Sugarland Puts New Tour in Fans' Hands: Toledo Review
Sugarland kicked off their "In Your Hands" tour this week with a sold out show at Toledo's Huntington Center. The tour is designed to put decisions in fans' hands and to encourage interaction; the first show, as expected, was filled with a lot of energy and fun surprises.
In addition to singing several of their hits, Sugarland took requests from the audience (through their website, Twitter, texts and homemade signs in the crowd) to fill out their setlist. For example, two fans, one of which had waited in line since 2 a.m. that morning to get a front row spot in the "sugarpit," asked the band to play "County Line," and "One Blue Sky," deep cuts from Sugarland's 2006 album, "Enjoy the Ride." Jennifer Nettles, lead singer, had a binder full of lyrics in case of older requests because, as she put it, "we have a lot of songs!"
Other surprises included a little girl who was brought on stage to clap along to a percussion-heavy version of "Everyday America," an acoustic guitar giveaway to an 8-year-old who promised Kristian Bush (guitarist/singer) he would learn to play in exchange for the gift, and a young mother who was brought on stage to dedicate "Baby Girl" to her father (who she called on her cell phone. He was at home watching her toddler so she could see the concert).
The backing band even got to put in a request for a cover of "Whatta Man" by Salt 'N' Pepa, which Nettles integrated into the band's own song, "All I Want To Do."
Opening acts Lauren Alaina (runner-up on American Idol season 10) and newcomer Canaan Smith did a great job of livening the crowd. The former showed incredible spunk and stage presence (much more than she did on Idol), and the latter seems to have a bright career with his twang instilled singer-songwriter style.
Check out Sugarland's full setlist below, and to see all my photos (of all three acts), click here.