What was billed as an acoustic performance turned electric in more ways than one when Lady Antebellum took the stage Friday in a new Evans venue named in their honor.
The band, featuring Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, performed an hour-long set at the Lady Antebellum Pavilion in Evans Town Center Park.
Prior to the show, Scott praised the acoustics of the venue and rightfully so. The sold-out concert could be heard from the furthest reaches of the park and beyond as capably as when standing in the pit just feet from the stage.
“We don’t care if it rains,” Kelley said to the crowd just as a slight sprinkle started to fall. “We ain’t gonna go home.”
The concert was a homecoming for Kelley and Haywood, who both grew up in Columbia County and graduated from Lakeside High School.
That hometown connection was recognized before the group took to the stage with an unveiling of a plaque dedicating the pavilion to them.
The excitement of such an honor so early in their careers seemed to add some pep to the performance.
“I’m not going to be able to sit down; not in my hometown,” Kelley declared as he abandoned his stool.
Kelley’s personality drove much of the fan enthusiasm during the show as he bounded across the stage with a Mick Jagger-like swagger.
But it was Haywood’s musical versatility that kept me intrigued.
While the group ran through such hits as Our Kind of Love, American Honey and Need You Now, Haywood switched effortlessly between guitar, keyboards, mandolin and banjo.
But Haywood, Scott and Kelley abandoned all instruments for a cappella rendition of the National Anthem to close the concert.
That was followed by a fireworks show to entertain the crowd as they exited the park, which promises to be a viable venue for many more future concerts.