The Band Perry
My Bad Imagination Pop-Up Shows
Avalon Theater Niagara Fallsview – May 4th, 2017
When a successful artist or group announces they are changing genres, it is typically met by fans with cynicism and trepidation. As a Country Music fan myself I admit when I first heard The Band Perry was shifting over to Pop I felt a twinge of sadness and betrayal. When Taylor Swift crossed over it made more sense since her music was already enjoying cross-genre radio airplay. The Band Perry, an American music group composed of siblings Kimberly Perry, Reid Perry, and Neil Perry signed to Republic Nashville in August 2009 and released their self-titled debut album on October 12, 2010 taking Country music by storm. Now poised to release their third album entitled “My Bad Imagination”, the Country trio has announced it will be a pop record. The tour, My Bad Imagination Pop-Up Shows, announced early 2017, is meant to be a “special glimpse into the band’s new direction as a pop group, breaking away from their country routes. The venues were chosen to be small and intimate, a thank you to fans for their patience and dedication as the band worked out their new sound.” I was not ready for how amazing the show was going to be or how talented and polished this group is.
The band immediately started their show with 2 of their big Country hits, “Better Dig Two” and “Chainsaw”. Kimberly shouted “How you doing Canada?” and prompted the audience to get their hands up in the air. After appeasing the devout Country fans, they hit the crowd with a single from their new album called “Stay In The Dark”, an upbeat tune with a catchy chorus. Kimberly said they only have two rules during their show: 1) get loud, 2) get crazy. She divided the room into two halves, and had each side scream as loud as they could. After asking “Have we got any Country music fans here tonight?” the band performed their hit single “You Lie” showcasing their signature amazing harmonies, followed by their first single “All Your Life” (they performed an updated pop version with electronic drums that they called “Our New Life”), and ended the song with Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”. The group next revealed their musical diversity and hit the crowd with a medley rendition of the Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams” blended with Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” and Reid sang Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back”. Next was another new single called “Comeback Kid” a song with inspirational lyrics and a piano outro, Kimberly reminded us that we all have to come back from something. Being the spokesperson for the band she explained the evolution of the group and their upcoming new album called “My Bad Imagination”. “You have to grow… and sometimes you have growing pains”. She said how much they love touring Canada because Canada has always understood The Band Perry (and always has Timbits). She explained how they used to play together as kids, wondering if they would be able to get together in the future and just play their instruments and sing; now they make a living doing it, and she humbly thanked everyone for helping make their dreams come true. The extra band members then exited the stage, leaving just the three siblings to perform their monster hit “If I Die Young”. Despite the change in musical genre, Kimberly exclaimed The Band Perry are still the same people inside: journeymen and dreamers. Now that they are releasing their third record, they performed a medley of songs they called “The Wandering Medley” (Kimberly said “Not all those who wander are lost”) that showed the progression of their career which included snippets from tunes like Tom Petty’s “Free Falling”, their song “Pioneer”, and new song “In It Together”, a very upbeat high energy number.
Make no mistake this band puts on a fantastic show. Making it all about the fans, they allowed the audience to rush to the front of the stage while performing another new single called “Best One Yet”, crouching at the edge of the stage while singing to pose for selfies with the fans. In another surprising twist of song selection, they played “Fat Bottom Girls” which Kimberly proclaimed was her favorite song for two reasons: 1) Freddy Mercury, and 2) it’s her personal anthem. She asked if there were any fat bottom girls attending the show, and if there were any guys who like fat bottom girls, eliciting frenzied screams from both genders. Neil’s stage presence was worthy of special note; super high energy hip-hop style dancing and a command of the stage, he even periodically snatched cellphones from fans and took selfies with them before giving them back. With an emphatic “Thank you Niagara..!!!” The Band Perry left the stage.
The fans would not let that be the end, and for the demanded encore they came out with one of my personal favorites “Done”. To close their show, Kimberly said they wanted to leave us with one thing, another new song about being yourself called “Look at Me Now”. They exited the stage thanking their fans for being their extended family.
This concert was incredible, and I walked away a bigger fan than I ever was before, my feelings of betrayal a distant memory. The album My Bad Imagination is expected to be released sometime in 2017. With deep and meaningful lyrics, catchy melodies, and a stage show that leaves you impressed and mesmerized, The Band Perry are destined to continue to succeed in any genre they choose.