year’s Country Thunder festival, while Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley will be topped billed at the Wisconsin version of the event.
The Arizona version is up first and will be held over four days from April 11-14, 2013 in Florence, Ariz. Other artists appearing at the event include Kip Moore, Jana Kramer, Tracy Lawrence, Diamond Rio, Lee Brice and Justin Moore.
As you might expect, the Wisconsin version of the festival (which is outdoors) won’t take place as early in the year, and will be held at Twin Lakes, Wisc., which is about halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago. Other performers at the festival include Little Big Town, Chris Young, Phil Vassar, Edens Edge and Joe Nichols. Lady Antebellum also will headline this version of the festival, as well.
In addition to attending the festival, concertgoers also have the option to camp on festival grounds. Camping requires an additional fee in addition to festival tickets.
The festival date is one of the first few concerts Toby Keith has planned for 2013, and the news comes soon after the singer had surgery following a gall bladder attack, though he assures TheBoot.com that he came through fine.
“I had an attack, I thought it was weird indigestion back in December,” he said. “Then it was gone for three months and didn’t think anything about it. I thought it was a cramp. Then in March I was on the golf course and by the third hole, I hit my drive and then started feeling that same thing I had three months earlier. Me and the guys hit our second shots and by the time I got to the green, I was doubled over, and dry heaving, broke out in a sweat. Everybody says when you have a gall bladder attack, it feels like a heart attack. And I didn’t think it was that bad. It felt like a stomach cramp.”
Lady Antebellum, Toby Keith and Zac Brown will headline the 2013 version of the Stagecoach Festival.
Next year’s version of the country music event will be the seventh incarnation of the festival, and will be held April 26-28. That weekend will be the weekend after the 2013 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is held, also at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, Calif.
Other big name artists scheduled to appear at Stagecoach are Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Dwight Yoakam, Thompson Square, Trace Adkins, Justin Townes Earle, Riders in the Sky, Lonestar and Hank Williams, Jr. Classic country performers including Jerry Lee Lewis, Charley Pride and Roger McGuinn also will perform.
The pricing structure for the festival has changed this year, and a three-day pass will cost $239. VIP passes also are available, and range from $799 to $1,099. Instead of tent and car camping options from years past, now the festival has the Stagecoach RV Resort, where spots cost between $855 and $955.
Goldenvoice, the company that produces the festival, announced recently that it wants to make Indio the long-term host of the show. The company submitted a bid that will keep both Coachella and Stagecoach in the city through at least 2030. The city is not expected to make a decision on the bid until early next year.
In addition to the music, the festival also will once again include a wide variety of additional activities, including karaoke, massage therapists, pinball, a country DJ, a WIFI center and regular shuttles to the supermarket. Additionally, a huge Ferris wheel allows broad overhead views of the festival
There also are a slew of family activities planned as well for those that want to bring children to the music festival. And if you’re hungry during the festival, check out the BBQ contest, which features 30 national teams cooking all day and all night.