Sugarland Fire Up Incredible Machine Audience
About a week after Sugarland performed to a sold-out crowd September 25 in Bristow, Va., she talks about how that performance and others on the duo's Incredible Machine tour are akin to a spiritual experience. "I think of the shows as something sacred," Jennifer tells The Boot. "Music is a performance art, there's no question, but at the end of the day it's a sacred space, a communion, between us and the audience."
The Incredible Machine tour is a load of fun, with Jennifer and partner Kristian Bush silhouetted behind flowing drapes as they work their way toward each other over a bridge while singing the first song on their set-list, 'Wide Open.' By the time the drape drops and the audience has an unobstructed view of the duo, the cheers from fans becomes almost deafening.
Throughout the show -- which ranged from the Grammy winner 'Stay' to 'Settlin'' and the new single 'Stuck Like Glue,' to a hard rocking rendition of Beyonce's 'Single Ladies,' -- both Jennifer and Kristian sang and spoke to the crowd as if they were old friends who had stopped in for a chat.
"We are so thrilled to be here with you tonight," Jennifer told the audience, beaming a 200-plus watt smile. "We are going to have a little party tonight and you're looking sexy, Virginia."
As Jennifer, Kristian and the band launched into 'All I Wanna Do,' the predominately female audience that seemed to include a plethora of mothers and daughters, got to their feet and stayed there the rest of the 90-plus minute set.
Kristian also had the audience wrapped around his finger, urging fans, "Come on! You all sing. I know you know this" as the band began to play 'Want To,' and racing to the sides of the stage to play one of his many guitars.
Even as Sugarland moved into new songs including the 'Incredible Machine' title track -- which included all types of great visual and audio machine sounds -- the majority of the audience seemed to know the lyrics.
"You don't mind if we are intimate with you, Virginia," said Jennifer as the band ended 'Already Gone.' "After all, Virginia is for lovers."
Even though the well-known state motto Jennifer cited was likely intended for romance of a different kind, the motto certainly applies to the crowd that seemingly couldn't get enough of Sugarland.
That likely was sweet reward, especially to Jennifer who says a writer recently asked her if she thought Sugarland fans were ready for the rock-tinged new album that draws heavily from Jennifer and Kristian's '80s rock influences, including Blondie and the Cure.
"Of course they are," she recalls telling the writer. "They're ready and they love it. They love it because it's new and fresh. I love all types of music ... rap, R&B, rock, indie, gospel, bluegrass. It all touches a place in my heart and [through Sugarland music] I can share it."
Check out Sugarland's full tour schedule here.