The night before Sugarland’s concert DVD Live on the Inside hits a Wal-Mart store near you, anyone with a TV antenna (okay, um, TV digital converter box thingy) will be able to try before they buy: EW has learned exclusively that the Atlanta-based country duo will preview a selection of the DVD footage in a one-hour broadcast special, airing August 3rd on ABC.
Shot using 20 cameras during a single show in Lexington, Ken., last fall, the concert includes the band’s hits — “All I Want To Do,” “Baby Girl,” “Settlin’” — plus live staples like hoedown-in-the-round “Genevieve” and covers of R.E.M.’s “The One I Love” and “Nightswimming.” (Not coincidentally, the Wal-Mart DVD comes packaged with a CD of the band’s many covers.) “We’ve always had a lot of confidence in our live shows because our fans keep telling us, ‘Wow, I had no idea,’” says Sugarland co-frontperson/fedora aficianado Kristian Bush. “But there just aren’t enough days in the year to go and play for everybody. Jennifer [Nettles] and I figured, ‘Well, we might as well film it.’ Our music began as a word of mouth experience, and I think our shows are, too — so we’re just trying to get to as many people as we can so they can spread it as far as they can.”
Country music specials have been reliably successful of late — the recent George Strait “Artist of the Decade” fiesta won its timeslot handily — and for ABC, running something like this in the dog days of humiliation-heavy summer programming is certainly low-risk. But what’s the viewing incentive for those not already converted to the Sugarland message of hope n’ love? “If you’re gonna try something new for an hour, and your choices are a guy falling into mud, or a Sugarland show in Rupp Arena, I recommend the Sugarland show,” Bush laughs. “The guy’s gonna fall into mud tomorrow or next week, but the Sugarland show’s only gonna happen once.” Unless you buy the DVD the next day, naturally. “If you go buy the DVD, you’re just gonna be sitting in your 5.1-surround-sound house, freaking out, watching it over and over again,” Bush says, presumably in (infinite?) jest.
For a sneak peek at what’s in store, check out Sugarland’s video for “Love” after the jump, which — based on the band’s recent set lists — will likely be the special’s opening number. (“It looks like the superhero version of what we do,” says Bush of the Shaun Silva-directed footage.) Then tell us in the comments: Who’s excited? If you’re not already a Sugarland fan, is it worth tuning in for? And what’s the last non-cable, non-Christmas-or-awards-show-related concert special you watched? I see Celine Dion had one last year. Is Sugarland better than Celine Dion? Did I really just ask that question out loud?