Lady Antebellum will be heading to Las Vegas for a 15-date residency in 2019, a new chapter for the trio that will give them more opportunity for quality family time on the road

By Nancy Kruh
October 24, 2018 04:15 PM
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Lady Antebellum is the latest big-name country act to announce a Las Vegas residency, and bandmates Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood say their challenge now is to make their series of 2019 shows fit in with Vegas’ razzle and dazzle.

So far, they said at a Nashville press conference on Tuesday, they’ve identified some “don’ts.”

“It wouldn’t be us if we were dangling from strings,” said Kelley, 37, definitely not taking a cue from Cirque de Soleil.

“I wouldn’t do that anyway,” Scott, 32, interjected. “I’m terrified of heights.”

And, Kelley said, don’t expect anyone to enter the stage on a horse, a la Shania.

For that, you can blame Haywood. “Dave is allergic to horses,” Scott revealed.

Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum
| Credit: John Shearer

What fans can expect, Haywood said, is a combination of “big and flashy” and an intimacy that they’ve found fleeting in the arenas and large amphitheaters that have been their professional home for so many years.

The Las Vegas venue that came calling, the Palms Casino Resort, should make that latter objective relatively easy. Its newly renovated Pearl Concert Theater has a capacity of just 2,500 seats, and the farthest seat from the stage is only 120 feet away. The trio will be playing five dates each in February, May and August, for a total of 15 concerts.

“The theater is just so much fun,” said Haywood, 36. “It provides a whole new way for us to approach a Lady Antebellum show, and I hope the fans feel like it’s a totally different experience, as well.”

The new way, they said, will include songs they rarely perform anymore, acoustic interpretations of Lady A favorites, and guest performances by their co-songwriters, who 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 in a theater like this, we’re going to be able to stretch ourselves and create some more connection.”

Coran Capshaw (Red Light Management), Billy Conn (Live Nation), Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood, John Huie (CAA), Callie Cunningham (Red Light Management)
| Credit: Alex Ferrari

On a personal basis, the residency also will give the three bandmates — who now have six children among them — the opportunity for family stability away from home.

“Being planted in one place for an extended period of time was definitely appealing,” said Scott, who has three girls, a 5-year-old and 8-month-old identical twins, with husband, Chris Tyrrell. “We all toured with our kids this past summer. … We made it work. You know, some nights were really smooth, and other nights weren’t. … They’re figuring it out and they’re doing amazingly well so far. But to be able to have us all together in one place kind of in a comfortable scenario and setting is going to be wonderful.”

Accommodating their families, Kelley says, has turned into an overriding priority for the band. “What we found is, when we do, it makes us happier and stronger,” said Kelley, who has a 2½-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.

The tour poster

The Las Vegas residency is just one reason the three bandmates are looking forward to 2019: They also are gearing up to start recording new music early next year on their new label, Big Machine.

“We’re writing a ton,” Haywood said. “We were writing a lot on the road and when we were back home, and we honestly have a pile close to 50-55 songs that we’ve written right now that we’re starting to look at.”

Said Kelley: “We feel like we’ve been writing from a really honest place. … Yeah, there’s some deeper stuff in there, and even some dark stuff — you know, things that we went through. It just feels like a good, refreshing time to get some new perspective. Let’s see where we can go. Let’s take some chances.”

Tickets for Lady A’s Las Vegas residency, which begins Feb. 8, go on sale Nov. 2.