Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Band Perry In Concert: Always Impressive

I saw The Band Perry in concert for the fourth time recently; and once again, their energy and passion for music was contagious.  Going to a TBP concert is a lot like Christmas...the excitement and anticipation, the pleasure and fun of the moment, and the letdown when those moments are over.  Then, the "patient anticipation" begins again.  I feel fortunate that The Band Perry has come to my area for the past 4 years, and I hope the visits continue.  I don't attend many concerts, but The Band Perry is always on my "must see" list. If I needed a reminder why I don't want to miss a live TBP performance in my area, last weekend's concert would have been a strong one.  Kimberly, Neil, and Reid are naturals on stage, performers without pretense.  When Kimberly says she wants the band and the audience to be one big family for the night, I believe her. They invite the audience into the magic of their sibling dynamic and their music. And, for an hour and half you forget the extraneous factors - like the humid air of an outdoor venue in the summer - and get captivated by the music.

The show opened with a dramatic countdown. Three large screens flashing red numbers counting gown from 10, interspersed with images of Kimberly, Neil, and Reid.  Then our wait was "DONE" and with that ever energetic, foot stomping song the concert began. The Band Perry has seemingly unending energy, transitioning from one song to the next and constantly engaging the crowd.  Like their albums, their concert is a mix of some spunky and gritty uptempo songs and more sentimental ones.  At this concert, the most memorable moments occurred with "I am a Keeper" and "Pioneer," both powerful songs with different deliveries.  The lyrics of both are encouraging and The Band Perry used the performances of both to encourage the audience.  "I am a Keeper," began with Kimberly, Reid, and Neil sharing some of the criticisms that they have received - and criticism is something to which we can all relate.  They reminded us to be true to ourselves, and above all to remember that we are indeed keepers. Their point was reinforced with a performance of conviction that was like raising a flag of victory rather than one of surrender.

Above all, the most touching song of the night was "Pioneer." It is one of my favorite songs  with inspiring lyrics that apply to life in so many ways.  The entire "Pioneer" segment of the show was poignant, starting with Kimberly's introduction filled with encouragement to keep moving toward our personal frontiers.  On that night, The Band Perry dedicated "Pioneer" to America.  An American flag was displayed in the sole spotlight at the top of the stage while Jason Fitz played the national anthem beautifully on the fiddle.  It was one of the most memorable performances of the National Anthem that I have heard, simple but undeniably stirring and the perfect precedent to "Pioneer." The band segued in "Amazing Grace" to conclude the segment.  I love The Band Perry's rendition, which I have heard at their other shows as well.  It was the ideal conclusion to the most touching 10 minutes of the night.  Everyone in the audience must have felt the power of those moments, as a peaceful stillness descended upon us, and the music and artistry stirred our emotions.

The Band Perry quickly became my favorite artists when they released their first album, with a sound that is uniquely their own.  My sister and I love their originality and their positive image.  This year, I had the opportunity to meet and greet the band - an exciting event in itself.  Though those few minutes are somewhat of a blur of excitement and nerves, I know that Kimberly, Neil, and Reid were friendly and as down-to-earth as one would expect. In retrospect, I don't feel like I met stars, just genuine people pursuing their dreams like us. Still, it is unreal to meet a group that hear on the radio or follow online. Last weekend's concert was an unforgettable, wonderful experience. Seeing The Band Perry perform live is consistently a pleasure and a night spent in the audience is far from a "night gone wasted."

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