I can’t even begin to count the number of country music festivals I’ve been to in my life. And yet I couldn’t name one single moment that stood out to me as unforgettable.
Sure, there was that one summer when she sang that one amazing cover song. Or that time that he had too much to drink and said the F-word a lot. And then that little wardrobe malfunction you had to be in the front row to see. Or the time he got sick and couldn’t perform at all and sent his wife out to apologize. Hardly the stuff of music history books.
But Wednesday’s (April 23) USA Today has a cover story titled “10 Performances That Rocked Festival History.” And I have to admit, I’m jealous that we don’t have a list like this.
There’s the time Nine Inch Nails mud wrestled before their performance at the 1994 Woodstock Music & Arts Fair. And the time in 1985 at Live Aid when Bono’s U2 pulled a girl out from the crowd crush and saved her life. Things like that.
But since country is literally on the verge of festival season — Stagecoach kicks off this weekend (April 25-27) in Indio, Calif. — I thought maybe we could all be on the lookout for country-specific resonant moments.
Or the CMA Music Festival in Nashville (June 5-8) might possibly create some kind of legendary memories.
Other opportunities for the notorious oh-my-God-remember-when-that-happened nights include:
Country Stampede (June 26-29, Manhattan, Kan.): Eric Church, Luke Bryan and Chris Young
Country Jam (July 17-19, Eau Claire, Wis.): Luke Bryan, Jennifer Nettles, Jake Owen and Dierks Bentley
Cheyenne Frontier Days (July 18-27, Cheyenne, Wyo.): Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum, Gary Allan, Brad Paisley and Kid Rock
Country Thunder (July 24-27, Twin Lakes, Wis.): Jason Aldean, Colt Ford, Brantley Gilbert and Miranda Lambert
WE Fest (Aug. 7-9, Detroit Lakes, Minn.): Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley and Jason Aldean