Love and Theft Play Opry for Final Time as a Trio
Friday night (Dec. 3), Love and Theft graced the stage of the Ryman Auditorium for their final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry program as a trio. Last week, The Boot announced exclusively that guitarist and vocalist Brian Bandas would be leaving the band after the first of the year to pursue a different creative path than Love and Theft's remaining members, Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson, who will continue on as a duo.
Opry member and country music legend, Little Jimmy Dickens introduced the trio to the historic stage where they performed their breakout Top 15 hit, 'Runaway,' as well as its follow-up single, 'Dancing in Circles.'
"It's always an amazing honor to play at the Opry," Stephen tells The Boot. "The fact that it was our last time playing there as a trio made it even more special."
The performance was bittersweet for Brian as well, who was privileged to play the Grand Ole Opry on several occasions throughout Love and Theft's five-year career.
"It's always an honor to play the Opry, but tonight was something special," Brian told The Boot following their performance. "It was
the most emotional Opry experience I've had, by far. Stephen and Eric mean the world to me and we've been through so much together. Standing there on that stage was a reality check that this really is coming to an end. Although it was tough, it was also really wonderful to have this one last opportunity to share that sacred stage with my two best friends."
Love and Theft's final show as a trio will take place on New Year's Eve in Chesapeake, Va. at the Crazy Wing Catina.