Local Singer Songwriter Lauren Hall Sets the Tone for Friday Night Country Music Party!
Jeff Walker, Entertainment Writer
Lowcountry country music fans got a double dose of Lauren’s, as national recording artist and Nashville girl Lauren Alaina, as well as rising Charleston country singer Lauren Hall rocked the Charleston Music Hall Friday (April 15th) night. While the two ladies in their mid 20’s are at different stages in their musical careers, they were an ideal pairing for Alaina’s first ever headlining tour.
Since coming in as runner up to Scotty McCreery on the 10th edition of American in 2011 Lauren Alaina has proved herself as a bona fide entertainer with her interests pouring over into movies, television, and more recently as an author. Friday night her musical prowess was on full display as she un-leashed the full power of her ‘Top of the World’ tour on appreciative Charleston fans.
With a video montage showcasing several pivotal moments over her decade long career, Alaina a professed Christian and an all-around good old country girl opened her show with ‘It Was Me’ from her 2021 release ‘Sitting Pretty on Top of the World‘. With three full length studio albums, a full season run on American Idol and a decade of performances under her belt Alaina commanded the stage and the audience like a seasoned pro.
Alaina is comfortable, endearing, and relaxed in the spotlight, which easily set the tone for her music-filled Friday night party. With three skilled musicians and a full screen video behind her, Alaina strutted back and forth engaging the crowd while providing back stories to her songs. Casual Idol fans may not realize Alaina’s had several songs crack the Top 40 on country music charts, and a few reach the top spot. No worries however, as the audience was decidedly there for her, with many singing to every word from the 18 song set.
Most in the crowd could empathize with her songs about love, break-ups, and having a good time. Over 90 minutes she ripped through ‘If the World Was a Small Town’, a great sing along song, moving right into ‘Getting Good’. ‘Same Story, Different Saturday Night‘ struck a chord with concert goers. One third of the way thru her show she offered up ‘On Top of the World’, from her latest album appropriately titled ‘Sitting Pretty on Top of the World’. Die-hard fans know Alaina’s emotional journey.
Alaina took it up a notch at the midway point with ‘Ladies of the 90’s’ paying homage to the strong country woman who blazed trails in the 1990’s, adding Whitney Houston’s ‘Dance with Somebody’ to keep the dance party going. Proving she’s in a good place Alaina went right into several songs about taking control of your life as she saddled up for ‘I’m Not Sad Anymore’, and ‘Getting Over Him’.
She closed out that triple song set with a crowd favorite ‘Good Ole Boy’, sharing the stage with perhaps the youngest fan in the audience. Apparently, Alaina said Darcy appeared to know every word to every song which allowed the seven-year-old to join Alaina on stage for a duet. Afterwords Darcy received a loud ovation, rightfully so since she never missed a note and worked the stage as masterfully as Alaina did.
Taking the reins again Alaina jumped into ‘When the Party’s Over’, before setting the mood for ‘You Ain’t a Cowboy’ by donning a western hat. Alaina knows how to command the moment and her strong yet raspy voice is filled with fire. At this stage in her career, she’s become a consummate performer.
After thanking the crowd for following her decade long career, Alaina exited the stage only to return for a rousing three song encore kicking it off with ‘What Ifs’ a number one song by her close friend Kane Brown featuring Alaina. She closed out the show with a crowd anthem ‘One Beer’ before ending on ‘Road Less Traveled’ her first number one single from the 2017 album of the same name.
With her powerful voice and exuberant stage presence it would be near impossible to over-shadow Lauren Alaina. Charleston’s own Lauren Hall set the evening tone nicely during her eight song set. While Hall has a nice arsenal of songs she split her time on stage singing four originals and four covers.
Hall has gained a solid reputation and following around Charleston and was easily welcomed to jump start the country rock party. Thanks to local radio station 92.5 FM Hall got plenty of attention last year with ‘Gone’ which appeared to be a crowd pleaser. ‘My Last‘ was equally embraced by the crowd. When not sending out originals Hall peppered her 35 minutes on stage with familiar 90’s tracks including ‘Heads Carolina, Tails California’ from Jo Dee Messina and ‘Neon Moon’ from Brooks & Dunn.
With an onstage persona and look similar to Miranda Lambert, Hall had no problem covering Lambert’s 2008 track ‘Gunpowder & Lead’. Hall closed out her time on stage with Dolly Parton’s ‘9 to 5’ which provided a nice audience sing along and an ideal segue way for the marquee attraction. Hall thanked Alaina and the crowd for the opportunity to share her music in front of a hometown crowd on one of her favorite local stages.
Accounting for a set change it was a fun two and a half hours of soft and rowdy country music from two determined country females. All those in attendance at the Charleston Music Hall enjoyed a fun-filled evening. As Lauren Alaina’s career continues to soar it won’t be long before she’s playing bigger venues in greater Charleston, and our own Lauren Hall is following her steady career path!