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Rascal Flatts, Band Perry charm nearly sold-out crowd at Intrust Bank Arena

  • Eagle correspondent
  • Published Friday, August 9, 2013, at 11:07 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, August 9, 2013, at 11:23 p.m.

The megahit country group Rascal Flatts captivated the almost-sold-out crowd at Intrust Bank Arena on Friday night. More than 9,000 fans were also enthralled by the sibling opening act The Band Perry.

Wearing a black leather dress and thigh-high leather boots, Kimberly Perry, The Band Perry’s lead singer (and big sister), brought crowd members to their feet with her lush vocals and dynamic personality. Brothers Neil and Reid Perry also charmed the crowd with their backup vocals, brilliant smiles and fancy finger work.

The trio, originally from Mississippi, started their band when the family moved to Alabama. Several of the evening’s numbers came from the group’s 2010 self-titled debut album and their newest release, “Pioneer.”

Most of the crowd swung their arms, stomped their feet and answered back in song as both The Band Perry and Rascal Flatts took the stage. Kimberly Perry told the crowd to leave their troubles behind for the night and “be one family.” Toward the end of the set, the engaged crowd sang back the lyrics to the band’s hit “If I Die Young.”

Rascal Flatts pumped up the crowd with opening number “Life Is a Highway.” As vibrant yellow, magenta and lime-colored lights flashed, the country trio interspersed the words “Wichita” and “Kansas” in their lyrics. Lead singer Gary LeVox used his smooth vocals to woo the energetic audience. Joe Don Rooney’s playing on lead guitar did not escape the fans’ notice; neither did Jay DeMarcus’ bass guitar or the group’s phenomenal harmonizing.

The trio’s inventive lighting changed from song to song as the band went from hits “Everyday” to “What Hurts the Most.” Both realistic and abstract images were projected on more than 12 screens throughout the concert.

The hit band projected a relaxed yet engaged stage presence. Rascal Flatts has sold more than 21 million albums and produced 14 No. 1 singles since the band’s debut in 2000. During the concert, Rooney told the excited crowd that he was born in Kansas. On Saturday, the trio will head to Oklahoma, where Rooney grew up. Ohio natives LeVox and DeMarcus met Rooney in Nashville and formed the group.

Cassadee Pope, who sang the pre-opening numbers of the concert, joined Rascal Flatts on stage for a song. Her rich voice blended well with the male vocals.

At one point, little bobbleheads of the trio were projected behind them; other times, it was an image of fire, clouds or a city street. The images related to the songs.

When the group sang “Bless the Broken Road,” the crowd both cheered and sang along. A lazy river was projected behind the band, resembling a river in Kansas. LeVox put his heart into this hit as the crowd went wild.

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