For lesser country music followers like myself, it was a surprise Thursday night when one of Lady Antebellum’s trio of singers walked onto the Freedom Hill Amphitheater stage eight months pregnant. Thankfully for the nearly 10,000 fans on hand, Hillary Scott still delivered a top-notch performance, pacing the seven-time Grammy Award-winning band through a two-hour long show that kept the Sterling Heights crowd on its feet during the program’s entirety.
Although Scott’s on-stage mobility and stamina was obviously affected by her pregnancy, her singing was as good as advertised. Scott led the trio in the performance of just about all of Lady Antebellum’s hit radio singles, including the newest radio single, “Downtown,” and older favorites “American Honey,” “Just a Kiss,” and “Need You Now.” She sang with a voice even superior to that of the group’s studio albums, and joked on occasion about her pregnancy to the sympathy of many mothers and high-school aged teens in the crowd.
Co-lead singer Charles Kelley played a more significant on-stage role, leading most of the dialogue between songs and dancing about the stage with Dave Haywood, the band’s third singing member.
The one small shortcoming in Lady Antebellum’s performance was the band’s decision to play an acoustic rendition of “Locked out of Heaven,” originally by Bruno Mars. The song itself embodies the poppiest of pop music, and didn’t transition very well to the acoustic, country-like style of Lady Antebellum.
The show as a whole gave locals on hand a reason to smile, and the band will certainly be welcomed back their next time in town; with one new member of the family.