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One of the best concerts I’ve seen

October 30, 2013 - Pam Rodgers

Last Friday, I attended the Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry concert at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. I have been excited for this event since tickets went on sale in July.

Rascal Flatts has been a staple in the country music industry for more than 13 years. The group walks the line between county and rock perfectly. I knew it was going to be a great performance when they started their set with “Life is a Highway.”

I was surprised with how many of their “old” songs they played. I was happy that I had brushed up on all their music before the show. I knew every song they sang. I had lost my voice by the end from signing at the top of my lungs (it didn’t help that I have a lingering sore throat and cough from my cold).

My favorite Rascal Flatts song is “What Hurts the Most.” When they played it live, it made me love it even more. The three members of the group, lead singer Gary LeVox, lead guitar Joe Don Rooney and bassist/pianist Jay DeMarcus, were very entertaining. They had about a 45 minute set of back to back songs before they took their first moment to address the audience. It was impressive.

The best part was when Gary, JD and Jay came to the front of the stage and played a “quiet” version “God Bless the Broken Road.” What I mean by that is that it was the three of them with an two guitars for the the majority of the song. This allowed them to stop signing and let us, the crowd, serenade them for a change.

But that was just one half of the experience.

As much as I love Rascal Flatts, I was honestly more excited to see The Band Perry. My sister and I went to see the family trio when they were on the free stage at the Iowa State Fair in 2011. The place was packed and I’ll never forget that experience. I blogged about the concert then (You can check it out here if want to).

The concert was promoting the second album, “Pioneer.” I have been listening to that non-stop in my car. They already have two hits from the album in “DONE.” and “Dig Two.” One of my favorites from the album that was just released to radio is “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely.” Kimberly Perry has a perfect voice for these country ballads. She pulls you in and you can tell she’s expressing such true emotion in the lyrics.

Of course, The Band Perry sang their hit songs from their first album. Their mega-hit “If I Die Young” was definitely the highlight. Kimberly sang two bars of the song and then dropped out because the crowd was so loud singing along with her she didn’t need to continue. She gave us another moment toward the end of the song to sing her words back to her.

You could see how happy she was that the whole crowd knew the words. I can’t imagine a bigger thrill for a singer/songwriter to hear thousands of people sing your song to you in a large area.

It was a fantastic night. I’m so glad both The Band Perry and Rascal Flatts came to Iowa!



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Rascal Flatts during "Bless the Broken Road"