So myself, and about 75,000 other people, just had the best weekend of the year. Last weekend, April 24th and 25th, 2010 Indio, Ca. beckoned good time charlies and country music fans from all over America to come to the fourth annual Stagecoah Music Festival.
If you didn’t go, here’s the list of acts that you missed;
Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Brooks & Dunn and Sugarland joined by Billy Currington, Gary Allan, Phil Vassar, Merle Haggard, The Oak Ridge Boys, Jamey Johnson, Ray Price, Carlene Carter, Joey + Rory, BJ Thomas, The Avett Brothers, Bobby Bare, Nick 13, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Baxter Black, Steel Drivers, Easton Corbin, Mallary Hope, Chuck Mead, Mary Gauthier, Bill Anderson, Waddie Mitchell and Trampled By Turtles
Stagecoach, country’s answer to the storied indie-rock desert ‘fest Coachella, did us good this year with the acts they chose. There were, of course the heavy-hitters of pop-radio-Nashvillesqe type country acts like Brooks & Dunn, Toby Keith, Sugarland, etc.. but they also kept it real when they invited pillars of the genre like Merle Haggard, The Oak Ridge Boys, and of course Little Jimmy Dickens. Coachella/Stagecoach promoters, Goldenvoice, also took into consideration the leftover hipsters that were still in the area from Coachella 5 days earlier when they invited The Avett Brothers (who also played Coachella), Nick 13 (front man of psychobilly band Tiger Army), Trampled by Turtles, and Truth & Salvage Company.
A few highlights;
Keith Urban – Despite the fact that Keith feels he must superimpose 2 minute solos in every song he plays, he rocked the masses asses. Hit after hit after hit, Keith (frosted tips and all) kept show goers engaged. No doubt the highlight of Urban’s set was, while his band was still playing, guitar still strapped over his shoulder, he ran off stage about 100 yards to a little make shift stage where he became engulfed with the fans who were at arms length of their favorite Aussie country rocker. Urban went on to play about 3 songs from said stage and then returned. Urban’s set was responded to by an overwhelming standing ovation, cause people like that kind of stuff.
Sugarland – Sugarland, these two just do it right. Sometimes Jennifer Nettle’s voice is a little annoying, but that was neutralized by the fact that she is just such a babe. At one point Nettles pulled out a crispy brand new guitar, grabbed a marker and drew the Sugarland logo (little heart with wings) on it, then signed it, and handed it off to her counter-part Kristian Bush, who then added his signature and, like Urban, took off to the crowd and handed one lucky girl the guitar (although I kept me eyes on the supposed lucky lady, but I think there was a bit of a scuffle over the guitar. Geeze Sugarland, why you gotta’ start stuff?).
Little Jimmy Dickens – Every year the good people at Stagecoach bring some pillars of the genre (last year it was father of bluegrass banjo, Mr. Earl Scruggs), and this year was no exception when they brought Little Jimmy Dickens. Dickens, age 89, stands 4 foot 11 inches, boasted a shimmering bedazzled country-western purple suit like no one else Id ever seen. You might know of Dickens from his various cameos on country music awards and Brad paisley videos, but the little guy does play music himself. However, Dickens didn’t play much at Stagecoach, he was a little more engrossed with his mini comedy shtick that he does between songs. Dickens was cool, just because, well, he’s 89 and 4”11.
The Avett Brothers – The Avett Brothers played on the smaller Palomino Stage that was a tent room full of old timers who were waiting for forthcoming The Oak Ridge Boys set. So these old timers sitting on their lawn chairs didn’t like when the slew of young hipster-country-rockers filled in every square inch of unspoken for reality in front of the stage. The Avett Brothers with their new main stream success in the pop-genre decided to ditch their piano for their set, and ill tell you, these ol boys stomped, spitted, and screamed their throats raw for the eager audience of new fans.Im pretty sure they gained about 2,000 new fans. PS Scott Avett is my man-crush.
Billy Currington – He tried to hard to be sexy when he sang, but it just looked like he had to drop a deuce.
The old lady who deemed it necessary to only wear her Target bikini and shimmering chaps – This was very bad, I tried to snap a picture but chickened out.