Lady Antebellum’s performance Saturday night drew the largest crowd to date at the university’s fall concert, Student Government Association officials said.
Student activities coordinator Brad Thompson said as of Monday, attendance was estimated to be around 6,000, but that a more accurate count would be available later in the week.
Usual attendance for the university’s fall concert was around 3,500, but the large crowd was expected because of the high profile group, he said.
Student body president Marlon Figueroa said student government wanted to incorporate the large-scale concert in the celebration of the university’s 100 years in Fort Worth. He said SGA tried to bring a more famous band to campus at least once every four years.
Thompson said efforts to get Lady Antebellum to play at the university began in January but were difficult because of the band’s increasing fame and tight schedule on its first headlining tour. He said it was also challenging to ensure good security and proper accommodations, but the effort paid off in April when the band agreed to play on campus.
Band members offered very positive feedback after the performance, Thompson said.
“They thought it was a great show and a great crowd,” he said. “They really loved the hospitality that we gave to them while they were here.”
More than 110 students volunteered Friday and Saturday with tasks such as putting up and taking down fencing, selling merchandise and cleaning up after the concert, Thompson said.
Senior strategic communications major Kennedy Stewart said she helped set up fencing Friday and watched the concert of her dreams Saturday night.
“For TCU to have a headliner tour on campus free for students is really amazing,” Stewart said. “I’m so, so grateful of the opportunity to be here while they’re here.”
Stewart said the band was her favorite and she had been a fan of Lady Antebellum since the release of the group’s first single in 2008.
“Based on Facebook alone, everyone was like “I love Lady Antebellum; I love TCU,’ so I think everybody that went to the concert had an amazing time,” Stewart said.
Freshman biology major Schuyler Stump said he arrived right at 6 p.m. when security opened the gates to attendees. He found his way to the front row and said it was the best concert he had been to.
“It was an amazing experience, especially for TCU,” Stump said. “It just shows that we have our name out there and that people actually want to come here.”
Lady Antebellum is a country group from Nashville, Tenn. The trio is made up of guitarist and pianist Dave Haywood and vocalists Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott.
In the Campus Commons, students gathered from the stage near the Brown-Lupton University Union to Frog Fountain, on the patio of Market Square and even hung out of dorm room windows in King Hall.
A continuous stream of camera flashes and cheering met Kelley, Scott and Haywood when the band took the stage. Fans showed their support by singing choruses of songs like “I Run To You” and “American Honey”.
The band performed a mix of its own songs and covers of other artists, such as Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, Luke Bryan’s “Do I”, Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'” and Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight”.
After the show, the group left the stage as the crowd chanted for an encore. The band then returned to perform its newly-released single “Hello World”, which was not a part of the plan, Figueroa said.