The Band Perry's Pop Smarts Get Rodeo Off on the Right Foot

The Band Perry's Pop Smarts Get Rodeo Off on the Right Foot (2)
Photos by Jack Gorman

The Band Perry
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
NRG Stadium
March 1, 2016

Well, here we are again, folks. As spring approaches, another RodeoHouston is upon us. And widespread layoffs be damned, Houston is adamant about having this party.

The crowd at this year’s opening night was noticeably thinner than last year's, down nearly 10 percent amid the recent economic downturn. At 52,050, which is still quite a lot of people, last night marked the lightest crowd since 2013.

But Alabama natives The Band Perry either didn’t know or didn’t care. Or perhaps they came to town to lift our collective spirit, because the three siblings packed their set list with more than an hour of fan-pleasing, pop-heavy, sing-songy ballads during their fifth straight RodeoHouston appearance.

The Band Perry's Pop Smarts Get Rodeo Off on the Right Foot (3)

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Their performance could have easily passed for a traditional pop concert had it not been for all the oversized belt buckles, cowboy hats and boots. And make no mistake – the Band Perry is transitioning away from country toward full-blown pop with marvelous results.

The band began its set with “Better Dig Two” and “Chainsaw” – cuts off their sophomore album, Pioneer, that were reminiscent of Miranda Lambert – followed by “You Lie,” the first track from their self-titled debut album, on which our narrator claims divorce to be more deadly than alcoholism or meth. 

On their fourth song, however, the Band Perry hit their stride. “Best One Yet,” the as-yet-unreleased single that is sure to be their next big hit, saw the three-piece shedding its faux-country exterior for a traditional pop anthem.

The Band Perry's Pop Smarts Get Rodeo Off on the Right Foot (4)

It was clearly written with large auditoriums in mind, what with its grandiose chorus and booming ambience, and it showcased the band's talents without all the frills: strong fronting vocals, robust harmonies and an uplifting feel.

As the show progressed, the Band Perry doubled down on the pop music. Covers abounded, with Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake and Gnarls Barkley tunes making appearances alongside the Eurythmics and Queen. As it turns out, these guys don’t have to settle for being the poor man’s Lady Antebellum after all.

If “Live Forever,” their latest single, and “Best One Yet” are any indication, the Band Perry are well on the way from run-of-the-mill young country toward pop stardom, not unlike Taylor Swift, whose transition worked out pretty well, if memory serves.

Now that they're free of their former label, Big Machine, there's nothing holding them back. If they play their cards right, these three siblings could be on tour with another Perry by this time next year: Katy.

The Band Perry's Pop Smarts Get Rodeo Off on the Right Foot

SET LIST
Better Dig Two
Chainsaw
You Lie
Best One Yet
All Your Life
Love Yourself (Justin Bieber cover)
Don’t Let Me Be Lonely (another solid pop ballad!)
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) (Eurythmics cover)
Crazy (Gnarls Barkley cover)
Sexy Back (Justin Timberlake cover)
Hip to My Heart
Better
If I Die Yong
Live Forever
Fat Bottomed Girls (Queen cover)
DONE


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