Often, music artists that make it big often go unappreciated in their hometowns.
Not so in the Augusta area, said Lady Antebellum vocalist Charles Kelley during a Friday press conference prior to a performance at the new Lady Antebellum Pavilion in Evans Town Center Park.
Kelley recalled playing gigs at the Red Lion Pub on Walton Way as a teen and says many in this area helped him reach the success he enjoys today with bandmates Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood, who also grew up in Columbia County.
“They take ownership in our success, and they should,” Kelley said of area fans.
A song off the band’s new album, Own the Night, called Dancing With My Heart, is about his experiences growing up in this community, Kelley said.
Haywood joked that he has “more family here than I’ve seen in years” at the concert.
Though Lady A have played venues throughout the world, nothing compares to performing at home, Haywood said.
“It’s a different kind of special ... a heart-warming special,” he said.
Kelley and Haywood grew up in Columbia County and graduated from Lakeside High School. To honor that connection, county officials named their new performance venue after then.
“It’s beautiful,” Scott said of the pavilion. “The acoustics are fantastic.”