When The Band Perry opened up for Rascal Flatts this Saturday at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, they couldn’t have asked for a better night. Country concert-goers have had some rough weather i.e. rain and unseasonably cold temperatures this concert season, but somehow TBP was able to harness the power of their fabulous hair to make it a perfectly warm evening.
As the lights dimmed, the band could be seen as silhouettes behind a filmy transparent screen. When the first notes of their song began to play, the screen was ripped down and The Band Perry came out of the gate with their hit song Done. Wearing a sparkly blue dress and light brown high-heeled boots, Kimberly Perry worked the stage singing lyrics that clearly expressed that she wanted to move on from the relationship she was currently in. Who hurt you Kimberly? Who hurt you?
Singing You Lie next, the song was accompanied with background images of barbed wire and hearts in an all red color scheme. It was a little darker and edgier and complimented the lyrics, calling out this “liar.” Neil, Reid, and Kimberly Perry directed their microphones to the audience so that we could sing out the chorus. Audience participation is always my favorite part of any live show. I can now confidently put on my resume: Sang with The Band Perry.
Afterwards, they introduced a new song that they co-wrote with Brad Paisley. Kimberly said it so casually. It was almost like they were all just sitting around, playing poker, and eating pizza when Reid suddenly suggests to Brad (one of today’s best country entertainers!) that they write a song together. No big. However it came about, Forever Mine Nevermind has anthem potential, if no other reason than we get to chant “nah nah nah” a lot. The lesson to be learned from this song: Never break The Band Perry’s trust. Nah nah nah.
Speaking about the power of country music, Kimberly encourages us to “leave our troubles at the door” and to be “one family.” They then go into a little of The Lumineers, Ho Hey. Once again, the audience is asked to sing along. Ho Hey! Resume update: Sang with The Band Perry TWICE.
Sitting down, with Kimberly and Reid on guitars and Neil on mandolin, they begin the first verse of All Your Life. There is something so raw, stripped-down about this performance. Perhaps it was the minimal production or the emotional, almost pleading lyrics, but it’s one of my favorite songs of the night.
Kimberly solely approaches the front of the stage and begins singing I Will Always Love You. Whenever someone attempts this song, there’s always a moment at the beginning, where I hold my breath, wondering if the artist will do it justice. Unless you can sing with the emotional vulnerability of Dolly Parton or the control of the late Whitney Houston, it’s a tough song to sing. Kimberly does not over-sing it like some performers are known to do and stays well within her range. There is a confidence about her, like she knows that she’s “got this.”
Before launching into I’m a Keeper, Kimberly stresses the importance of “being your own person, doing your own thing.” When she shouts out “Take me or leave me- I’m a keeper!” all I can think of is Amen, sister!!
What time is it? It’s time for a cover! Taking on Queen’s Fat Bottomed Girls, the trio packs so much energy into this song that I almost forget that I’m singing the word “fat” instead of “robust” or “big-boned.” Neil shines as he shares lead vocals on this one. They make you believe that indeed, fat bottomed girls do “make the rockin’ world go round.”
TBP launches into their new radio single, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely. They describe that the song is about “making new memories.” Afterwards, they transition seamlessly into If I Die Young. Being a fan favorite, the audience sings along to entire song. As the band stepped away from their mics to listen to the crowd sing their song, they seemed to be in awe that we knew every lyric and have connected to the words that they wrote. Is there a greater compliment to a singer/songwriter? Resume update: Sang with the Band Perry THRICE!
How about we bring the party back? Some Nights by F.U.N. will get the job done! It’s a tune like this that really demonstrates their 3-voice harmony. Following this performance, they go into a song that they co-wrote with another talented family trio, the Henningsens. Night Gone Wasted is about blowing off some steam and letting loose. What? TBP gets a little wild!? Oh, if I’d known you were all afraid of heights, I wouldn’t have put you on that pedestal!
They close their show with the instrumentally haunting Better Dig Two. I walked away from the concert enlightened by a few things:
1. The Band Perry has the most attractive back-up band I’ve ever seen. Hello boys! (wink, wink).
2. I’d like to play poker and eat pizza with the group (And Brad Paisley. You know, if he’s around).
3. The country audience is nowhere Done with The Band Perry.
– Preetha Aloor