Back before the summer began, the announcement of the Summer Concert Series at the new Sweetland Amphitheatre had people all abuzz, even before the names of the bands were public. Then, when the announcements came, people could not believe how lucky they were to have such legends as Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels, the Temptations, and even MJ Live come here to this incredible community. Now that summer is at an end, the last of the concert series came through this past Saturday night, September 24th, but the end of the series would go out with an incredible bang.
The last show of the Summer Concert Series would be another leg in the Tour De Compadres, a tour that brings together some of the best bands playing today. The bands for this leg of the tour included the opening acts of John Mark McMillian and Mat Kearney. The headliner, accompanied by Welshly Arms, was none other than NeedtoBreathe, one of the most high octane bands in the music industry today. These bands brought with them an unmatched energy and hard rock sounds.
John Mark McMillian has been on the circuit for over a decade now, playing music all across the Country. His combination of songwriting with powerful lyrics and his playful music experimentation made his sound stand out from many other artists. His songs are powerful and really bring with them heartfelt messages. He can bring hard rock to the stage and also slow it down with some powerful, lyrical songs.
Mat Kearney, an Oregon native, is a pop and rock superstar. His last album, Young Love, debuted at #4 on the Billboard top 200 chart and #1 on the Billboard digital chart. He brings with him a crystal clear voice, amazing song writing talent, and an even smoother rap-like edge. He has won many achievements as a highly regarded artist and has produced many songs in the popular culture today. At one point in his set, he even tore through the crowd, running all the way to the grass seats and all over the arena, hugging and high fiving fans all along the way. It was a show not to be missed.
The headlining act of the night, Needtobreathe, is a Grammy nominated band that has been playing together for almost 20 years now. They are a rock band out of North Carolina and have a very distinctive and deep sound. With such hits as “The Heart” and “Keep Your Eyes Open”, this band is truly a main stay in the current rock music scene and has just celebrated their new album HARDLOVE with this Tour De Compadres. They are an incredible band to hear live and they really tore the house down. They were accompanied on vocals by Welshly Arms, a blues and rhythm group. These bands were all very high energy, exceptionally vivid, and played and sang very well live.
The Summer Concert Series at Sweetland has been an incredible success. These national acts showed our community large amounts of love and in return, received great love back from all of LaGrange and Troup County. One can only assume that this is the start of an incredible showing of big bands and acts that will continue to play at Sweetland as this series continues to grow year after year.