Words by Lisa Pikaard, Photos by Saidy Lopez
Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes & Sam Hunt at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ
Country music completely took over Holmdel, New Jersey on June 5, 2015 when Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes and Sam Hunt played PNC Bank Arts Center. The most obvious fact that could be gleaned from that night is that country fans sure know how to party.
This show was about having fun, relaxing and escaping life for a few hours. It’s not every day that lawn tickets actually sell out before regular seats but that is precisely what happened. The crowd threw a huge party out there. If you have lawn seats for a future show on this tour, rowdy and crazy fun is what awaits you.
Country newcomer, Sam Hunt kicked off the show with one of his hit singles, “Raised on It” and that definitely struck the right note with the crowd. Though he may be newer to the scene, the fans seemed to know every word to every song Hunt was playing; during “Take Your Time,” the crowd was actually louder than he was. This former college football player dominated the stage and the crowd from his first note to his last. It’s not often that a show that starts at 7 pm while it’s still light out could already be packed but no one wanted to miss Hunt. For those people who did miss him, it’s too bad. He is a fun performer to watch.
Sam Hunt Setlist:
Raised on It
Take Your Time
Sun Keeps Getting Closer
Leave the Night On
Breakup in a Small Town
After Sam Hunt warmed everyone up, Hunter Hayes took the stage and kicked off his set with “Tattoo,” a fun upbeat song but he didn’t really catch the audience until his second song and his second biggest single to date, “Storm Warning.” Hayes played everything from his newest single released just a week and a half ago, “21,” to his well known hits and the crowd seemed to like it all but the highlight of seeing Hunter Hayes live is seeing how talented a musician he is. He played the mandolin during “Storyline,” the piano during “Invisible,” the guitar throughout the rest of the set all while jumping around, singing and truly loving every minute of his time on stage. I don’t think he could stand still or stop his fingers from playing an instrument if you paid him. He seems to love his fans as much as his music and even brought two of the people who did his VIP pre-show experience on stage for “Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me.” He closed his set with “I Want Crazy” and again, the crowd was singing louder than the venue could make the sound. Hunter Hayes appears to be a genuine, kindhearted person and, let’s face it, he is adorable. His talent is overwhelming and he belongs on stage.
Hunter Hayes Setlist:
Young and In Love?
Everybody’s Got Somebody but Me
You Think You Know Somebody
Love Makes Me
I Want Crazy
Finally, Lady Antebellum took the stage at approximately 9 p.m. and they did not disappoint. The band weaved old songs, newer songs and cover songs throughout its set. It’s obvious from the band’s presence on stage that they also love what they do and their fans. In the middle of “American Honey,” Charles Kelley was signing autographs while singing and didn’t miss a beat. He was also taking selfies and connecting with everyone he could and that didn’t just include those people sitting in the front row.
Halfway through the set, in the middle of “Love Don’t Live Here” the band moved out into the crowd to perform a few songs a bit closer to the lawn and the party people. Kelley even said while he was out in the crowd that he has not seen that many tailgaters in a long time. The band performed “One Great Mystery,” Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” and “Dancing Away With My Heart” from its new location then returned to the stage during “I Run to You.”
The band didn’t stop the covers at just Ed Sheeran. It decided to sing some Shania Twain. It was entertaining to watch the men of the band perform “Any Man of Mine” with Hillary Scott. Before the song as over, Hunter Hayes took the stage with his guitar to play the big solo of the song. It appears as though if there is music, Hayes needs to be a part of it and he played the hell out of the song. He didn’t leave the stage once the solo was over either; instead, Sam Hunt returned to the stage to join Hayes and Lady Antebellum to perform “Walk This Way.”
This tour is just one big party and fun time. While the concert seemed to fly by, the fans seemed to party hard all night. A country concert is usually a fun atmosphere and a good time but this show took that a step further. This was an all out party.
Lady Antebellum Set List:
Long Stretch of Love
Our Kind of Love
Just a Kiss
Compass (Hunter Hayes on guitar)
Love Don’t Live Here
One Great Mystery
Thinking Out Loud (Ed Sheeran cover)
Dancing Away with My Heart
I Run to You
Any Man of Mine (Shania Twain cover with Hunter Hayes on guitar)
Walk This Way (Aerosmith cover with Hunter Hayes and Sam Hunt)
Looking for a Good Time
Need You Now
We Owned the Night
All photos taken by Saidy Lopez.