November 10, 2017
Newberry Opera House
Reviewed by Joseph Hett
Sister Hazel Satisfies Newberry
Sister Hazel came to the historic Newberry Opera House in Newberry, SC on Friday night. The alternative band from Gainesville, Florida brought in a sellout crowd. Many in attendance were described as “Hazelnuts.”
A rarity these days for bands, all original members of Sister Hazel are still together: Lead vocalist/guitarist Ken Block, rhythm guitarist/vocalist Andrew Copeland, lead guitarist Ryan Newell, bassist Jeff Beres and drummer Mark Trojanowski. Dave LaGrande, touring member, was featured on keyboards and saxophone.
Sister Hazel opened the show with an acoustic set. The band, seated on stools, began “Your Mistake.” They continued the unplugged set with “Beautiful Thing” and “Happy,” where the audience was instructed to start clapping along to the catchy rhythm. During “Champagne High,” only Block and LaGrande were left on stage. The rest of the band then joined in and transitioned into the electric portion of the set.
They kept the flow going with “Shame” and “Where You’re Going” – with an amazing guitar solo by Newell. Next up was “Your Winter” from the 1999 film “10 Things I Hate About You,” which featured a “Hey Jude” interlude.
They featured a fun track called “Karaoke Song.” Block said that it was co-written with Darius Rucker. Block continued that Rucker and Sister Hazel have been trash talking since the Florida Gators vs. South Carolina Gamecocks game is this weekend.
Once the smash hit “All For You” began, everyone in the opera house stood up. The capacity crowd started singing along. It was a powerful performance of the classic.
Block and Copeland had fun with entertaining banter throughout the show. They joked around which included interacting with the fans.
Sister Hazel had fun with “Take It With Me.” They snuck in a handful of classic songs like “Friends In Low Places,” “The Joker,” “Country Road” and “Sweet Caroline.” They closed the set out with the staple “Swan Dive.”
Copeland came out solo and sat behind the keyboards and performed “Southern Accents” – a tribute to Tom Petty. He then transitioned into “This Kind Of Love,” which included LaGrande pulling out his sax. They then closed out the show with “Mandolin Moon.”
Sister Hazel put on a fun, fresh show. The original members stay on the road to keep the “Hazelnuts” satisfied. It is so nice to see the Newberry Opera House bringing in fresh acts.