Sugarland to take requests at Saturday show

By AMY HUFFMAN-BRANHAM

Country super duo Sugarland is rolling its 2012 tour into the KFC Yum! Center Saturday. What they do once they get there is up to you.

For their latest tour — which comes after just a few months break following 2011s Incredible Machine odyssey — the Mercury Nashville combo is leaving it up to their fans to design each show.

The In Your Hands Tour, as half of the Georgia duo Jennifer Nettles explains on the band’s website, is aimed at doing exactly what its name suggests.

“This year’s tour is based around the concept of putting the show in the hands of the fans,” Nettles said. “They will make the requests that will help form the set list and guide the show … If it’s on one of our records or if we’ve played it on stage it is fair game.”

Through texts, handwritten signs in the crowd, Twitter, Facebook or sugarlandmusic.com, fans’ picks will shape the playlist for Saturday’s show. Requests are already being taken. So, if you’ve ever been to a show and spent the car ride home saying “Oh, why didn’t they play such and such song?” or “I wish they would’ve played so and so” this is the show for you.

Sugarland’s stop in Louisville is just the sixth show on the In Your Hands Tour, but judging from posts on the band’s site, the first five shows of the tour have resurrected some oldies but goodies.

Of course with a collection of hits from four albums [not including live and holiday albums] there are obvious favorites. From their breakthrough single “Baby Girl” to chart toppers like “Settlin’,” “It Happens,” “Already Gone” and “All I Want To Do,” some of the selections for earlier shows were predictably satisfying. But requests so far have also led to demands for “County Line” and “Tennessee” from the band’s first album, 1994s “Twice the Speed of Life.”

Even Kristian Bush, the other half of the duo, didn’t see that one coming, admitting in a recent note on the band’s blog that he needed to go figure out the bridge to “Girl Called Tennessee” because he totally forgot it.

Unpredictable playlist aside, what you can expect from Saturday’s show is a high-energy love fest. Singles like 2010’s “Stuck Like Glue” keeps Sugarland in high rotation on radio stations and their downright charming personalities make them seem like the kind of folks who’d just be a heck of a lot of fun to hang out with. Whether they’re venturing into something a little honky tonk or diving headfirst into something poppy, Sugarland’s fans will drink it up and beg for more.

Joining Sugarland for Saturday’s show are relative newcomers Canaan Smith and Lauren Alaina.

Smith, whose debut single “We Got Us” was released on the radio in January, is already building a loyal following. In the past year the Virginia native  — and former contestant on the TV reality show “The Amazing Race” — has opened for big names like Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, Vince Gill, David Nail and Gavin DeGraw.

Alaina released her first single “Like My Mother Does” shortly after being named runner up for season 10 of American Idol last year. Her debut album, “Wildflower,  was released in October 2011, followed a short time later by the single“Georgia Peaches.”

The 17-year-old Rossville, Ga., native has been opening for fellow Georgian Jason Aldean since the first of the year.

AS LONG AS THEY’RE TAKING REQUESTS 

I have dutifully made my song selections for Saturday’s show through Sugarland’s website, but I’ve got one more request.

I have spent an unhealthy amount of time over the last year and a half looking online for information about the red dress Nettles wore in the “Stuck on You” video. But alas, there is nothing to be found. I think it’s time to take my request to the top.

So, Nettles, if you’ve got that dress hanging around somewhere will you pack it up and bring it to the show Saturday? Just holler for me and I’ll come down from the depths of the Yum! Center and take it off your hands. I’ve got to get a hold of it one way or another or there’s a chance I’ll never be fashionably at peace.

DO IT LIVE

WHAT: Sugarland with Canaan Smith and Lauren Alaina

WHERE: KFC Yum! Center in Louisville

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 14 (doors open one hour prior to the show]

TICKETS: $22, $38.50, $54.50 and $69.50 at the KFC Yum! Center ticket office, Kentucky Exposition Center ticket office and Ticketmaster outlets.

MORE: Sugarlandmusic.com

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About hoosierhits
The music blog of the News and Tribune, Jeffersonville & New Albany, Ind.

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