It was an event that few country fans of Southern California could miss – as musicians like Kenny Chesney, Reba, Brad Paisley, the Zac Brown Band, Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town and more all made appearances at this year’s Stagecoach Country Music Festival. The third time the show was put together, the crowd pushed its limits as more people than ever turned out for the headliners, great Indio, California weather and the infamous Bar B Que. While Stagecoach tickets won’t be around until next year, it’s a great time to brush up on your country music online and really get into the concert for next year!
Making the eclectic crowd at home was surprisingly Kid Rock, who assured everyone that repeating words like at a punk rock concert with his relatively small country music repertoire made the crowd amped for six – time Entertainer of the Year Kenny Chesney even into the wee hours of the night. After 48 hours of wind and serious heat, it wasn’t surprising that the 40,000 fans in attendance were a bit beat, but after Chesney started belting out classics like “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” and “Summertime,” the cowboy hat donning crowd were kicking up their steel toed boots once more.
It wasn’t just the headliners that fans of country music and weekend long music festivals enjoyed, as contemporary and classic country music staples like Charlie Daniels Band, Reverend Horton Heat, The Knitters, Jerry Jeff Walker, Ricky Skaggs, Ralph Stanley and so many more joined the ranks of those commercial kings, revealing that perhaps the outlaw movement of the 1970s might be returning. Instead of finding commercialized pop headliners at the country fest, old school outfits like Kevin Costner and the Modern West, Maxim Ludwig and Houser all made the two day event in Coachella Valley worth those hard earned dollar bills. While every act thanked fans for putting their money toward the event, a March study, according to the Los Angeles Times asked music listeners at the annual Country Radio Seminar conferences why country music was the one genre surviving in our economic downturn – the overall consensus being that listeners need to reliability of such tunes like “Whiskey Lullaby,” Paisley’s hit with Alison Krauss, or “Beer in Mexico,” Chesney’s upbeat tune, to get them through the recession and threat of job loss.
Though the “Mane Stage,” as the event’s main stage was deemed, heralded some of the future commercial country acts of the genre, for most of the concert reviewers it was the smaller stages, Palomino and Mustang, which held the event’s efforts showcasing just what country tunes have been about for generations. No matter the single played or the effort given, the acts were just as diverse as the cow – boys and girls present, accepting each with serious ease which allowed the festival to earn its first ever serious traffic congestion in the festival’s history and an easy pass of the 40,000 in attendance for last year’s Eagles performances. Eclipsed by USA Today, the vibe included “families and hot young bodies. RVs and tents. Mechanical bulls and barbecue contests. Cowboy hats and T-shirts (and tattoos) with Americana messages.” Some were even graced with the Las Vegas theme, “What happens at Stagecoach stays at Stagecoach.”