Sister Hazel shines at the Mercury Ballroom in Louisville, Kentucky with the Christian Lopez Band
From Martinsburg, West Virginia, the Christian Lopez Band opens the evening to a lively crowd at Louisvilleâ€™s Mercury Ballroom. Touring in support of their great new album, Onward, Christian performs a number of new songs, including â€œThe Man I Was Beforeâ€ and â€œTake You Away.â€ The new material perfectly showcases the incredible singing and songwriting talents of this young man.
Midway through his set, he mentions that the band recently performed â€œStand by Meâ€ with the incredible Bill Withers at the West Virginia Hall of Fame ceremonies. He follows this with his second favorite Bill Withers song â€“ an incredible and Raucous rendition of â€œUse Meâ€ that has the ballroom fired up. They finish their forty-five minute set with another outstanding song from Onward, â€œWill I See You Again.â€
Their show is a perfect Precursor to Sister Hazel and well received by those lucky enough to witness the performance. The Christian Lopez Band is Christian Lopez (guitar, vocals), the wonderful Chelsea McBee (banjo, vocals), Mark Shottinger (bass), and Pete Teselsky (drums).
As the stage lights dim, all attention now focuses on Sister Hazel as they take their positions. Opening with the trio of â€œMandolin Moon,â€ â€œHappy,â€ and “Where Youâ€™re Going,â€ they set a great tone for what the evening would hold. During their set, there are a number of great moments; Mid-way thru â€œYour Winter,â€ Sister Hazel transitioned into a chorus of the Beatles â€œHey Judeâ€ where many in the crowd were singing the memorable song hook – â€œNah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nahâ€ – with the guys. It was a fun twist to a great song.
Singer/Guitarist Ken Block proudly announces that Sister Hazel is the second most famous musical group to come from Gainesville, Florida before rolling into an awesome rendition of Tom Pettyâ€™s (also from Gainesville) â€œRefugee,â€ a performance that was well received.
Their set includes a number of familiar songs, such as â€œBeautiful Thing,â€ â€œCome Around,â€ and â€œSomething to Believe inâ€ that had everyone in attendance moovinâ€™ and groovinâ€™! There is an awesome vibe in the building; many folks have smiles on their faces as the guys move towards the last part of their set. They finish with â€œChampaign Highâ€ and â€œShame,â€ where midway through guitarist Ryan Newell tears into the familiar sound of the Allman Brothers classic â€œJessica.â€ Sister Hazel closes out their main set with a hopping rendition of their hit song, â€œAll for You,â€ which has everyone from the front barricade to the back balcony on their feet dancing and singing.
With guitarist/singer Andrew Copeland now seated at the keyboards, he starts the first of Sister Hazelâ€™s two encore songs, â€œThis Kind of Love.â€ He was soon joined on stage by Dave LaGrande and his saxophone. Before long, they launch into a cover of â€œPurple Rainâ€ while the rest of the band members return to the stage. It was really an outstanding moment.
Their last song of the evening is a lively rendition of â€œSwan Diveâ€ capping off this fantastic Sister Hazel performance.
Sister Hazel is Ken Block (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Jett Beres (bass), Andrew Copeland (rhythm guitar), Ryan Newell (lead, slide guitar), Mark Trojanowski (drums), and Dave LaGrande (keyboards, saxophone).