Southern Voice Tour 2010: Tim McGraw with Lady Antebellum and Love and Theft

Tim McGraw was the headliner during his Southern Voice Tour 2010 stop in Phoenix, Arizona, but it was super-trio Lady Antebellum who stole the show.

Country music superstar Tim McGraw brought his Southern Voice Tour to Phoenix’s Cricket Wireless Pavillion last night as well as special guests Lady Antebellum and Love and Theft.

It was newcomers Love and Theft who got the night started with a short five song set that included current single “Dancing In Circles” as well as their smash hit “Runaway.” Also, the group threw in their version of Martina McBride’s single “Wrong Baby Wrong,” which they helped write. Though the group only had a 15 minute set, they were able to get the small crowd ready for the main opening act, Lady Antebellum.
After a quick 15 minute intermisison, country’s newest superstars Lady Antebellum took the stage with their song “Stars Tonight, ” which is off their double platinum album, Need You Now. “Stars” proved to be the perfect opener as it got the near capacity crowd on their feet rocking out. They continued with their debut smash single, “Love Don’t Live Here” as well as the soulful ballad “When You Got a Good Thing.” The group mainly pulled songs from their Need You Now album to fill their 50 minute set including the smash singles “Need You Now” and “American Honey.” Other songs included the set’s highlight, “Hello World,” as well as “Perfect Day,” and their current single, “Our Kind of Love.” Lady A is no stranger to cover songs and they threw in one for kicks which was “R.O.C.K in the USA,” which was a great sing-along-song for the crowd. The only songs they performed from their debut self-titled album were the lead off single as well as “Lookin’ For A Good Time” and their award-winning, number one “I Run to You,” which they closed their set with.

Having gone on tour with now fellow superstars like Martina McBride and Kenny Chesney, it’s easy to see how much they’ve learned when it comes to performing live. All three members of the group made sure each of them spent equal amounts of time at every end of the stage and on the catwalk extended into the crowd. Unlike some groups who rarely stick together on stage, Lady A seemingly spent most of the time standing together and feeding off each other’s energy. Their vocals, led by Charles Kelly and Hillary Scott, were spot on and their harmonies were tight. With their first headlining tour coming up this fall, it won’t be surprising to see the name Lady Antebellum show up as Entertainer of the Year nominees next year.

After Lady Antebellum got the crowd rocking and on its feet, it was time for Tim McGraw to take the stage. McGraw opened his set with his hit “Real Good Man” and started a run of uptempo hits like “Last Dollar (Fly Away),” “Down on the Farm,” “I Like It, I Love It,” and “Where the Green Grass Grows.” Throughout his 90 minute set, McGraw included hits from throughout his career from early favorites like “Just to See You Smile” to his latest single, “Still.” About halfway through his set he did acoustic renditions of hits like “Everywhere” and “If You’re Reading This,” the latter of which he sang with bandmates the Warren Brothers. Also in his set were favorites “She’s My Kind of Rain,” “Let It Go,” “Tiny Dancer,” and “Something Like That.” In an attempt to “go to church,” McGraw asked for some “Amens” and “Hallelujah’s” from the crowd before singing “Things Change.” He ended his main set with “Southern Voice” and returned for an encore which included hits “Live Like You Were Dyin'” and “Cowboy in Me.”

Throughout his entire set, it was clear Tim was rather hyper, or overly excited, because he would jump up and down and ask the crowd to scream and “give it up” several times, which became rather annoying. Unlike opening act Lady Antebellum, McGraw mainly focused on staying center stage and spending most of his time on the catwalk rather than going to the sidestages. Overall, his setlist could’ve been organized better rather than loading the first third with uptempo songs and having the remainder of the show filled with slow ballads, he could’ve distributed the uptempo songs more throughout the second half of his set. All in all, his set was fairly weak, a bit boring, and he found himself being outperformed by Lady Antebellum.

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