“We want to send out something to all our servicemen and women,” Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley told the trio’s Nashville audience on Friday, taking the tempo down to mark the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“We want to say thank you to every single person in uniform who fought that day, who lost their lives that day, who fight to protect us on a daily basis,” added Hillary Scott before joining Kelley and guitarist/pianist Dave Haywood on their spine-tingling 2010 hit, “Hello World.” Accompanied only by Haywood’s acoustic guitar, the bandmates alternated between bowing their heads in remembrance and looking to the heavens, tearing into the tearjerker with exquisite harmonies on their song that dusts dark clouds with silver linings.
Lady Antebellum practice what they preach. Before their concert, they met with a wounded soldier who is one of seven recipients of the country stars’ joint venture with Quicken Loans to pay a year’s worth of mortgage payments for fans in need. “We’re always looking for those opportunities [to give back],” says Scott. “That’s such a huge part of who we are and the platform we’ve been given – and wanting to use that platform with intention and purpose.”
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Lady Antebellum’s Nashville stop on their Wheels Up tour saw them performing in their home city’s Bridgestone Arena for the first time in nine years together (and on Kelley’s 34th birthday). The Grammy winners peppered a set-list full of their own singalong hits such as “Bartender,” “Need You Now” and “American Honey” with an eclectic mix of covers: Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” (also performed acoustic), Shania Twain’s “Any Man of Mine,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” and Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” with openers Hunter Hayes and Sam Hunt.
Lady Antebellum’s Wheels Up tour will make its last stop September 19th in Camden, New Jersey, after which their tour buses will find a place to park for a while. The trio are looking forward to a break from the road to rejuvenate. “We’re going to step away for a little while,” Kelley recently told Rolling Stone Country. “As a band, we’ve talked about wanting to get off the hamster wheel for a little bit and let the fans miss us for a second. We want to spend some time to write a record like we did for our first record. But it’s always been go, go, go, so we’ll try to get reinspired a little bit.”