Charles Kelley Rolls “The Driver Tour” Into Southern California At House of Blues

Charles Kelley, the front man for award winning group Lady Antebellum brought his solo tour to the House of Blues in Anaheim, California at Downtown Disney on April 23rd.  As soon as walked on stage and talked to the audience a bit before introducing his brother Josh; you could tell “The Driver Tour” was going to be a relaxed, fun and entertaining evening.  Josh Kelley took that vibe and ran with it bringing on just himself and his guitar, being laid back and entertaining for his set.

Josh did some songs from his new album, “New Lane Road” that showcased his ability to be songwriter as well as artist. “It’s Your Move” and the story about the fight with his wife that led to his writing it was a highlight for me.  I loved hearing his earlier hit “Georgia Clay” and his great version of “Mandolin Rain” as well. Of course, I can’t leave out the mean version of the theme to “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” that he broke into.  I think it always helps the crowd enjoy the show when you can tell just how much the artist loves entertaining and how much fun they are having.

After a brief intermission, it was time for Charles to take the stage. I have seen Lady Antebellum a few times and love their music, so I was somewhat apprehensive about him going solo, but I love his album “The Driver,” so I was anxious to see the turn of events.

After hearing the first few songs, I knew I was going to love the show. His voice sounded amazing and he continued with the fun, laid back style that his brother had set.  He sang every song from “The Driver” with the same convincing style as the album itself.  Charles brought Josh back on stage to sing vocals with him on another song they’d written together while in Los Angeles, “Round in Circles.”

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 Charles did not let the night pass without honoring Prince and Glenn Frey with great versions of “Purple Rain” and “Take it Easy.” He also did the Lady Antebellum songs “Goodbye Town,”  “Run to You” and ended the show with an incredible version of “Need You Now” that morphed into the 80’s John Waite song, “Missing You.”

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Again, you could tell how much Charles loves entertaining and being with the crowd – literally a couple times when he thrilled them by stepping off stage and walking through signing autographs and shaking hands. It was interesting to hear him say how he loves the big arena shows with Lady Antebellum (and yes, they are still together, working on new music and will tour again) but he also loves playing smaller clubs where he can really connect with the crowd on a different level.  Charles stated, “This feels like we are just in a big living room telling stories and playing songs.”

 I enjoy smaller shows more than arena ones, but never thought of the artist having a different experience as well. I look forward to Lady Antebellum’s new music and tour, but I will definitely be hoping that Charles does a solo tour again.  I would strongly encourage everyone to listen to “The Driver” and see the tour if you can, because oh brother, Josh and Charles will entertain you! This was a show the crowd never wanted to end it was that good.

Setlist: Josh Kelley

Josh Kelley

  1. One Foot in the Grave

       2. Masterpiece/Theme from “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”

       3. It’s Your Move

       4. Mandolin Rain (Bruce Hornsby cover)

       5. Amazing

       6. I’m On Fire (Bruce Springsteen cover)

       7. Georgia Clay

Setlist: Charles Kelley

  1. Dancing Around It

       2. Your Love

       3. Goodbye Town (Lady Antebellum cover)

       4.  Southern Accent

       5. Better Off Now (That You’re Gone) (Will Hoge cover)

       6. The Only One Who Gets Me

       7. Purple Rain (Prince cover)

       8. Take It Easy (Eagles cover)

       9. Wish You Were Here

       10. Run to You (Lady Antebellum cover)

       11. Round in Circles

       12. Love Don’t Live Here (Lady Antebellum cover)

       13. Gimme Some Lovin’ (Spencer Davis Band)

       14. Lonely Girl

       15. The Driver

       16. Leaving Nashville

       17. Need You Now

       18. Ain’t Missin’ You (John Waite cover)

(Written With Geoff Brown/CMM Contributor) (Setlist here Courtesy of Vicki Pepper/KFROG Radio)

 

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