Chesney, Brooks & Dunn Wrap Up Stagecoach Fest
The first Stagecoach country music festival wrapped yesterday (May 6) in Indio, Calif., with back-to-back headlining sets at the Empire Polo Field from tour mates Kenny Chesney and Brooks & Dunn.The first Stagecoach country music festival wrapped yesterday (May 6) in Indio, Calif., with back-to-back headlining sets at the Empire Polo Field from tour mates Kenny Chesney and Brooks & Dunn. Other performers included Sugarland, Gary Allan, Emmylou Harris and Kris Kristofferson plus more from the alt-country, folk and cowboy camps.
A bigger and somewhat younger crowd than day one, reaching around 30,000, turned out, mostly for Chesney, who kicked off his Mane Stage appearance with "Another Beer in Mexico" as fans hoisted their respective cups of brew in agreement. The party-minded set also included hits such as "Live Those Songs Again" and "Summertime," every one a crowd-pleaser.
Brooks & Dunn's set was equally hit-packed, keying on the duo's most raucous material and longtime favorites, including "You Can't Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl," "Boot Scootin' Boogie" and "Rock My World (Little Country Girl)." On-the-rise Sugarland opened with its current hot hit "Settlin'" and also played "Who Says You Can't Go Home," written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.
Performing earlier in the day on the Mane Stage were Gary Allan, previewing some upcoming material and spotlighting songs from his recently released greatest hits collection; heartland-styled Pat Green slipped U2's "With or Without You" into the coda of his own anthem, "Wave on Wave," while Jason Aldean pulled out a Guns N' Roses medley of "Paradise City" and "Sweet Child O' Mine."
The Palomino Stage continued to feature alternative country and Americana artists, with Emmylou Harris and Kris Kristofferson drawing the biggest crowds. Harris back by a small group for acoustic renditions, while Kristofferson strummed a quiet electric guitar and told tales between numbers.
The eclectic assortment also included twang-in-check git-steel player Junior Brown and gothic Southern rockers the Drive-By Truckers for the late-night crowd, as well as Alejandro Escovedo and singer/actor John Doe, playing his latest solo material and re-worked songs by his band X.
The Appaloosa Stage continued featured bluegrass by the likes of Ricky Skaggs and the Del McCoury Band, though the Flatlanders' Texas tales were more so country roadhouse and Marty Stuart played a plugged-in set that included his '90s hits.
Over on the Mustang Stage, Ray Benson's Asleep At The Wheel closed out the night with its Bob Wills-inspired country swing. During the day, the varied line-up included a chat with "Prairie Home Companion" star Garrison Keillor and folk icon "Ramlin' Jack Elliot. The back of the tent offered a walking tour of Honky Tonk Hall of Fame memorabilia.
A Half-Pint Hootenanny area offered western-themed activities for children plus a Lil' Wagoneers Stage that featured former Jason & the Scorchers frontman Jason Ringerberger in his Farmer Jason persona. In between the Mane Stage performances, guitars autographed by the stars were auctioned off for charity. Other activities included a mechanical bull, musical petting zoo and hayrides to complete the country experience.