Category Archives: Live Music/Concerts

Lady Antebellum – Peoria Civic Center 1/10/14

Lady Antebellum performing at Peoria Civic Center

I can still remember the look on her face as we rounded the corner into that dusty field outside Springfield, Illinois and her eyes locked on the concert poster hanging from the bleachers like the last leaf on an autumn tree. The realization spread across her face and we shared the same excitement at what we were about to see.

Lady Antebellum (2009)

Lady Antebellum (2009)

It was there, among the smell of fried foods and the ringing bells of the midway, that we stared in awe at the band that would define our relationship in ways we hadn’t even realized yet. They would become one of the most successful country bands in the world, selling more than 10 million albums worldwide and earning many awards including 6 Grammys’. Over the last six years, we fell in love with each other and the world fell in love with our band, Lady Antebellum.

From that first free show at Sangamon County Fair in 2009 to their first rained out show at Illinois State Fair in 2010 to the make-up rain date show at Illinois State Fair in 2011, where I asked her to marry me, we’ve never missed a Lady Antebellum show in central Illinois if we could help it.

We know every word to every song, B-sides included, and when everyone else was swooning over Princess Kate’s delivery, we were more excited that Eisele, Hillary Scott’s daughter, was born the same day. Hell… we even have a Lady Antebellum “wall” in our house!

Once in a Lifetime Moment

That’s why Friday night was one of the greatest nights of our lives. My Christmas gift to the wife (and to myself too!) was to splurge on the VIP package for the Lady A show at the Peoria Civic Center. The package not only included front row seats and a special pre-show acoustic performance by the band, but we got to meet our band. It isn’t hard to understand if you follow them at all, but they are really down to Earth, wonderfully humble, and a lot of fun.

Meeting Lady Antebellum

Once in a lifetime moments are nothing if they aren’t captured, whether in the mind or on film. In this case, I was able to do both. So, take a moment and share this moment with me and my wife and get lost in our totally obsessive fandom. Got a favorite image? Drop a comment and let me know!

An Evening with Little Big Town

With the weather warming up, not only is portrait photography season upon us, but so is summertime concert season and, for a music photographer like me, that means double the fun.

About a month ago, I took the girl over to the Peoria Civic Center theatre to see Little Big Town, one of our favorite country bands. The reason I love this band so much, as does Caitlin, I think, is their vocal harmonies.

Just like Fleetwood Mac or The Mamas & The Papas before them, LBT has mastered the use of two female and two male vocalists perfectly. On top of that, they use that powerful, but haunting at times, vocal power and use it to project stories and lyrics that truly resonate with listeners of all types.

As for this particular March evening, the foursome were in rare form. Having recently released their newest album, “Tornado,” they did an amazing job of blending a mix of new material with the classic tunes from their career so far. While most bands focus on mostly the new material, but Little Big Town did a really great job of crafting a set that kept everyone in the crowd, whether familiar with the new stuff or not, on their feet.

For those who are curious, the set kicked off with one of their new rockers, “On Fire Tonight” and ran through their closing number, their first big hit, “Boondocks.” Other highlight songs of the night included “Bones,” “Bring It On Home,” “Pontoon,” “Shut Up Train,” “Can’t Go Back,” “Front Porch Thing,” and “Little White Church.”

And I’ve said it before and I’ll surely say it again down the road – I love shooting in the Peoria Civic Center theatre. As usual, I made sure we had box seats, and for anyone who has the opportunity in a small theatre venue like that with box seats available, check them out.

Not only are they usually cheaper tickets, but they are usually very private with no security/ushers walking around and you have a nice little ledge to use as a makeshift tripod if you needed to. Plus, you are a lot closer to the stage without a whole load of people in the way of your shot. You can’t beat that!

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