Grammy Award-winning vocal group Little Big Town launched their unprecedented year-long artist residency, “Little Big Town at the Mother Church,” from Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium this weekend with back-to-back, sold-out shows on Friday and Saturday evening. The reigning CMA and ACM Vocal Group of the Year earned numerous standing ovations as they showcased their award-winning vocals during each nightly performance of their new album, The Breaker. The launch of “Little Big Town at the Mother Church” coincides with the world-wide release of Little Big Town’s seventh studio album, released February 24th, and marks the only time in the venue’s 125-year history to host a year-long artist residency.
Band members Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, and Jimi Westbrook’s took to the Ryman stage following support acts Brent Cobb (2/24) and Ashley Monroe (2/25) to debut their first, and only, live full-length album performances of The Breaker. After opening the show with the album’s “optimistic standout” (Sounds Like Nashville) “Happy People,” the band went on to perform every track on their new album from top to bottom– including their current chart-topping #1 song at country radio, “Better Man”–before later trading off lead vocals for several songs including “Beat Up Bible,” “When Someone Stops Loving You,” and the album’s title track, “The Breaker.”
The packed set list had the audience on their feet, singing along to every word of the band’s biggest hits, from “Pontoon” to “Girl Crush,” the thirteen week #1 Grammy-winning crossover hit that recently propelled Pain Killer to RIAA-Platinum-status, earning the group their third RIAA-Platinum album certification as a band.
Each evening’s special surprise guest appearances–an expected staple of future “Little Big Town at the Mother Church” dates—solicited enormous audience applause as breakout Country artists Sam Hunt and Chris Stapleton (2/24) and powerhouse vocalist Andra Day (2/25) joined Little Big Town on stage. At the close of each show, in contrast, the band earned a different reaction—complete reverence in the form of uninterrupted silence- as the band launched into an unexpected, completely acoustic encore, sans mics, aimed at paying homage to early Ryman Auditorium performances.
Saturday’s show also included an additional on-stage surprise, with the band’s announcement from the Ryman stage that a 10th “Little Big Town at the Mother Church” Ryman Residency date has been added for July 30th due to popular demand. Previously announced dates include May 19&20, July 28&29, September 15&16, and November 27th. Pre-sale tickets for the newly-announced date are available now through March 2nd at 10pm CT by visiting here: www.ticketmaster.com/event/1B005258D765823D. Tickets for the concerts will be $90.50, $60.50 and $50.50. Each ticket purchased to see Little Big Town at the Ryman includes one (1) physical album of Little Big Town’s new album, The Breaker, released February 24, 2017 on Capital Nashville. Visit www.littlebigtown.com/tour for more information.
Little Big Town continue to earn early critical praise for The Breaker, having “expanded their audience beyond Tennessee” (USA Today) as well as “the definition of country music from the inside” (Newsday). The Los Angeles Times recently declared The Breaker “excellent” before highlighting Little Big Town as one of “only three acts that performed more than once at this year’s Grammy Awards. Reviewed as “a 21st century revival of Fleetwood Mac” (Goldderby), critics have identified The Breaker as a sweet spot, with Paste noting the album as “the band’s wheelhouse…they sound great” and Entertainment Weekly sharing high praise for the band’s latest studio project, giving the album an “A-” rating and noting “Little Big Town soar with new album…LBT’s glistening harmonies beam.” Following the launch of “Little Big Town at the Mother Church,” the Associated Press also raved “Little Big Town momentum grows with Ryman residency.”
Little Big Town can next be seen performing on “Ellen” on March 1st, and on “The Talk” on March 14th.