The Band Perry, Easton Corbin - Country Thunder - 4/11/14
Photos by Benjamin Leatherman The Band Perry takes to the stage on Friday, April 11, at Country Thunder 2014 in Florence.
The Band Perry, Easton Corbin, & more
Country Thunder 2014
Country music fans in Florence were surely pleased with the way their weekend kicked off last night. Friday marked day two of this year's annual Country Thunder festival, and the night's lineup featured up-and-comers Mary Hoffman and Cassadee Pope, along with seasoned musicians Sawyer Brown and chart toppers Easton Corbin and the Band Perry.
When I arrived at Country Thunder, there were campers set up in every direction and thousands of people wandering the festival grounds, browsing vendor booths like Stetson and Jack Daniel's. Finding my first beer was an unforgiving and daunting task in the high afternoon heat, but after going through all the avenues for alcohol, I could settle in.
Cassadee Pope moved around the stage singing tunes from her album Frame by Frame, and interacted with the crowd in a chipper energetic voice between songs. After playing her first Top 10 single, "Wasting All These Tears," Pope thanked the fans and then KMLE for being one of the first radio stations to play her music.
Country Thunder 2014 attendees.
Before Sawyer Brown began its set, the band stood on stage for a short Q&A, where it was announced that they hold the record for most Country Thunder appearances. When their performance began, it was clear they were the act with the most experience.
Singer Mark Miller may be showing his age after more than 30 years of performing, but he can still get a crowd into their show. And I'm sure I wasn't the only person laughing at the Beach Boys attire Miller chose to wear. From the white pants and bright shirt, to the woven fedora, he was rocking it.
Easton Corbin onstage at Country Thunder 2014 on Friday, April 11.
A fiddle player somewhere on the dark stage teased the crowd around 7 p.m. when the lights went down. Short bursts of country melodies piqued the wandering fan's interests and people began to gravitate toward the stage. Soon after, an announcer walked out to introduce the next performer of the night -- Easton Corbin.
Sporting a t-shirt and jeans, Corbin took the stage with his band mates and an acoustic guitar slung over his shoulder. He looked extremely young and yet has a rich, seasoned country voice a la George Strait or Garth Brooks. In fact, the way he carried himself and the songs he performed all felt very veteran-esque, and speaking of George Strait -- Corbin nailed it when he broke out with the chorus of Strait's "Check Yes or No," to the crowd's delight.
A sampling of the party crowd at Country Thunder 2014.
Corbin's overall show was entertaining and exciting, while encouraging plenty of drinking and partying, which is perfect for the Country Thunder setting. A completely hammered girl standing directly behind me kept insisting to everyone around her that we all needed to pay attention because, "He is a lyrical genius." She then attempted to shout every lyric he sang at the top of her lungs. And we all know how unpleasant drunk girl scream/singing is.
From "It's All About Tonight" to "A Little More Country than That" and "All Over the Road," Corbin's array of hit songs kept the entire crowd dancing and in high spirits leading up to the headlining act.