When I heard that American a cappella group Home Free were coming to the UK for the first time ever in 2016, I just had to get a ticket to see these guys at work.
Winners of the 2013 NBC TV Show ‘The Sing-Off’, Country group Home Free have toured America non-stop spreading their cheer, it was about time the Brits got a taste and it was ear-smacking good.
Kicking off their tour at The Elgar Concert Hall, Birmingham, the eager crowd could hardly contain themselves as Tim Foust, Chris & Adam Rupp, Austin Brown and Rob Lundquist entered the stage.
Galloping straight into ‘Cruise’ a hit by Florida Georgia Line, the auditorium lit up with rapturous delight as the group strutted their stuff and sang in sweet harmony. It soon became apparent that there was one member the ladies were swooning over, as no sooner did Bass vocalist Tim speak, there was a wave of ‘ooooo’s’ and dreamy ‘hmmmm’s’ mexican waving through the hall. Put it this way, what Tom Jones‘ leather trousers and hip swinging does for ladies – Tim has all of that and more in his voice – but I digress, back to the concert.
Performing a mixture of hits and covers from their albums Crazy Life and Country Evolution, the crowd were bopping their heads, clapping along and really getting into the spirit of things. I didn’t realize just how popular these guys were, the Birmingham crowd knew every song they sung!
‘9 to 5’ by Dolly Parton and ‘Elvira’ by The Oak Ridge Boys were a couple of my favorite songs performed that night, I was both completely fascinated and in awe by the beat boxing extraordinaire Adam. Not only did he remind me of Axl Rose with his long hair and bandanna but I couldn’t believe how he kept his mouth going for pretty much the whole concert. His percussion sounds literally blew me away, I can’t recall how many times I said ‘Wow!’ – I think the people sitting next to me got a little annoyed like “Really? Nothing else in your vocabulary? and Why are you writing in hieroglyphics?”
What I particularly loved about the show was the slight comedy factor and audience interaction. Just before they sang ‘Don’t It Feel Good’ Austin said “If you know this next song and want to sing along…Don’t” to which the audience erupted into laughter. By the end of the concert you actually thought you had found a friend in each one of them, they were that warming – no pretentiousness.
I spoke to a couple of ladies in the row near me who were having a wail of a time. Sheila and Jane loved the group so much after discovering them on YouTube, that they traveled 6 hours from Sunderland to Birmingham just to see Home Free live – what was even crazier was that they had no where to stay! I do hope they got home alright.
If you get to see Home Free at one of their ‘Sold Out’ UK shows and I really hope you do, fingers crossed they sing ‘The Butts Remix’ for let me tell you it’s hilarious, even to watch them dancing along, I can’t help but smile as I reminisce upon events.
But it isn’t all fun and games, Home Free really are a talented bunch and gel so well together, something that was particularly evident when they sang their Ed Sheeran and Marvin Gaye mix. It was simply beautiful. I watched as couples snuggled up together while listening to their dulcet tones.
Austin had the crowd mesmerized when he sang Les Miserables‘, ‘Bring Him Home’. As the tenor’s voice reverberated around the room and the group, performing at this point as a quartet, picked up the harmonies it was even more clear that there was not just one or two talented people in the group but actually 5. A superb opening night for the UK and I hope they come back again soon.
Home Free will be in Ireland Jan 29th before their final night in London on 30th Jan.
For more information on Home Free visit their website