Before Little Big Town had even hit the stage Friday (May 12) on Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Liberty, the energy inside the venue was already electric with anticipation. And when the band did arrive, the crowd full of excited people erupted before being treated to a spirited 90-minute performance of hit after hit while mixing in some fan favorites.
The superstar foursome had the party going from the moment they hit the stage, opening the riveting set with the energetic “Night on Our Side,” which was soon followed by their signature hit, “Pontoon,” the latter of which sent fans into a frenzy of excitement. LBT is known not only for their killer harmonies, but also their lovable charm and easy chemistry, which they delighted audience goers with when Karen Fairchild borrowed a fan’s sparkly, heart-shaped glasses that she shared with Kimberly Schlapman for the duration of the upbeat number, which had fans singing along for its entirety.
Audience members gladly followed Phillip Sweet’s instructions to get “the boat swinging” for the spirited “Front Porch Thing” as they waved their hands in the air before having a particularly ecstatic reaction when they launched into their current single, the sweet “Happy People.” Being on a cruise ship adds a dynamic element to a performance and what would the experience be without a cold one or two.
“We need some drinks on this stage,” Fairchild called out at one point in the show, a wish that was humorously fulfilled when a waiter placed one pretty pink tropical beverage in front of each band member as they sang harmoniously, which she later had the guitar player guzzle as much as he could while feverishly playing his instrument.
The quartet’s undeniable harmonies really came to life on the fiery “Little White Church,” the mellow “Sober” and poignant “Better Man,” proving that they have a magical way of making their voices shine in unison.
“I see some day drinkin’s been going on,” Jimi Westbrook accurately assessed – the perfect set up for “Day Drinkin,’” – which had the audience on their feet and jamming right along with the band.
But a truly standout moment came with back-to-back electrifying covers of “When Doves Cry” and the Alicia Keys’ classic “Fallin’,” keeping the audience enthralled as they sang each note with grace and power, packing a punch with their astounding vocals that sent a collective chill down everyone’s spine. They then proceeded to rock the stage with the dramatic “Tornado” before busting out the disco ball for “Girl Crush,” that not only brought the crowd to its feet immediately after hearing the familiar opening notes, but warranted the group a longstanding ovation at its completion, clearly signifying why the emotional ballad won a Grammy in 2016.
There’s always something particularly special when LBT performs “Boondocks,” the swampy song that put them on the country music map, not only because it pays homage to their humble roots, but because of how they present the song. Closing out their set with an incredible build-up consisting of a fierce kick drum, the group brought the song to life with their haunting harmonies before the rest of the band joined in, sending a surge of energy through the arena. The thunderous applause and endless cheers made it apparent that no one wanted the night to end as the CMA Award winning artists left the stage after soaking in the out-pour of love from the crowd. And just as the celebrated foursome was “blown away” by the kindness and hospitality of the Bahamians, their fans were just as appreciative of the group’s ability to put on a memorable show, something they’ve been doing with ease for countless years – and many more to come.
This performance marked the second time Little Big Town has participated in the Carnival LIVE series that features a variety of musical and comedic acts on board the Carnival Cruise ships. Carrie Underwood, Sam Hunt, Martina McBride and Lady Antebellum are just some of the country artists who have performed in the series.