Lady Antebellum at the Hammersmith Apollo
The Hammersmith Apollo was full to the brim as people from far and wide squeezed into the venue complete with band t-shirts and hooded jumpers. As the crowd waited excitedly for the band, shouts of “Lady A!” could be heard echoing around the Apollo. Monday was Lady Antebellum’s first London show as part of their Own the night 2012 tour.
The band, originally from Nashville, came together in 2006 and gained wide scale success in the States for their distinct country pop sound. They have released three studio albums, their most recent one Own the night being the title for their current world tour.
The crowd were left waiting until just before their impatience settled in from anticipation, and Lady A succeeded in owning not only the night, but also the stage as they opened with their smash hit We Owned the Night. This immediately animated the crowd who bounced along to each beat of the bass drum and sang along with each line. Lady A, who were clearly enjoying themselves already, asked the audience to join in with the repeated shouts of “Ohhhhh!” to bring the song to an abrupt end, only to be followed by a roar of cheering and applause. The concert could have ended then and the crowd would still have been satisfied.
Charles Kelley, the confident front man of the group, led them on through a steady and enjoyable set with a good mix of energetic as well as heart-warming numbers. Things settled down when the band began Away with my Heart and allowed the audience to sway gently along to the words and recover from the lively start to the night. Their next song, Perfect Day, was the perfect irony considering the state of the weather outside, however, this didn’t seem to affect the audience, who sang along and agreed with Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott’s simultaneous exclamations of “What a perfect day!”
As Kelley went on to entertain the crowd (females mostly), the lights were dimmed on stage and a piano was wheeled out leaving just the three main members of the group. As talented multi-musician of the band Dave Haywood took to the piano, Kelley and Scott eased into an intimate version of hit single from the title record, Just a Kiss. At this point the whole crowd held neon lights and phone screens in the air while joining in with the lyrics to the wistful love ballad.
The end of the show left the crowd with just the right amount of excitement and calm, but as expected from Lady Antebellum, they wanted more. As the band left the stage the crowd were adamant for another song and not only did they get one, but it was probably the best one of the night. For the encore, they played arguably their biggest track, I Need you Now, and the crowd was ecstatic. The words of the song were drowned out by the cries from the audience singing along and the song ended dramatically as Kelley and Scott paused for what seemed like an eternity to build up the already insurmountable tension in the room, before sincerely thanking the audience and floating off stage.
Lady Antebellum, who hadn’t been in London since their last headline tour, certainly gave the audience everything that they’d asked for and more, as happy faces and sweaty brows left the venue, softly singing along to the songs they had just heard. They will surely be singing them for days on end as Lady Antebellum had left a distinct, country pop tune in everyone’s heads that night.
Listen to I Need You Now here: