It had been 5 years to the day since Country a capella band Home Free won NBC’s nationally televised music competition “The Sing-Off” in 2013. Beatboxer, Adam Rupp is a co-founding member and still with the band whose roots are in Mankato, MN. Another Minnesotan, Rob Lundquist has been part of the group for 10 years and has become a favorite to many with his lush tenor voice and playful stage presence. After a few guest appearances, Tim Foust finally came on board full time in 2012 and provides a rich low end to their sound, along with entertaining banter that fans have come to expect over the years. The 2013 addition of Georgia born Austin Brown was significant considering he is responsible for much of the key solo lines, making him an important piece of the band’s identity. Most recently, Adam Chance stepped in to complete the current lineup since 2016, replacing Rupp’s brother who chose to pursue a solo career.
The band was back in Minnesota to spread a little holiday cheer with their performance of A Country Christmas to a capacity crowd at the Treasure Island Events Center on December 23rd. Armed with no physical instruments, the singers kicked off the show with “Run Rudolph Run”, effectively setting a mood that was upbeat, fun and spirited. Moving right into “Ring of Fire” assured the audience that there would also be plenty of fan favorites sprinkled in throughout evening. Also supporting their theme of Holiday fun, Santa Claus made an appearance that also doubled as a great full band photo opportunity for those striving to take a good cell phone shot. For me, “Colder Weather” was a standout in the first of two 45-minutes sets and generated more chills than you’d expect walking outside to your car after the show.
One nice example of how they go above and beyond to interact with an audience was a Facebook challenge they proposed leading into intermission where the bands favorite post would provide someone an opportunity for an after-show meet-n-greet. The second set was packed more of the same, but felt elevated featuring each of the performers and playing to their individual strengths. An unexpected show stealer was Rupp’s creative drum solo (sans drums) that was enhanced by creative lighting and covered several genres.
The venue at Treasure Island was a great fit for this performance providing exceptional sound from start to finish and excellent sightlines throughout. Home Free absolutely delivered on all counts showing off exceptional vocal talent matched with a ton of fun that had everyone leaving happy and filled with holiday cheer.
Review and photos by Patrick Dunn