Back on tour after a five-year hiatus, Grammy Award–winning Sugarland knows how to put on a show — the band created a free-spirited atmosphere that filled the Bowl during its concert last Tuesday night. Lead singer Jennifer Nettles’s soulful twang and multi-instrumentalist Kristian Bush’s poppy riffs got attendees out of their seats and dancing. The circus-themed stage props and spectacular light show added pleasing visuals to the dynamic musical performance.
The set list consisted of older hits, like “Stuck Like Glue”; new songs, including “Babe,” which features Taylor Swift; and tunes from the duo’s recent solo records: “Unlove You” from Nettles and “Trailer Hitch” from Bush. Showing support for LGBTQ rights, Nettles sang a heartfelt cover of Patty Griffin’s “Tony,” which addresses gay bashing. “Words matter!” the singer said. “What we say to each other matters, so think about what you say.”
The duo maintained an electrifying connection with the audience. They posed for pictures, talked to the audience, and even brought a couple of contest winners onstage for a photo. Toward the end of the show, Kenny Loggins made a surprise appearance, joining Sugarland for “Footloose.”
The evening was tinged with excitement and humility; the band members seemed to be having the time of their lives, and the audience fed off of that energy. Watching Sugarland play live makes it easy to see why it’s a pillar of the country-pop scene.