Local fans show excitement at Lady Antebellum concert

Country group performs sold-out concert

Sisters Mallory Givens and Kayla Rowe of Evans have been Lady Antebellum fans since the country trio’s first song.

On Tuesday, they were in the sold-out crowd at James Brown Arena to hear the hometown band perform.

Givens, 23, said her mother and a family friend joined Lady Antebellum’s fan club so they could buy tickets to the concert two days before the tickets were made available to the public.

“They’re from Augusta. We just wanted to come and support our hometown band,” Givens said.

The tickets were a 21st birthday surprise for Rowe, who wasn’t able to see the group perform in Evans last October because of her school schedule.

“I’m really excited because I’ve always wanted to go,” Rowe said before the concert.

Thompson Square opened Tuesday’s concert, and excited fans crowded the stage to take photos with their cellphones.

When Lady Antebellum began its performance, screaming fans greeted band members Hillary Scott and Columbia County natives Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood as they rose through the stage on a platform, opening their act with the song We Owned the Night.

Fans danced and sang along to their favorite songs throughout the set, which included songs from the group’s latest album, Own the Night, such as Dancin’ Away With My Heart, Wanted You More and Just A Kiss. They ended the night with crowd favorite Need You Now.

Haywood displayed his diverse musical talents, playing both guitar and piano. Throughout the performance, he and Kelley expressed their gratitude to Augusta fans for their continued support.

Scott thanked Augusta fans for selling out Tuesday’s show.

The stage was designed so fans on the floor could surround Lady Antebellum on all sides, with group members occasionally stepping down into the crowd.

Musicians played on a raised stage behind the three vocalists, standing in front of three large screens, which added a dynamic visual effect with fire, disco balls, colorful images and candid videos of the band members.

During the concert, members of the Lakeside High School marching band went onstage to pay tribute to Lady Antebellum for making its 200th Webisode.

The award-winning country band has achieved some of the top honors in the music industry, including seven Grammy Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards and a Billboard Music Award.

Jean Daniel, of Augusta, bought tickets to the concert as a birthday present for her 12-year-old granddaughter, Lucy Simons. Both are huge Lady Antebellum fans.

“They’re local guys, and we just love that,” Daniel said.

For Christmas, Daniel bought Lucy a Lady Antebellum T-shirt and album.

Lucy said she couldn’t pick a favorite Lady Antebellum song – she likes them all.

Daniel said she has known band member Charles Kelley’s father, Dr. John Kelley, for 40 years. She knew Charles and his brother, Josh, when they were growing up, but she never knew they could sing.

She said that she asked their father where they got their talent and that he said he didn’t know.

He told her the brothers used to practice in the garage.

Daniel said it makes her and her family proud “to see them rise with such prominence.”

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