The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Lady A kicks off ‘Request Line Tour’ at home in Nashville

Lady A celebrated 17 years as a musical group at the historic Ryman Auditorium.
Lady+A+performs+at+Ryman+Auditorium%2C+as+photographed+on+April+14%2C+2023.+%28Hustler+Multimedia%2FChloe+Pryor%29
Chloe Pryor
Lady A performs at Ryman Auditorium, as photographed on April 14, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Chloe Pryor)

I’ll admit: I am not a huge country music fan. However, when the weather hits 70 degrees, I can’t help but blast nostalgic acoustic tunes and lay out on the lawn. When I heard Lady A would be headlining the Ryman for the first time in 10 years, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to visit the Mother Church for the first time. 

Established right here in Nashville in 2006, Lady A came home to kick off their “Request Line Tour” on April 14, 2023. Composed of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, the trio sang their biggest hits, country classics and a brand new song to a sold-out crowd. 

Opener Dave Barnes, also a Nashville native, took the stage solo. Immediately he started cracking jokes. He started with “Little Lies,” a sing-along style number where he made sure to compliment the talent of the audience. 

“Is this a flash mob? Did my wife put y’all up to this?” Barnes said. “It is true that everyone in Nashville has had a record deal.” 

Nashville native Dave Barnes performs at Ryman Auditorium, as photographed on April 14, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Chloe Pryor)
Nashville native Dave Barnes performs at Ryman Auditorium, as photographed on April 14, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Chloe Pryor)
(Chloe Pryor)

The vibes of the evening were instantly changed when Barnes mentioned that his children attend the Covenant School and were in the building when the shooting happened three weeks ago. He shared that all of his children are safe and that he has never been so thankful for the city of Nashville. 

“Everyone has shown up to support Covenant which has been a home away from home for my family,” Barnes said. 

It was hard for everyone, Barnes included, to hold in their emotions during the next song, “Song for My Children.” Seeing the parents in the crowd embrace their children as Barnes sang so passionately about his own kids was touching to see. 

Before performing the last song, he shared a few jokes about one of his earliest performances. Barnes closed his portion of the show with “God Gave Me You.” Popularized by Blake Shelton, Barnes originally wrote and released the song in 2010. The simplicity of his set — just Barnes on stage with a guitar — made the night feel even more intimate, and Barnes thanked the crowd multiple times for its energy.

After a brief break, Lady A and their band took the stage, greeted by an eruption of applause. They immediately started with “I Run to You,” one of their earliest released songs. The Ryman is known for its natural acoustics and it felt like Lady A was made to perform in that venue. They followed up with “American Honey,” which is one of my favorite songs and reminds me of riding in the car with my mom. 

After their first two songs, Scott shared that she has kept a binder of every song they have written or performed in the last 17 years, and the binder sits on the piano of every performance. The tour is named the “Request Line Tour” because they took performance requests from fans across the world. The first request came from a woman in Australia who was in attendance. They played her voicemail and revealed the next song would be “Bartender,” another one of my favorites. The upbeat melody and high energy were a great start to the night. 

Hillary Scott shares the band’s song binder with the audience, as photographed on April 15, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Chloe Pryor)
Hillary Scott shares the band’s song binder with the audience, as photographed on April 15, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Chloe Pryor) (Chloe Pryor)

During “Our Kind of Love,” I noticed Haywood waving and tossing a few guitar picks to people in the pit. It was the perfect gesture for such a sweet song. The next song, “What If I Never Get Over You,” was another request. They shared it was from Brittany and her mom who were also in the audience. Scott was so excited to see the mother and daughter together, sharing that it reminded her of her own children. 

“Always go on dates with your mom,” Scott said. “I call them ‘mommy dates’ with my kids.” 

The next five songs were sung in a medley of what Lady A called their “deep cuts.” “Heart Break,” “Ocean,” “Hello World,” “It Ain’t Pretty” and “Just a Kiss” were sung right in a row for about 30 seconds each. Personally, I liked the speedup medley as it allowed us to hear more songs later in the night. 

The next song was a duet with Kelley and Haywood called “As Far as You Could.” Kelley explained that the tour was postponed from August 2022 as he was seeking treatment for sobriety and is now nine months sober. This song serves as a goodbye letter to alcohol; although it carried him through big moments in his life, he said he needed to keep going without it. After the song, he received a much-deserved standing ovation. 

Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood sing together onstage, as photographed on April 14, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Chloe Pryor)
Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood sing together onstage, as photographed on April 14, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Chloe Pryor)
(Chloe Pryor)

Lady A was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2021, causing the band to launch into a medley of classic country songs. “Forever and Ever, Amen” by Randy Travis, “Meet in the Middle” by Diamond Rio and “Jolene” by Dolly Parton were included. It was a beautiful tribute to the legends that have performed on both the Ryman and Opry stages over the years. 

After a pretend exit, Lady A came back out for a crowd-demanded encore. They performed “A Love Song,” which is unreleased. 

“We have been around for 17 years, so it might be nice to sing something new,” Scott said. 

After an applause that seemed like it would never end, Lady A exited the stage for a second time. The night was filled with country hits, new and old, at the perfect place to kick off a tour. Barnes and Lady A definitely made Nashville proud. 

Leave a comment
About the Contributors
Jorie Fawcett
Jorie Fawcett, Senior Advisor
Jorie Fawcett ('25) is from Tiffin, Ohio, and studies secondary education and sociology in Peabody College. She previously served as Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor and Life Editor. When not writing for The Hustler, you can find her teaching, reading or pretending to study at Local Java or Suzie's. You can reach her at [email protected].
Chloe Pryor
Chloe Pryor, Staff Writer and Photographer
Chloe Pryor (‘26) is from Fort Smith, Ark., and is double majoring in psychology and communications studies. When not writing for The Hustler, you can fund her reading, drawing or running late for class. You can reach her at [email protected].
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
All The Vanderbilt Hustler picks Reader picks Sort: Newest
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments