Before The Game
For United Way
BY EMILY HAGENBURGER
AND ANDREW JONES
"It's not gonna be pretty!" Neil Perry joked with the baseball crowd as The Band Perry prepared to throw out the first pitch Thursday night at the Astros game.
It was plenty good enough.
All three Perry pitchers hit their mark in the catchers' mitts of the Astros players behind home plate.
Before the game on Band Perry Bobblehead Night, Greene County's most famous siblings held a private ticket-only meet-and greet and acoustic performance.
Local fans were lined up out the door at the Niswonger Commons at Tusculum College. All the proceeds of the 200 tickets sold for the private show and $1 of every Astros ticket went to the United Way, totaling about $17,000.
The big attraction was The Band Perry bobbleheads given away as a game promotion.
Fans wanted their pictures taken and memorabilia autographed long before the band arrived at the Niswonger Commons.
Allyson Boyce, 10, of Greeneville brought her ukelele for the band to sign and said her favorite song was the new single, "Postcard from Paris."
Another local follower, Briley Barefield, 8, of Greeneville, not only brought her bobblehead but also two pictures she drew of The Band Perry, one as a present and one to get signed.
The band was presented with an array of items to be signed.
Not only did people bring their guitars, bobbleheads, pictures, and shirts, but even cowboy boots and guitar straps.
Marissa Kirrman wore a "TBP" necklace made by her brother who also gave one to Kimberly Perry.
Local businessman and philanthropist Scott Niswonger was present and seemed excited to be at the meet-and-greet.
"It's good to finally have them here," he said of the Perry siblings, "these are nice kids, they work hard."
The band continued to delight the crowd all the way through the 200-person line.
Neil Perry, 21, who plays mandolin for the group, gave high-fives to little fans, saying, "Up high! Down low! There ya go!" as their background playlist at the meet-and-greet featured today's country stars such as The Zac Brown Band and Brad Paisley.
For their acoustic show the band played three songs.
They kicked off the set with "Independence," a song Kimberly Perry related to small towns like Greeneville.
Second, they brought out a hit with the award-winning "If I Die Young."
Finally, they got the crowd clapping along to the faster-paced single "You Lie."
Following the performance the band was shuttled off to prepare for the first pitch ceremony at Pioneer Park.
After enjoying about 30 minutes of the game and socializing in Niswonger's private box, the band was escorted back toward the Niswonger Commons, signing more autographs along the way.
Before their busy schedule shipped them to Saratoga, New York, for a Friday night performance, the band had the chance to do an interview with a Knoxville TV station.
When asked what passes their minds coming home, they unanimously agreed that the local Mexican chain Monterrey's was a stop they need to make, along with doing laundry and getting quality time with family and friends.
Kimberly Perry said that Greeneville is the place they call "home sweet home."
Neil added to the sentiment, saying that the thing they love most, besides the mountains and the people, is the fact that though everything else around them is constantly changing, Greeneville never does.
The siblings have been playing together for 14 years.
Kimberly Perry said that it "takes a village to build a band," and Greeneville is the town that gave them their roots.
"This is our creative center," she said, "we wrote 'If I Die Young' sitting on our front porch."
Commenting on having a bobblehead in their likeness, the Perry siblings recalled that their mother always said there were three things that means they have "made it" in the music business.
One, is playing in Las Vegas; two, is giving a show at the Grand Ole Opry; and three, is having their own bobblehead.
"You know, I think we can just stop making music now," Neil remarked humorously.
After wrapping up, The Band Perry said goodbye to home and boarded their tour bus for Upstate New York.
Along with shows and touring this summer, the band will be in the studio with legendary producer Rick Rubin.
"The Band Perry Wows Local Fans with Private Show and First Pitch at Astros Game"