The Band Perry had all their chips on the table as they took the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theater for their Live on Letterman webcast, set to be streamed live across the globe. The live show was the first step in what would arguably be the biggest week of their career. They were debuting new material from their sophomore effort Pioneer, which was to be released the following day. Then, Sunday, they would take the stage at the Academy of Country Music Awards to perform and battle for the honor of Vocal Duo or Group of the Year.
Each step in this process is crucial, setting the stage for the next, and any one event could make or break their status as one of country music’s top groups today. Anticipation for Pioneer was as high as excitement for an album release gets, but anticipation and lead singles will only take you so far. The reality is: the fans and the critics have to love every track on that album.
A breakout album, like The Band Perry’s self-titled debut, can lay the foundation for a long career in country music, but it takes a golden follow up to set the cement and to ensure that career continues to grow and blossom in a way that will leave a legacy beyond their lifetime.
Aside from the two singles, “Better Dig Two,” and “DONE,” this would be their fans first chance to hear material off Pioneer, but this wasn’t just a listening party for a locked and loaded album””no, this was a global stream from the Ed Sullivan Theater with The Band Perry presenting their new songs to the world for the first time ever, live.
After announcing themselves from backstage, the Perry siblings, made their way through the aisles, smiling, and shaking hands. They didn’t even break their stride, stepping on stage, as they immediately launched into “DONE.”
The smoothness with which they leapt into the rocking, country sendoff, symbolized their seamless transition into the next stage of their career. Not a snag to be seen anywhere. To call it autopilot would make it seem too impersonal. They were more than present as they stepped up, and knocked it out of the park.
Without a hitch, the multi-instrumental family band swapped from guitars to mandolins and even banjolins and didn’t miss a beat as the alternated from “DONE.” to “You Lie,” before breaking out “Forever Mine Nevermind” for the first time ever.
Kimberly introduced the band, telling everyone there from East Tennessee, where all the banjo pickers and hell raisers come from, and told the crowd just how thrilled they were to be in New York, performing Live on Letterman. They played a verse of The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” before launching into, “All Your Life,” which segued into a soulful, bluegrass-infused version of Dolly/Whitney’s classic “I Will Always Love You.”
What came next may have surprised anyone who hasn’t seen The Band Perry live before: a rollicking, country-fried cover of Queen’s “Fat Bottom Girls.” You’d think it was written to be a country song. The Band Perry rolled all that energy into the brand new track “I’m A Keeper,” which would have been right at home in a classic Georgia Satellites show.
As the show grew to a crescendo, The Band Perry brought out two of their biggest hits from their debut album. “Postcards from Paris,” and the world-conquering, “If I Die Young,” just kept the energy building higher and higher.
Once again proving their genre-defying skill and overall need to rock, The Band Perry surprised the crowd again by belting out the opening verse of Fun.’s “Some Nights” to kick into “Night Gone Waster” off Pioneer.
After building the show to impossible heights, the Perrys delighted in tearing it all down with the unhinged and morbid foot stomper, “Better Dig Two.” All in all, this country band rocked the theater harder than we’ve seen in a long time. Look out, Academy of Country Music Awards, The Band Perry is coming for you.
The Band Perry, composed of siblings Kimberly, Reid and Neil Perry, quickly catapulted into the mainstream with the success of their Quadruple-Platinum breakout hit “If I Die Young.” In 2011, the tune took the #1 position on both Country and Adult Contemporary charts and earned Country Music Association Awards’ Single and Song of the Year for 2011, with the band also taking the honors of New Vocal Group or Duo of the Year and New Artist of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Their success continued with Platinum-certified “You Lie” and the Gold-certified, #1 smash “All Your Life.” The Band Perry has won multiple ACM, CMA and CMT Music Awards as well as GRAMMYÂ®, Teen Choice, AMA, ACA and Billboard Music Award nominations. Their highly anticipated sophomore album, PIONEER, will be released on April 2, and the lead single, “Better Dig Two,” topped the Billboard Country Chart and marked their third #1 on Country radio. The song is also the fastest rising of their career and has sold over 1,000,000 copies. On the heels of this success, The Band Perry is nominated for Vocal Group of the Year and will also perform at the “48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards,” which will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 7 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network.