Home Free, baby!

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For Gracie’s 20th birthday we surprised her with tickets to see one of her favorite groups, “Home Free.”

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Gracie’s love language is quality time and she much prefers the gift of shared experiences than anything I could buy off a store shelf. I feel the same way. I love experience gifts. I’d much rather make a memory than make room on my shelf for another thing.

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The news that her one of her favorite groups was bringing their show to Pittsburgh during her birthday month was sweet serendipity. Toby and I decided to make it a parents/daughters date and Rusty kindly offered to babysit Tyler so the four of us could go.

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As part of her birthday surprise we bought Gracie the newest Home Free CD that contained the songs of their current tour so that she could get pumped about the concert, have a fun tangible memory of her birthday experience after the concert, and so the rest of us could get familiar with the stylings of Home Free prior to the concert.

“Home Free is a Country music a cappella group of five vocalists, Austin Brown, Rob Lundquist, Adam Rupp, Tim Foust, and Adam Chance. Starting as a show group, they toured around 200 shows a year across the United States.

The group competed in and won the fourth season of the Sing-Off in 2013. They sang an arrangement of Hunter Hayes’  “I Want Crazy,” as their final competitive song, earning the group $100,000 and a recording contract with Sony

 Home Free is structured like a traditional barbershop quartet, with a lead tenor, two harmony voices, and a bass. The lead tenor, who fronts the group and sings most of the solos, is Austin Brown. Tenor harmony is sung by Rob Lundquist, baritone harmony is sung by Adam Chance, and Tim Foust sings bass. In addition to the four voices, percussion sounds are provided by beatboxer Adam Rupp. Although Brown is Home Free’s primary soloist, all of the other members occasionally sing solos as well.”

The concert took place last Friday at the Palace Theatre, a beautiful old theatre that was built in the 1920’s.

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The girls got all decked out in the country concert gear. They looked adorable.

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We arrived and the girls got in line at the merchandise table. For Gracie’s birthday gift from Molly she received money to buy a concert t-shirt.

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While in line they found out that the band would be having a meet and greet following the concert and they would be able to have things signed which prompted them to open their wallets and buy a poster (Molly) and cup bearing the photo of the band (Grace) that they could get signed after the show.

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We found our seats and people watched while waiting for the show to begin. It was a really fun crowd due in large part to the diversity of the audience. There were fans ranging in age from 8 to 80 there to see the show.

While we were people watching we caught sight of some familiar faces in the crowd. Our friends the Eberle’s walked in and took their seats 10 rows in front of us. As surprised as we were to catch sight of familiar faces in this sold out concert hall we shouldn’t have been surprised. You know what they say about great minds… 🙂

Our weeks of listening to Gracie’s Home Free CD on repeat did nothing to really prepare us for the phenomenon that is the Home Free experience. I have never been to a concert quite like it. The first thing I took note of was the absence of instruments on the stage. I knew they were an a cappella group but the visual of an empty stage really drives home the fact that these guys’ voices are the only instruments used to create incredible music.

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Can you spot us?

Then the show began. It was a fun mix of older classics, newer songs and funny dialog between songs. The entire show was highly entertaining and I found myself laughing and swooning simultaneously as goosebumps climbed up and down my arms.

For those unfamiliar with Home Free check out this YouTube clip that gives you a peek into the unique sound that makes this band one of a kind:

Wow…what a show!

And what a delight it was watching the joy on Gracie’s face as she relished in her birthday gift.

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When the show was over the girls got in line to meet the band and have their souvenirs signed, while Toby and I stepped back and captured their delight through my lens.

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It was such a fun experience for them and sure proof that this birthday is one that won’t soon be forgotten.

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Happy 20th birthday, Grace. May this year be the best one yet!

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