It isn’t unusual for performers at Intrust Bank Arena to travel to the back of the venue for a couple of songs.
But it is unusual for them to start off there. Country stars Lady Antebellum surprised the 8,500 fans who spent Valentine’s Day with them at Intrust Bank Arena by suddenly appearing on a satellite stage on the back of the venue to start the show.
The lights went up, and there they were – Hillary Scott and her bearded bandmates, Charles Kelley and guitar player/backup singer Dave Haywood, belting out their current radio hit “Compass,” the first of several the harmonizing trio would deliver during the show.
The set included a long list of the band’s hits, and the crowd showed extra appreciation for “Just A Kiss,” “American Honey” and “I Run to You.”
The stage featured a catwalk down the center and two others jutting out on either side, which allowed lead singers Scott and Kelley to split duty, each one singing to a different side of the arena.
The band members made liberal use of remote cameras during the show. Kelley held one in his hand as he traveled to the remote stage during one song, capturing images on the big screen of audience members from his perspective. And Haywood had one mounted on the end of his guitar pointing up at himself and offering an unusual perspective of him as he played.
The band kept the show lively by pulling a little girl from the crowd onto stage, introducing the band (which includes Scott’s husband on drums) and performing fun covers such as Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.”
The group also performed “Need You Now,” “Dancin’ Away With My Heart,” “We Owned the Night” and “Wanted You More.”
Among Lady Antebellum’s two opening acts was Kacey Musgraves, the up-and-coming, cute-as-a-button singer who had a good night at last month’s Grammy awards.
The 25-year-old Texan was the first, preceding growly country rocker Kip Moore, and she charmed the crowd with a quick 40-minute set that included not only the song that earned her the Grammy for Best Country Song – “Merry Go Round” – but also the song she performed on the Grammys while wearing light-up cowgirl boots, “Follow Your Arrow.” (She also won the Best Country Album Grammy for “Same Trailer, Different Park.”)
Wearing a short, white cotton dress decorated with a Valentine’s Day heart and red ric rac, the singer and her band warmed up the crowd with several originals and a playful cover of TLC’s “No Scrubs.”
The most successful crowd warmer of the evening? In between Moore and the headliners, camera operators projected onto the big screen images of audience members dancing to pop songs, revealing who was in the crowd: lots of couples on Valentine’s Dates. Lots of groups of girlfriends wearing their best going-out dresses. Lots of parents taking their kids out for a Friday-night concert treat. One guy proposing on bended knee. And lots of Wichitans, with lots of moves.