CMT ON TOUR 2007: SUGARLAND CHANGE –– Change your mind... change the world
By Janelle Landauer
After spending last year and part of this year on the road opening for Kenny Chesney [The Road & The Radio tour… and the Flip Flop Summer Tour 2007] – Sugarland teamed up with CMT and got the opportunity to headline their first tour. The 2007 CMT Change Tour includes Jake Owen, who opens the show, and also the ACM Top New Group from this year – Little Big Town.
Jake Owen’s success to date has been a bit limited, even though he has several key traits that should definitely drive him forward with his future releases. He has the voice and look – plus he’s a talented writer as well. Even though Owen’s debut single “Yee Haw,” wasn't particularly a favorite from his album, his second single “Startin’ With Me” had all the right qualities of a hit. "Startin' With Me" really put Owen on the map as both a talented singer and songwriter. Owen’s set list included 6 songs and was obviously a bit short to accommodate more time for Little Big Town and Sugarland.
An opening slot like this one is still a great opportunity for country fans to hear fresh talent. Owen performed a few of his rowdier songs like “Yee Haw” and “The Bad In Me,” but he also slowed it down for a few ballads which included his latest single “Startin’ With Me” and “Something About A Woman.” The main job for opening acts is to get the fans fired up for the other performers – and he accomplished that when he took the stage at the Pershing Auditorium. Owen is still fairly new to the music scene, but with a little more time, he is sure to come into his own even more.
Little Big Town is one of a few acts that could actually make it “acoustically” in country music. They often perform “Boondocks” on award shows with just their guitars. Some artists struggle to make it performing with all instruments, yet they nail every one of their acoustic performances and they really stand out over a lot of “big name” artists.
The members of Little Big Town (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Roads, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook), once again brought so much originality to their set. They performed their hits including “Boondocks,” “A Little More You,” “Good As Gone” and “Bring It On Home” but they also changed it up performing the Fleetwood Mac hit “Go Your Own Way.” [You may recall that they sang on the CMT Crossroads with Fleetwood Mac front man Lindsey Buckingham.] In addition to performing their hit singles, they also sang their new single “I’m With The Band” – from their new CD “A Place To Land” which hit stores on November 6, 2007. They introduced two songs from that same new album as well – “Novocaine” and “It’s A Fine Line”…
The harmony between all four members is astonishing. They’ve really had it down for awhile now since they released their Grammy-nominated debut CD from Equity Music Group, The Road To Here, but they somehow continue to show even more growth and maturity (both vocally and musically) with every new song that they release. Their new music is sounding as good as ever – especially their new single. This band is the real deal… They can write, sing, play instruments and they probably harmonize better than any other group out there right now. They are proof that success can come, whether you’re backed by an Indie label or a major. Be sure and check out Little Big Town’s new album – A Place To Land – in stores now!
Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush from Sugarland are pure entertainers. It seems as though they’ve picked up some key pointers from their time of touring with Kenny Chesney through the years. They have their set entirely synched out with each other and any hard work of lining this show up and putting it together pays off when they step off their tour buses and they take the stage.
Sugarland’s show started with "Twice The Speed of Life" – the title track from their debut CD from Mercury Nashville Records. Fans got the first glimpse of the Sugarland hits they’ve come to enjoy when they sang “Want To” – third on the lineup, followed by another smash hit – “Settlin’”
One of the highlights from their show was actually not one of their own hits – but their cover of Beyonce’s ‘Irreplaceable”. For this song, all of the band members took center stage and gave the song an acoustic/country feel… and as Nettles mentioned – a feeling that is reminiscent of the Grand Ole Opry setting. “Irreplaceable” showcased their incredible vocals and musicianship plus, it was a unique experience for fans to hear this cover song live.
After debuting a new song called “Fall Into Me” from their upcoming CD, they sang a few more tracks from Enjoy The Ride and then it was all about their hits. "Just Might Make Me Believe" started off the progression which led into “Down In Mississippi” – where the fans went wild and were fired up and on their feet from then on out. Kristian Bush stepped in to sing the lead male vocals on “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” – the duet that Jennifer and Bon Jovi had taken to the #1 spot on the charts. One of the best parts from this song was all of the tribute shots from Lincoln that their crew had taken in the city. It’s always nice to see artists’ taking the effort to appreciate where they’re touring, so that was a great addition to their set.
Next up was "Everyday America" – one of the most unified performances between Nettles and Bush from the night. They were jumping around, playing guitar and singing at the same time –– just an unbelievable talent between the two. They have such a strong connection when they are on stage together and they’re meant to be a duo. They sang fan favorites “Baby Girl” and “Something More” before leaving the stage.
When they returned to the stage for their encore, they started with their current single, "Stay". This song is so powerful and you can see all the raw emotion as Nettles and Bush sing this one. Jake Owen and Little Big Town came back out during Sugarland’s final song of the night – "Pour Some Sugar On Me" – a cover from Def Leppard.
The CMT tour is pure high energy from start to finish. Don’t miss your opportunity if you’re able to catch this show live. It’s one wild ride that you don’t want to miss!
» Twice The Speed of Life
» County Line
» Want To
» These Are The Days
» Irreplaceable (Beyonce cover)
» Fall Into Me
» Happy Ending
» Where the Streets Have No Name (U2 cover) intro into – One Blue Sky
» Just Might Make Me Believe
» Down In Mississippi (Up To No Good)
» Who Says You Can’t Go Home
» Everyday America
» Baby Girl
» Something More
» Pour Some Sugar On Me (Def Leppard cover)