Last night at The Filene Center at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA I was privy to one of the most energetic and just all out fun concerts I have ever been to (and I have been to A LOT of them!). One of the hottest groups in country music right now, The Band Perry (TBP) as they are known to their fans, continued their first headling tour, the We are Pioneers Tour, with a lively and entertaining show for the sold out crowd. TBP is comprised of lead singer Kimberly Perry and her two younger brothers, Neil and Reid.
The night began with an eight song set from Lindsay Ell, including her newest single “Shut Me Up” and cover versions of “Something to Talk About,” and “American Woman.” If the catchy and insightful lyrics on “Tripping on Us” “Shut Me Up” and “Not Another Me” are any indication of Ell’s songwriter abilities, then Guitar World was definitely right in calling her a “triple threat.” In addition to her songwriting abilities and great voice, her ability to rock out on the guitar is out of this world. I loved Ell’s country but bluesy rocker guitar chic vibe. She did seem a little uncomfortable at times on stage, and I am hoping that she takes advantage of her tour with The Band Perry to perfect her onstage connection with the audience.
From the moment that Kimberly Perry appears on stage she is a ball of non-stop, positive energy. She performs with an uninhibited abandon and passion for the music that is contagious. Starting with their hit single “Done” Kimberly encourages everyone to stand up, to dance, and to sing-along as if “we are one family”. Its true what they say about how time flies when you are having fun as the next hour and a half or so flies by with performances of singles off their two albums, including “Night Gone Wasted,” “You Lie,” “All Your Life,” “Pioneer,” and “I’m a Keeper.” The band also performed some great covers including a near acoustic version of “Amazing Grace” that showcased Kimberly’s beautiful voice. I have to say that I never found Kimberly Perry’s voice to be “distinct” like some other country voices, but in a live venue like Wolf Trap, her voice has a sweetness and a passion to it that is unrivaled.
While their roots lie in country music, with their covers of Pitbull’s “Timber” and Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls,” you realize that you can’t box The Band Perry into being “just a country band.” I don’t think I saw anyone in the packed audience sitting down during TBP’s cover of “Timber.”
TBP closed out the set with the heart-wrenching, pleading “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely” which is what I am sure everyone felt at the thought of the showing ending. The encore consisted of the Kimberly Perry penned “If I Die Young” that skyrocketed the band into the limelight and the biggest hit from their last 2013 Album, Pioneer, “Better Dig Two.”
My favorite moment of the night has to be when they performed “Pioneer.” As part of the intro, Kimberly tells the Audience that every night, they dedicate “Pioneer” to a different cause or person, but that being so close to the heart of America, it was being dedicated to this country we all love. This is followed by Neil Perry carrying an American Flag on stage and placing it at the top of the risers set in the middle of the stage, the lights on stage dim. One spotlight is on the flag, and one is on Jason Fitz, TBP’s violinist, who begins a hauntingly beautiful violin rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, which leads into the opening verses of “Pioneer.” It brings chills to my spine just thinking back and recalling how beautiful that whole moment was.
Do yourself a favor, the next time The Band Perry is in the area, buy yourself a ticket to see the show. I am pretty sure it is going to be one of the most fun nights you will ever have.
The Band Perry played one night only on August 28, 2014 at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap – 1645 Trap Road, in Vienna, VA. For future performances and Information: Call (877) 965-3872, or check their calendar of events.
The Band Perry website.