Little Big Town Unleashes “Tornado” in Nashville

Pictured (L-R): Capitol Records Nashville SVP Promotion Steve Hodges, COO Tom Becci, LBT’s Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Capitol Records Nashville SVP Marketing Cindy Mabe, President and CEO, EMI Christian Music Group Bill Hearn.

Little Big Town’s full-length album, Tornado, is predicted to hit the nation on Sept. 11 in the wake of major hit single “Pontoon.” Last night (8/23) Capitol Records reined in a slew of Nashville who’s who for a soiree to where the ever-impressive foursome performed the album in its entirety.

With Capitol staff dispersed amongst the audience, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center floor was lively and liquored by the time the band hit the stage around 7. Backed by their band and special guests, including producer Jay Joyce (playing celeste, synthesizer, keyboard, electric guitar) and guitarist Jedd Hughes, the show’s effects were undeniable—in production and delivery.

Lights shined from the stage risers at times, ticking out words like “Little Big Town,” and (spoiler alert) “Boondocks.” The band’s sound was impeccable and the performance matched. Each member had time in the spotlight while the others happily sang backup from the risers. But the effects are most compelling when the four team up, side-by-side, front stage.

A full track listing and songwriters appears below, but performance highlights included the title track “Tornado,” when jets of c02 blasted up from various stage locations. The band stripped down the set for “Night Owl,” performing with an upright bass to slow the mood, and left only song for an encore: its ’05 signature hit “Boondocks.”

Fellow artists out to support the group included Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts, members of Edens Edge, and Eric Paslay.

Altogether, it’s taken ten years and four record deals for Tornado to strike. Last night’s Nashville touchdown allowed a crowd of believers to continue rooting for the group it has long supported, and help them reach for the super stars.

Tornado track listing:
1. Pavement Ends (Jason Saenz/Brent Cobb)
2. Pontoon (Barry Dean/Natalie Hemby/Luke Laird)
3. Sober (Liz Rose/Hillary Lindsey/Lori McKenna)
4. Front Porch Thing (Chris Stapleton/Adam Hood)
5. On Your Side Of The Bed (Lori McKenna/K.Fairchild/J.Westbrook/K.Schlapman/P.Sweet)
6. Leavin’ In Your Eyes (Brett Warren/Brad Warren/Jay Joyce/J.Westbrook/K.Fairchild/K.Schlapman)
7. Tornado (Natalie Hemby/Delta Made)
8. On Fire Tonight (Luke Laird/P.Sweet/J.Westbrook/K.Fairchild/K.Schlapman)
9. Can’t Go Back (Natalie Hemby/Kate York/Rosi Golan)
10. Self Made (Natalie Hemby/Jedd Hughes/J.Westbrook/K.Fairchild)
11. Night Owl (Natalie Hemby/J.Westbrook/K.Fairchild/K.Schlapman/P.Sweet)


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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine,, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

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