Brothers Osborne Doesn’t Disappoint a Sold-out Pageant
Story • Jessi Mckee Photos • Cory Weaver
It was 9:11p.m. at the Pageant and a song by Audra Mae was playing on the speakers as red strobe lights signaled Brothers Osborne that it’s set time. John Osborne (electric guitar), clad in a button-up shirt and cowboy hat, and T.J. Osborne (acoustic guitar), in a black t-shirt and slicked back dark hair, took the stage. “Drank Like Hank” set the show in motion to cheers all around.
As the second song, “Shoot Me Straight,” began, the sold-out crowd was already dancing. The brothers’ sound evokes thoughts of George Jones and a little splash of Trace Adkins, with the modern rock-country style of Jason Aldean. As the band strummed out “Weed, Whiskey and Willie,” the crowd erupted as cheers and whistles echoed throughout the venue.
The show included hits from the latest album, Port Saint Joe, and the 2016 release Pawn Shop also came to party. “Rum” was one of those Pawn Shop tracks and so was “Stay a Little Longer,” which will be ideal in a summertime amphitheater setting. The Steve Earle cover “Copperhead Road” had couples swaying, and some even did a little line dancing.
The main set closed with crowd-favorite, “It Ain’t My Fault,” with lingering solos and extended instrumental sections, while the crowd jumped, danced and sang along.
As the band exited the stage the audience clamored for more, and the band obliged. The encore began with “Heart Shaped Locket,” followed by opener Ruston Kelly joining the band onstage for Springsteen’s “Atlantic City,” and ended with the sweet and meaningful, “While You Still Can.”
The brothers, with their rough and rowdy yet refined country rock sound, interact with their fans as much as possible while onstage. They’ve been touring relentlessly the past few years and have plans to cross the country in the coming months, hitting stadiums and amphitheaters, festivals and fairs.
Kelly–a Family Man–Opens
Opener Ruston Kelly, whose sound pairs well with the brothers, ushered in the evening. He started with “Cover My Tracks” and followed with “Hurricane in My Head”—harmonica slung over his neck while strumming an acoustic guitar, warmly lit in gold, crimson and royal blue stage lights. Kelly, at the helm of a six-piece-band, largely focused the set on his newest release, Dying Star. His band performed seamlessly, with an ease that felt natural as the singer smirked and grinned throughout the show. He took a moment to introduce the band, and it was not a huge surprise to learn he was joined by his father, T.K. Kelly, on pedal steel guitar and by his sister, Abby Sevigny, on vocals.
With the overall feel of a bad boy who’s a good man, Kelly sings of his struggles, at time making light and other times holding himself accountable. Dying Star came to life after Kelly survived an overdose in 2015.