Lady A, Darius Rucker, & TS Kick Off CT’s Summer Country Concert Series

Comcast Theater
Hartford, Connecticut
May 18, 2012

It was absolutely perfect weather on Friday for the first country music concert of the year at the outdoor Comcast Theater when Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, and Thompson Square brought the We Own The Night Tour to Connecticut.  The New England music fans came out early and in full effect to enjoy the weather and the amazing entertainment that would follow the parking lot party.  I was lucky enough to have access to the meet and greets with both Thompson Square and Darius Rucker.  Thompson Square, consisting of Shawna and Keifer Thompson, were extremely nice and told me they were working on their next album.  They hope it will be out sometime next Spring or Summer.  After a quick discussion and a few jokes, Keifer told me he was not named after Kiefer Sutherland (I had to ask, I am a giant 24 fan). 

Darius Rucker and I discussed his golf game since I know how much he loves the sport.  He put my handicap to shame when he told me his was a 5.  He also said that his new single is set to hit country radio on May 22nd and his new album will shortly follow.  He was personable when talking with me which is always refreshing for an artist who has had so much success for the greater part of twenty five years. 

I got to my seat in time for Thompson Square’s set which was spirited despite only singing a few songs and not having the production effects their touring mates would.  Keifer plays the guitar and sticks to his microphone stand as he lets his wife Shawna use the stage.  They have an excellent chemistry that is neither forced and nor phony.  Giant lips popped up on stage for their smash hit and final number, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not”.

Darius Rucker, formerly the lead singer of Hootie & The Blowfish, followed up TS with an incredible set that rivaled most headline acts I’ve seen.  He had the crowd in the palm of his hand from start to finish.  Dressed in a simple t-shirt, jeans, and nike baseball cap, Darius belted out a setlist that displayed the uniqueness that makes up this mega-star: his musical diversity. 

He sang all of his number #1 country tunes, including “Alright”, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” and “Come Back Song”, as well as, to the crowd’s delight, two Hootie songs “Only Wanna Be With You” and “Hold My Hand”.  He even sang a few covers such as Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker”, Hank Williams, Jr.’s “Family Tradition” and Prince’s “Purple Rain”.  It does not get more diverse than that and he absolutely nailed each song. 

Darius sang thirteen songs in all and his time on stage nearly equaled that of Lady A’s.  In fact, as much as I was impressed by Lady A’s performance, I think Darius’ overall set was better.  He has a stage presence that has clearly been refined over the course of his stellar career.  There is nothing he does that is staged and Darius’ free spirit is on display throughout.  Whether it is classic rock, country, or even R&B, I only hope he continues to make music and perform for a long time because all of what Darius Rucker does is flat out great. 

After a short delay, Lady Antebellum took to the stage.  I had seen Lady A perform a few years ago as an opening act for Tim McGraw and was really interested to see if they had grown as a live act since then.  My answer was very clear right from the start.  The trio dominated every foot of the guitar shaped stage and had the crowd dancing from start to finish.  They not only improved a great deal from the first time I had seen them, they absolutely passed my expectations. 

While Lady A kept to most of the chart-topping singles, they did throw in a few of their deeper cuts from their albums.  They even performed a few cover songs and brought out each of their tour mates, Thompson Square for the Allman Brothers classic, “Midnight Rider”, and Darius Rucker (with TS sticking around) for the Doobie Brothers’ “Black Water”.  I did not particularly love their take on the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Woman”, but that was one of the few misses from their set. 

The one thing that I enjoyed most was the band’s use of Dave Haywood.  The last time I saw the band live, Haywood seemed a bit lost on stage.  This time they showcased his musical abilities and gave him a plethora of different guitars and solos.  Instead of looking like the third wheel, he truly was at the forefront along with Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott.  Moreover, on the deep love songs which the lyrics really speak to a man and woman, Dave let Charles and Hillary take the spotlight and did not step forward as he had done in the past.  I thought it was a lot more effective and made their performance much more polished. 

All in all, I left the amphitheater with a full understanding of why this Tour has been so successful.  Each of the three acts were wholesome, unique, and professional.  I really gained newfound respect for Lady Antebellum and Thompson Square, and continued my admiration for Darius Rucker’s craft.  No matter what age you are, this Tour, more than most, has something to appeal to the music fan in you. 


Thompson Square:

  1. I Got You
  2. Let’s Fight
  3. Getaway Car
  4. One Of Those Days
  5. Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not

Darius Rucker:

  1. Love Will Do That
  2. Alright
  3. The Craziest Thing
  4. It Won’t Be Like This For Long
  5. Only Wanna Be With You (Hootie & The Blowfish Cover)
  6. The Joker (Steve Miller Band Cover)
  7. Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It
  8. Come Back Song
  9. History In The Making
  10. Hold My Hand (Hootie & The Blowfish Cover)
  11. Family Tradition (Hank Williams, Jr. Cover)
  12. This
  13. Purple Rain (Prince Cover)

Lady A:

  1. We Owned The Night
  2. Stars Tonight
  3. Our Kind of Love
  4. Dancing Away With My Heart
  5. Wanted You More
  6. Perfect Day
  7. Love Don’t Live Here Anymore
  8. Just A Kiss
  9. Hello World
  10. American Honey
  11. Midnight Rider featuring Thompson Square (Allman Brothers Cover)
  12. Black Water featuring Darius Rucker & Thompson Square (Doobie Brothers Cover)
  13. I Run To You
  14. Honky Tonk Woman (Rolling Stones Cover)
  15. Looking For a Good Time
  16. Need You Now (Encore)

Darius Rucker – Only Wanna Be With You

Darius Rucker – Hold My Hand
Darius Rucker – Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It
Lady A – American Honey
Lady A – Love Don’t Live Here Anymore

Kevin Costner Brings His Modern West Show to Connecticut

Kevin Costner and Modern West
April 10, 2012
Ridgefield Playhouse
Ridgefield, CT

On Tuesday, April 10, 2012, Kevin Costner and Modern West brought their tour to the intimate Ridgefield Playhouse, located in the beautiful Ridgefield, Connecticut.  Costner and his band are set to release their third album and have embarked on a nationwide tour.

 Modern West features Teddy Morgan on lead guitar, Larry Cobb on drums, Park Chisolm on guitar, and the impressive Bobby Yang on fiddle.  Also appearing as a special guest on numerous songs this tour is Costner’s daughter, Lily Costner. 

Thanks to, I was able to attend a pre-party at the Playhouse before the show which included a backstage meet and greet pass to meet Kevin Costner.  I was able to speak to him for a few minutes and he seemed relieved that I asked him about his music rather than his acting career.  We discussed the music chords to a few of his songs and he was extremely talkative to me. 

In case anyone is wondering, “Superman 14” is played with a G major, A Minor, and a C Major.  After the party and my time with Costner, we took our seats in the unbelievably intimate Ridgefield Playhouse.  There is simply not a bad seat in the house. 

The band came out to “Red River” and followed it up with “Long Hard Night”.  Costner explained (as you can see in the video below) he wrote “Long Hot Night” about the night with a woman, which you realize, whatever is broken with her, is just not going to get fixed.  This set the theme for the night, Costner takes his music seriously and set up each song with an explanation on why it was written. 

Costner explained that “90 Miles an Hour” was a metaphor for how he wants to live.  Especially since he thinks it must be a bad feeling for father not to know how to help his son. He made a few jokes about his father and his relationship.  His stories really brought to life Modern West’s songs and lyrics.  The explanations were meaningful, deep, and extremely creative. 

The crowd, for the most part, was very respectful.  There was a moment where a younger woman shouted out “My Mom loves you Kevin!”  He laughed and responded with “wow, that’s the point I am in my life.”  He was playful and interactive throughout the night.  At no point did you see any sign of the arrogance one might expect from an Oscar Award Winning Actor.  Instead, his humble approach and love for music made me admire the man even more. 

Costner brought his daughter, Lily, out for three songs including one of his hits, “Let Me Be The One” (see video below) as well as new songs “Indian Summer” and “All the Women In The Hills”.  Lily has a beautiful voice and an attractive appearance.  Costner explained that she went to school in Connecticut and called her his “little rascal who was a joy to raise”.  On “All the Women In The Hills”, Daddy let his daughter take the spotlight as the entire band stood behind her as she took lead vocals on a song about the women who raised the men who fought and died in the Civil War.

  Costner explained that his next acting project is going to be a series on the History Channel entitled “Hatfield and McCoys” in which he plays Devil Hatfield.  He states it relies a lot of the Civil War and the Appalachian feeling going into the next century.  He also wrote a song for the series, entitled “How Deep The Water Runs” which he performed (see video below). 

Costner told a story about 1969 when he was young and politics were “moving fast”.  He said he saw people with blue glasses and tie die shirts.  However, all he wanted to do was kiss Debbie Anderson at the county fair.  He said his friend told him to buy her some jewelry so he got her a St. Christopher pin, thinking that would do the trick.  In the crazy 1960’s he was lost and only wanted a kiss at the county fair.  And that was the basis for writing his song “Where Do We Go From Here”. 

The encore consisted of two songs, the first is the Band’s newest single “Angels Came Down”, which is about the last moment a soldier has before he dies on the battlefield.  The final song is clearly the band’s most popular, “Superman 14”.  As you can see in the video below, Costner explains it comes from a time where you a small child and think you can be or do anything.  The fiddle, played by Bobby Eng, on the song is infectious and it was the perfect way to end an impressive night. 

Costner made sure his Band got credit as he got them all together for a final bow.  He then came back out with a bottle of champagne, which he poured a few glasses for the lucky ones up front.  He showed his appreciation for the crowd and took a final bow. 

I have always been a big fan of Kevin Costner.  Tin Cup, Dances With Wolves, and The Untouchables have always been some of my favorite movies.  When I heard his music I was very impressed.  He has a country vibe mixed with a Paul Simon/Bruce Springsteen feel to it.  He obviously has a great passion for the music and that really shined bright in his live show.  I look forward to Costner’s next project, whether it be in music, acting, or whatever he decides to do next. 


Long Hot Night

Superman 14
Let Me Be The One
How Deep the Water Runs


  1. Red River
  2. Long Hot Night
  3. 90 Miles an Hour
  4. Moon So High
  5. Top Down
  6. Down In Nogales
  7. Let Me Be The One (with Lily Costner)
  8. Indian Summer (with Lily Costner)
  9. How Deep The Water Runs
  10. All The Women In The Hills (with Lily Costner)
  11. Hero
  12. Where Do We Go From Here
  13. Hey Man, What About You
  14. Angels Came Down
  15. Superman 14