Aftermath: A Quiet Night At The Rodeo With Lady Antebellum, John Mellencamp (Sort Of) And Larry The Cable Guy
Photos by Jason Wolter
On Monday night, Lady Antebellum performed to a crowd of a little more than 65,000. Having been in a band, the idea of playing in front of so many people is both exciting and nerve-racking, but by RodeoHouston standards it's about middle of the road, and felt like less. It was a quiet night at Reliant Stadium. Although the country-pop trio Lady Antebellum drew one of the smaller crowds in recent Rodeo history, the performance didn't seem to reflect any disappointment on the group's behalf. The harmonies were perfect. Also, Lady A's style is different than that of most Rodeo performers, a sound that was alternative rock meets country. The polished vocals of their latest single, "American Honey," were a nice change of pace from most RodeoHouston performances, and blended seamlessly with the guitar and piano. At one point, we ran into a fan who introduced himself and showed us his press credentials... We asked him to repeat his name and, although he did (twice), we still didn't get it. But what we did hear him say was that Lady A singer Hillary Scott's mother was a backup vocalist for Reba McEntire for many years.
Near the end of the set list, Lady A began to play a cover of sorts: John Mellencamp's "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A." and the Romantics' "What I Like About You," but we're pretty sure most of the crowd was far too young to recognize what they were hearing. Or if they recognized it, they probably weren't sure from where.
For a three member band, Lady A sure had a lot of people on stage - seven to be exact. We didn't mind the four touring members until the show ended and the country trio hopped into the back of a truck and were driven backstage while fans screamed... and the touring band was left onstage to play. Show the touring band some love and send another truck!
It's cool to have a touring band. A lot of artists do. But they should get to ride in the truck too.
We began the evening with a trip to the carnival. We've been to so many shows this year that we thought, "Why not?" And we took our girlfriend, who insisted we ride the dungeon drop-esque ride. We might be afraid of heights, but damned if we were going to let her know that. She had never been to the Rodeo before, so we showed her around for a while before making the trek inside and upstairs to our seats.
On the way in, we saw a woman in a dark green shirt with white lettering. "Rub for luck," it read. After a quick glance at the words printed across her chest, we looked back up to see the woman glaring at us as if to say, "What kind of girl do you think I am?" Well, according to your shirt... and we don't mind the shirt, but don't get upset at us for reading words printed on your chest.
And Larry the Cable Guy was there! We're not sure why we were surprised to see him, but we were. As one bull rider was tossed from the back of his animal, the camera panned to the left and the crowd began to cheer.
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