BANGOR, Maine — On Saturday night, Bangor got a visit from the King, but on Monday, it was time for the Lady.
A enormous roar erupted from the near-sellout crowd as Lady Antebellum took to the stage Monday night for a waterfront concert that had been hotly anticipated all summer long. The three-person band, composed of vocalists Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott and multi-instrumentalist Dave Haywood, performed its crowd-pleasing blend of pop, rock and country under cover of a sky that continually threatened rain.
“Goodness gracious, there are a lot of people here!” said Scott from the stage just after the band’s first song.
“Not every fair or festival does this, with the standing room area in the front. They should. The energy is infectious,” said Kelley later on in the show, peering down at the open seating at the front of the stage.
The audience, many of whom donned plastic ponchos to protect from the rain, was buzzing with excitement for the concert, one of the first of the Waterfront Concert Series to be announced, back in March.
“This is my first-ever concert and I am so, so excited,” said Crystal Tyndall, 17, of Rockland, who was in attendance with her friend Natalie Russell, also 17 and of Rockland. “I think they write amazing songs. ‘American Honey’ I think is my favorite.”
Lady Antebellum played “American Honey,” along with many other hits, including “Our Kind of Love” and new single “We Own the Night” off their album of the same name due out next week.
The band is noted for its beautiful harmonies, and Scott and Kelley, with their high-octane, superstar voices, did not disappoint.
The crowd largely was made up women of varying ages. Teenage friends Amy Brown of Ellsworth and Lexi Brown of Sullivan — not related, just friends — had been to other concerts on the waterfront, including Toby Keith.
“It’s awesome to see so many people here,” said Amy Brown. “I think [Hillary Scott] has an amazing voice and I am definitely a big fan.”
“I love the fact that we don’t have to drive all the way to Portland to see an awesome concert,” said Jessica Newman of Campobello Island, New Brunswick. “That’s a four-hour drive for me. This is so much better.”
Lady Antebellum is a highly professional group and during the performance the stage boasted colorful LED lights, huge paper streamers and an exciting light show. There was barely an empty seat in the venue and as soon as the band took the stage, few people stayed seated.
Opener Sunny Sweeney played a much more traditional version of country, with a rollicking Texan beat and a rougher edge. The audience responded to her music appreciatively, with cheers and applause befitting an up-and-coming young country star.