Lady Antebellum is the last renowned country actress to announce a residency in Las Vegas, and her band mates Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood say that their challenge now is to make their 2019 series fit with the drag and glare of Vegas
So far, they said at a press conference in Nashville on Tuesday, they have identified some "no."
"It would not be us if we were hanging on ropes," said Kelley, 37, definitely not following the example of Cirque de Soleil.
"I would not do that anyway," interjected Scott, 32. "I'm terrified of the heights."
And, said Kelley, do not expect anyone to come on stage on horseback, to Shania.
That's why you can blame Haywood. "Dave is allergic to horses," Scott revealed.
What fans can expect, said Haywood, is a combination of "big and striking" and an intimacy that they have found fleeting in the stadiums and the great amphitheatres that have been his professional home for so many years.
The Las Vegas location where the call came in, the Palms Casino Resort, should make this last goal relatively easy. Its newly renovated Pearl Concert Theater has a capacity of only 2,500 seats, and the seat farthest from the stage is only 120 feet away. The trio will play five dates each in February, May and August, for a total of 15 concerts.
"The theater is fun," said Haywood, 36. "It gives us a completely new way of approaching a Lady Antebellum show, and I hope that fans will feel that it is also a totally different experience."
They said the new form will include songs they rarely play, acoustic performances of Lady A's favorites and performances by their guest co-composers, which can help tell some of the stories behind the songs.
"That's something you can only do for so long in a big room like an arena or an amphitheater because you'll lose the audience," Kelley said. "But I think that in a theater like this, we can make an effort and create a connection."
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On a personal level, the residence will also provide the three bandmates, who now have six children among them, the opportunity of family stability outside the home.
"Being planted in one place for an extended period of time was definitely attractive," said Scott, who has three girls, an identical twin of 5 years and 8 months, with her husband, Chris Tyrrell. "We all traveled with our children this past summer … We made it work, you know, some nights were very mild and others were not … They are solving it and they are doing incredibly well until now But being able to have us all together in one place, in a comfortable setting, and the environment will be wonderful. "
Accommodating their families, says Kelley, has become a top priority for the band. "What we find is that when we do it, it makes us happier and stronger," said Kelley, who has a 2 1/2 year old son with his wife, Cassie McConnell Kelley. Haywood and his wife, Kelli Cashiola Haywood, have a 4-year-old son and a 10-month-old daughter.
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Residency in Las Vegas is just one of the reasons why the three partners are waiting for 2019: they are also preparing to start recording new music early next year on their new label, Big Machine.
"We are writing a ton," Haywood said. "We were writing a lot on the road and when we were at home, and we honestly have a stack of about 50-55 songs that we've written right now that we're starting to see."
Kelley said: "We feel that we have been writing from a really honest place … Yes, there are some deeper things there, and even some dark things, you know, things that we went through, it just feels like a good time and refreshing to get a new perspective, let's see where we can go, let's take a chance. "
Tickets for Lady A's residence in Las Vegas, which begins February 8, will go on sale on November 2.