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July 29, 2014

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Little Big Town and Jason and the Haymakers at House of Blues

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Little Big Town.

Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe

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Little Big Town opened with “Little White Church” and played all of their biggest hits, including “Boondocks,” “Bring It on Home,” “A Little More You,” “Good As Gone” and their latest, “The Reason Why,” at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay on Saturday night. The set list was everything a fan could’ve hoped for and included unexpected covers of “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga and “Heartache Tonight” by the Eagles.

What’s a country concert without a cheatin’ song? I’d never heard the bluegrass-styled “Welcome to the Family,” but with lyrics like, “Grandpa’s the local sheriff, yeah, he’s the judge and jury, too / Uncle Bill’s the undertaker, son, he’ll dig a hole for you. / Cousin Jessie, he’s just crazy, he’ll fight you just for fun / Momma’s got a real bad temper, Daddy’s got a shotgun,” one can’t help but smile and sing along.

Kimberly Schlapman -- widely known for sporting Little Big Town’s big hair -- was at times a firecracker onstage. At one point, she joked about a misadventure in Las Vegas so bad she couldn’t even talk about it.

A combination of Karen Fairchild’s powerful vocal performance and the House of Blues’ ambiance made the breakup song “Shut Up Train” particularly haunting. The venue was a perfect fit for a Little Big Town concert, and their four-part harmonies were as beautiful as the venue’s stained glass windows.

Opening act Jason and the Haymakers were surprisingly entertaining for a band no one has ever heard of, but word to the wise: If you’re going to sing about redneck things, ditch the three-piece suit and dress the part. I couldn’t take them seriously dressed like that!

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