Kristian Bush Goes Solo at the Visulite in Charlotte, NC

By Lesa Browning

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Last night I had the pleasure of hearing the amazing Kristian Bush.  Maybe best know as one half of the popular Country duo Sugarland, Bush has a long and successful history in the music industry as both a singer and songwriter.  With Sugarland on hiatus, both members are out touring alone and selling fans on their solo music.  As a long time fan who could never seem to get enough of him, it was great to hear Bush’s voice again!

Having to fly across the country for this concert, I was thrilled to be able to do a VIP meet and greet.  The venue was small and intimate and with only a limited number of people attending the sound check and meet up, it felt very special.  Bush sat with us gathered around and played a new song, asking for our honest opinions.  Apparently he has so many songs he needs to whittle down the list of “keepers” for his new album.  (this would be an ongoing theme for the night) After some more music, small talk and photos it was time for the show to begin.

The opening act was a great family group, the Gal Friday Band.  Made up of three sisters and local to the Charlotte area, these ladies know how to rock and roll… cowgirl style! They had a great command of the stage and were a huge hit with the crowd.  I was certainly not the only one heading back to the merch table, manned by their very classy Mama, to buy the CD.  This is a band to watch!

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With only a short “bar break” the stage was set for Bush and his band.  He took the stage and began what would be two hours of non stop, crowd pleasing music with a lot of fun banter mixed in.  Bush is relaxed and easy going, so at home on the stage.  He informed the high energy crowd that he would be playing mostly songs they had never heard before and he was looking for feedback on what should be kept or ditched for the new album.  I am not sure how much help we were, at the end of every song the crowd sprang up with applause and shouts of “keeper!… that’s a keeper!”

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Before the concert started I had wondered if the crowd would be filled with Sugarland fans who really wanted to hear the old songs that they have been missing so much.  But as I talked to the crowd, making several new friends along the way, I found that while we all seemed to be Sugarland fans, we were there to support Bush on his solo journey.  Bush did indeed play a couple Sugarland hits as well as his own hit single Love or Money that everyone sang along for.  Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE our old Sugarland music but honestly, we would have been just as happy if he had only played the new stuff. The new music is really good.  No, the new music is great!

I am a long time fan of Sugarland and also Bush’s earlier band, Billy Pilgrim. This new music is different.  Less country twang, less folk… more rock n’ roll.  More stories told from Bush’s perspective.  Loads and loads of fun.  We still have Bush’s amazing skills, changing his instrument endlessly it seems, and a back up band that, while new seems to have no trouble keeping up.  (the drummer was especially on fire last night) Most importantly what we got to experience was the passion for the music that Bush brings to the stage.  It is a passion that is heavy and makes its way across the entire crowd.

As the band jammed hard on the last song and the crowd danced and cheered ’till the very end, my final thought was that Kristian Bush is most certainly a Keeper….

You can check out more of Kristian Bush’s music at www.Kristianbush.com ,

Gal Friday Band can be found online at www.galfridayband.com

Enjoy the photos below:

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