For the third consecutive year, the annual country music festival brings fans and artists together to help kick off summer time fun in the capital city.
The 2017 Taste Of Country Lansing event is the third annual country music festival type held at Cooley Law School Stadium. The stadium is most generally the home to the Lansing Lugnuts, a minor league team to the Toronto BlueJays of the MLB. Taste Of Country Lansing is arranged and put together by host radio station, Lansing’s own WITL Today’s Best Country! 100.7 and it’s flagship Townsquare Media along with local sponsors to promote.
The streets surrounding the Cooley Law School Stadium began to fill with congregating fans and tailgaters just before noon on Friday in preparation for the evening’s musical event. As some mingle around exploring new sights and sounds of the downtown area, some jump in line to insure a better spot for the evening’s show while others visit the pre-party at the NutHouse Sports Bar for a quick bite to eat and enter for a last chance drawing of meet and greet tickets with all the artists later in the evening. This year’s lucky winner for the meet and greet tickets is Marcella Lopez.
The festival event starts off with the playing of the “National Anthem” by Kurt Stone, the lead guitarist for the local opening band Brian Lorente and the Usual Suspects. Kurt is also joined on stage by the U.S. Marine Corps. Color Guard and a grand salute by the crowd.
Afterwards, Kurt is reunited with his band as they enter the stage for a short set of covers and originals written by Brian and the band. As a local favorite in the country music genre, many friends and fans come out to support the band as they take to the big stage. During his set, Brian made sure to thank the crowd for coming out and supporting him and all the bands performing. Brian also took a moment to thank his loyal fans for following him over the years as he is hanging up his traveling shoes at the conclusion of 2017 to spend more time with his family. With a forth studio album to be released soon, Brian shared a few songs from the new album while also performing the fan favorite “2:45.”
With the next act ready to take to the stage, the female crowd showed their presence as they forced their way to the front of the stage for that chance to catch an eye by the heart-breaking and good looking Michael Ray. In return Michael showed off himself with songs from his self titled debut album the before getting the ladies all excited with his first #1 single “Kiss You In The Morning.” He ended his set with his just announced second #1 hit “Think A Little Less.”
Eric Paslay the six foot red headed singer songwriter performs next with songs from his two studio albums Eric Paslay and Dressed In Black. Song choices in his set consists of “Friday Night,” “Song About A Girl,” “She Don’t Love You” and “High Class.” As a songwriter, Eric has penned hit songs for other artists that he has added to his show that include “Angel Eyes” by Love And Theft along with “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” sang by Jake Owen.
This year’s Taste Of Country event is the first time the festival has had two headliners. The evening’s first co-headliner Randy Houser comes to the stage showing off his guitar talents and bellowing out his baritone vocals. With four studio albums to back him and such songs as “Boots On,” “How Country Feels,” “Running Out Of Moonlight” and “Like A Cowboy” Randy keeps the crowd dancing and singing along throughout his whole set. As an added bonus for his Michigan fans, Randy brings his long time friend Johnny Galecki to the stage as Johnny jumps up to share his drumming talents behind the drum kit. Johnny is an actor best known for his roles in The Big Bang Theory and Roseanne.
Closing out this year’s festival is the second co-headliner Justine Moore. Justin is out on tour promoting his forth studio album Kinda Don’t Care by Valory Music Group with his latest single “Somebody Else Will.” With a whole stage production and extravagant light show, Justin came to Lansing with plans of entertaining the fans at no expense. During his 90 minute set, Justin performs all the songs that his fans have gotten to know from him. From his rock and rowdy, hold no prisoners “I Could Kick Your Ass” to the tender acoustic of “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away,” Justin is set to entertain all ages in attendance while including everyone with his debut single “Small Town USA.”
At the conclusion of the night’s festivities, everyone leaves feeling happy as they walk out singing their favorite songs from the evening’s artists and sharing stories to their friends of their evening. Just one more example of music bringing people together and making them feel happy.
To follow along and stay up to date with any of the artists or stay updated on next year’s Taste Of Country event, follow each of the them by clicking on the links below.
Brian Lorente and the Usual Suspects
Taste Of Country