A day of sunshine provided necessary relief after several days of rain at Country USA. It didn’t help the muddy conditions but it certainly improved the mood of all those in attendance to see Rascal Flatts headline on Friday night.
Diamond Rio brought their bluegrass influenced style Friday evening to warm up the crowd for Easton Corbin and Rascal Flatts. They had plenty of material to cram into their hour time-slot, having charted 32 singles in their career. Still touring with its original members, Marty Roe (lead vocals) rolled through a handful of hits in an opening montage before getting to favorites Meet in the Middle, How Your Love Makes Me Feel, One More Day, Beautiful Mess, and I Believe and apologized if they didn’t get to everyone’s particular favorite.
Easton Corbin is a country boy from Florida. Granted, when you think of a country artists Florda might be the last place you’d think, but Easton is a rising star in country music and only released one album thus far. He is most noted for his biggest hits to date, I am a Little More Country Than That and Roll with It off his self-titled debut that was released in March 2010. He’s still riding high on the very successful album, having toured with Brad Paisley, and was primed to open for Rascal Flatts tonight as he has been doing on the current Flatts Fest tour.
Corbin carries a very traditional country sound, enough that many radio station (and especially fans in Texas) refer to him as George Strait Jr. Corbin’s performance of his playful song Don’t Ask Me About A Woman suggests wisdom beyond his years as one lyric states, “that’s some complicated stuff, they ain’t made to figure out, they’re just made to love.” Corbin also displayed strong and emotional-filled vocals on I Can’t Love You Back. During his set he played all but two songs off his album added a new song Tulsa, Texas.
Easton Corbin Photo Gallery:
It’s hard to believe that Rascal Flatts has been around since 2000. They’ve come such a long way from being live performers in Chely Wright’s band to country superstars and headliners. Their latest release, Nothing like This, marked a new era for Rascal Flatts by signing with Big Machine Records. The namesake track off the album also gave the trio their eleventh #1 single on the country music charts.
So what did Rascal Flatts do to celebrate? Hit the road of course! They’ve been headlining the Nothing Like This Tour and Flatts Fest this summer. They also presented Country USA with a stunning audiovisual headlining display. The band entered from doors atop staircases that projected from the rear of the stage and the trio positioned themselves in front of three drums kits perched at the forward portion of the stage. The lights dimmed and all three played causing the drums to light when struck–Vegas meet Oshkosh. It also gave the crowd a needed jolt as they took the stage a little after 11 pm and 30 minutes past their expected starting time.
The drums seemingly disappeared as they moved into Why Wait. Vocalist Gary LeVox moved back and forth across the stage as though he was trying to project out to farthest reaches of the festival grounds. Their set was limited to just over an hour, consistent with the other headliners and perhaps one feature that should be changed. A suggestion would be to add a second stage to keep a continuous flow of music throughout the day; and this should be coupled with a minimum 90-minute to two-hour headlining slot. Despite the relatively short set, Rascal Flatts were able to include Fast Cars and Freedom, What Hurts the Most, Me and My Gang, and Bless the Broken Road. They played an energetic set and perhaps the most entertaining through the first four days of Country USA.
Rascal Flatts Photo Gallery:
Easton Corbin Setlist:
1. The Way Love Looks
2. Don’t Ask Me ‘Bout a Woman
3. A Little More Country Than That
4. Put A Girl In It (Brooks & Dunn cover)
5. This Far From Memphis
6. It Must Be Love (Don Williams cover)
7. Leaving A Lonely Town
8. A Lot to Learn About Livin’
9. Watching Airplanes (Gary Allan cover)
10. Tulsa, Texas
11. I Can’t Love You Back
12. Don’t Happen Twice (Kenny Chesney cover)
13. That’ll Make You Wanna Drink
14. Roll With It
Rascal Flatts Setlist
1. Why Wait
2. Me and My Gang
3. Summer Nights
4. Bless the Broken Road
7. Life is a Highway (Tom Cochrane cover)
8. Fast Cars and Freedom
9. Take Me There
10. What Hurts the Most
11. Bob That Head
12. I Won’t Let Go
13. Dancing on the Ceiling