OFFSTAGE: Lady Antebellum Owned Saturday Night

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

They owned the night. And they danced away with my heart. It was like I was in seventh grade all over again when Lady Antebellum played the first of their trio of unplugged shows on Saturday (Sept. 10) night. “This is a song about taking yourself back to a middle school dance or a high school dance or a prom and that one person you haven’t talked to in a while. But, to you, they will always be the exact age they were that night,” Hillary Scott said when she was introducing “Dancin’ Away With My Heart.” It was the most powerful song of the night. I mean, technically, I was at Joe’s Bar in Chicago. But I felt like I was in the gym at St. Regis in Birmingham, Mich., dancing with Kevin O’Callahan to the last slow song under the disco ball, hoping that song would never be over. It’s that good. The band also did what they called “classic Lady Antebellum” with tunes like “Lookin’ for a Good Time,” “I Run to You,” and “Love Don’t Live Here.” But the 1,000 or so fans packed tightly into the bar seemed just as enthusiastic about the new stuff, like the title track and “Wanted You More” (which they said they wrote during sound check one day when they were on tour with Tim McGraw) and “Singing Me Home.” And, of course, the jig they ended the show with was very well-received. “That’s my Irish alter ego,” Charles Kelley said. “And it’s my birthday tomorrow, so I can do anything I want.” With the exception of the jig, you can hear all the new songs when their new album, Own the Night, is released Tuesday (Sept. 13).

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.