Baltimore, Maryland’s country radio station 93.1 WPOC kicked off one of the biggest concerts in the Baltimore area on September 29th. Sunday In The Country was an all day event with one hell of a line-up. Merriweather Post Pavilion was so jammed packed with country music fans that it was difficult to even move inside the gates. However, I’m pretty sure I had the best date in town. Courtney McCoy from the History Channel’s reality show Hatfield & McCoy: White Lightening was my guest. She is a big country music fan, but being from Kentucky what did you expect, right?
The Henningsens started things off. Due to a mix up at the box office, I ended up missing their performance. However, a couple by standers filled me in. Apparently they put on a good show.
Maggie Rose took the stage second. Her performance was lacking something. It’s not that she is a bad performer, it’s just nothing about her defines “country.” It’s very hard for me to take her serious. I tried to enjoy everything she had to offer but I found it bland.
Luckily, Randy Houser got things moving along. Randy was gasoline and the stage was fire. He was everything I expected. He is great with a guitar and his voice stayed right on track. He performed his latest two singles, “How Country Feels” and “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” which seemed to be the crowd favorites. He also did one of my favorites, “Boots On.” Randy Houser is what real country music is all about.
Florida Georgia Line was next on the line-up who I met before they went on stage. I watched as everyone scattered to grab beer or take a bathroom break. Obviously, no one wanted to miss their performance. I love their style and personality. Once they hit the stage, it exploded. The energy was incredible. I’ve seen them perform before and they are fire each and every time.
“Sunday In The Country was an all day event with one hell of a line-up.”
“Hell Raisin’ Heat Of The Summer” is always one of my favorites and every time I look around, everyone knows the words. The vibe is just amazing. You literally feel like it’s a warm summer night and you’re nineteen again.
Then, there are the songs that the fans live for such as “Cruise” and “Round Here.” They never slack off, each song is performed with a massive amount of energy. You can tell they enjoy what they do and it’s not just a routine performance. Every time I see them live, I become a even bigger fan. I had my doubts due to the fact that their music isn’t real country music but I gain respect for them daily, I really do.
During the meet and greet, a couple fans were very upset because apparently Florida Georgia Line doesn’t sign any merchandise. Their feelings are valid. If they can spend money buying a t-shirt or CD then why not spend three seconds signing it? I’m not sure what the reasoning is. I reached out to their PR for a comment but I haven’t heard anything back yet. I’ve met tons of artists and this is the first time I’ve experienced this. It was kind of sad seeing how much that bothered the fans. Hopefully, there is a reason behind it.
Right behind Florida Georgia Line was my all time favorite, Brantley Gilbert. Brantley put on a sensational performance. I have been a Brantley supporter from the beginning. He could go on stage and sing the ABC’s and I would still love it!
He started off his set with “My Kinda Party” which he wrote but became popular due to Jason Aldean releasing the song to country radio. Brantley is very skilled at what he does. His voice has an edge to it. His presence is phenomenal and his ability to work the crowd is insane. He performed a new song titled “If You Wanna Bad Boy” which will be on his new album. It was a nice little surprise that I enjoyed. He also performed the fan favorites such as “Country Must Be Country Wide” and “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do.” Brantley Gilbert put on one hell raisin’ performance. It’s like a drug and let me tell you, I’m addicted.
The last performer of the night was Gary Allan. This was my first time seeing Gary and I was overwhelmed with excitement. He came out dressed very trendy. I thought he looked very modern and cool. His lighting and effects were amazing. The backdrop was a screen that flashed lightening and thunder as he was coming out. I thought to myself, “this is going to blow me away.” I was wrong.
“It’s like a drug and let me tell you, I’m addicted.”
His performance was standard. He never once spoke to the crowd, just immediately went into a song. After the first song he went directly into another. When he did speak, it was simple. “This next song was my first number one,” he said plainly as he began to sing “Man To Man.” He just kept doing song after song and never really said much. He did own the stage though.
I thought his voice was astonishing. He is such a wonderful singer and songwriter. I felt he lacked a connection with the audience. I noticed a lot of people leaving during his set and it saddens me because the younger generation needs to know names like Gary Allan.
Gary deserves all the respect we can give him. Even though his performance wasn’t magnificent, I was still very blessed to be able to watch him perform live. He also performed “Pieces” which was his 2013 radio single as well as “Set You Free.” I enjoyed his performance but I did expect so much more.
In conclusion, Sunday In The Country was a success. I would like to thank WPOC for bringing such a awesome show to the Baltimore area.
Author: Brittany Vance
Southern WV born and bred who is a lover of all things country. She’s a mother of two and professional hell raiser. Brittany will pop in from time to time as a Guest Columnist who will present her unfiltered thoughts on the most recent country concerts and maybe an exclusive interview or two.