Sugarland rolled its buses into Alpharetta on Thursday to put on a kind of "homecoming" concert, as many of the members either hail from Georgia or live here now.
For those of you who don't know, a concert by Sugarland is filled with fan participation. Sure, many performers hold the microphone out to the crowd to belt out an occasional chorus. But for Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, there has to be more. Fans bring posters, but these aren't just you average, every day posters filled with text and maybe a hand drawn copy of a band logo. Nope, these are bedazzled, filled with photos, bordered with fringe – not drawn, but an actual fringe. And on Thursday night, there was even a train with separate cars, plus a poster with a sheep that had what might have been real wool (but was probably cotton balls).
These posters have another purpose, as fans use them to get the duo to perform a favorite song.
Did you go to the concert? What was your favorite moment or song?
But the fans take an even bigger role in the concert. Nettles picks out a fan to come onstage and sing with her. Last night, a couple of young women from Chicago and Tampa were pulled out of the audience to sing an entire song.
Early in the concert Bush went out into the crowd, walking through the amphitheater to find just the right fan to give an acoustic guitar he had signed.
It was still all about the music, and Sugarland performed many of their most popular songs, including some from their latest album, "The Incredible Machine." I won't upset the long-time fans by mangling the names of songs I've only heard on the radio and during the occasional music awards show. As I listened to music videos and concert snippets over the last week, I began to realize how many of them I've heard before. It was obvious that the crowd had, too, as they were singing along on most every tune.
More than a few children were at the on a school night, but since Sugarland presented some fine, family entertainment, it wasn't that bad a thing, though I'm sure a few teachers are upset with some students today who probably are having almost as hard a time keeping their eyes open as I am today.
The concert season is nearing its end at the amphitheater, though there is a concert as late as November.
, Friday, Aug. 24
Kick 101.5 Country Fair: Alan Jackson, Saturday, Oct. 6
An Evening with Rush, Thursday, Nov. 1