Y’all better listen up because woo boy, did the #PBJTour give their first southern audience a foot-stompin’ good time!
Continuing their east coast tour, Briana Buckmaster, Jason Manns, Billy Moran, and Paul Carella dazzled at their show in Charlotte, NC with help from special guest Hayden Lee. The Evening Muse offered an intimate setting for the audience to immerse themselves in the glowing blue of the lights and vibrancy of the talented musicians on stage.
The night started out with those with a VIP ticket getting a taste of the rest of the concert to come, as well as hearing the very Scottish Paul Carella share his attempt at a southern accent (which was not done well, according to Hayden Lee). A lot of laughter and cheering came from the venue as the five entertained the lucky VIPs. After a quick round of pictures, the doors opened for the rest of the crowd to join.
Hayden Lee, a Charlotte native, started the night off with a few songs from his new album Crazy Little Secrets. Accompanied by Mike on guitar, Hayden’s set list featured: “Red Balloons,” “Daybreak,” “Round the Bend,” and title track “Crazy Little Secrets.” He had the crowd singing along loudly with “Another Brick in Kansas,” which is a fantastic mash-up of “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd and “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas. Hayden finished out with “Shifting Tides” and “The Traveler” as everyone “la-la-la’d” with him.
Next up, Paul Carella impressed and roused with a rather sensual selection of songs, starting with “My Little Lady” and “Hero,” before moving into “Chasing Echoes” where Hayden sang harmony. Paul’s deep voice was prominent as he made pulses race during the requested cover “Bad Things,” which is the theme song of True Blood, and “Making Love With our Boots On,” complete with harmonica solo. Paul’s Scottish accent was showcased in the beautifully sung “Caledonia,” and a little bit of a southern drawl came out as he covered Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire.” Paul ended his time on stage with one of his own songs “Red Sole Woman” before handing off the mic to Jason Manns.
As for Jason Manns, the words “Set list? What set list?” are very appropriate. Jason will tell you himself that he doesn’t have a plan in mind when going up on stage, which oftentimes comes back to bite him when someone inevitably requests a song that he may have written, but definitely does not remember. Jason’s performance began with a little Dirty Dancing feel when he sang “Cry to Me,” and then moved into crowd favorites “Soul” and “Stand By Me.” After a failed attempt at remembering “Weary Man,” Jason convinced Billy Moran and Hayden Lee to join him to play a different request, “Hallelujah.” With both of them remaining on stage, Billy transitioned to the always beautiful, “I Shall Be Released.” Billy next played the Station Breaks’ (Jason’s band with Billy and Rob Benedict) song, “They Ain’t You,” catching Jason by surprise and causing him to borrow a fan’s phone to read the lyrics. Jason, Billy, and Hayden closed it out with upbeat tune “Another Number.”
With Billy Moran remaining on stage, Briana Buckmaster waltzes up to the microphone to the sound of ear-splitting cheers. Bri immediately sets the mood with the seductive “Do I Move You,” and blows it out of the water with her final “GREAT GOD ALMIGHTY!” and rockstar pose. Next, she sang a moving rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons” that never fails to bring her audience to tears. She picked up the pace more with Elle King’s “Ex’s and Oh’s” that had Bri and everyone in the audience wiggling their hips and dancing before knocking our socks off with her cover of “The Joke.” Paul Carella hopped up for the next song to play a very impressive harmonica solo as Briana performed Alanis Morissette’s “Hand in My Pocket” for the first time. Tour special “Carry On Wayward Son” was then performed for a crowd that knows every single word and was incredibly touched by the inclusion of the magnificently beautiful version that Briana and Billy play. For the final song before the entire group is on stage, Briana belted out her cover of “Gunpowder and Lead” ending her set with loud whistles and screams.
All five musicians came out for the final performances of the night. First up was “Come Together” in what ended up being the most entertaining song of the whole night as everything fell into chaos. With almost everyone needing to read the words to the song, and needing to move to see the lyrics, those on stage kept bumping and running into each other and the mic stands. Paul attempted to join Billy on guitar before deciding that what the song really needed was some drums, taking a seat at the drum stand and pounding out a beat. Hayden accompanied Paul with some beat-boxing as Briana took Paul’s guitar off his hands and moved to power squat back to back with Billy. Meanwhile, Jason watched everything unfold around him with glee on his face as a proud Master of Chaos. Things calmed down for the last song of the night, and the group sang out a very enjoyable “Wagon Wheel” before taking a well-earned bow.
As they have done for the last few shows of the tour, Jason, Briana, Billy, Paul, and now Hayden stayed after the show to take pictures, sign autographs, and chat with fans. These five incredible people, who are so giving of their time and talent, stayed for long after the show, allowing those who were there to have amazing experiences and interactions that they won’t ever forget.
The #PBJTour had the next night off — which they spent going on a pub crawl through Charlotte with a few lucky fans — before continuing the tour with two more shows at the last stop in Atlanta.
Catch up on all of the coverage from the rest of the tour, and stay tuned for more as the #PBJTour continues to Atlanta!