Country Fest Steams Up Legends
Emma Terhaar | Sunday, March 2, 2014
“I’m still not a country fan, that guy was just a great performer!” said junior Lucas Sullivan, resident of Keough Hall, as he justified how much he enjoyed himself Saturday night at Legends Country Fest featuring Jon Pardi and Thomas Rhett.
Legends was packed, as it should have been. Both acts are breakout stars with recently released albums and chart-topping singles. On top of this, Thomas Rhett is a favorite for ACM’s Best New Artist of the Year award.
Jon Pardi started the night off, leading the event with a more old school country sound, without any particularly twangy or poppy undertones. The crowd loved him right from the first song, which transformed into a well-received set. When he crooned “Trash a Hotel Room” and “Empty Beer Cans,” my heart nearly exploded with happiness. The crowd was dancing around and singing along in a hot sweaty mess.
“It was a little piece of summer in the middle of this polar vortex,” said junior Hayley Johnson, resident of Lyons Hall.
Throughout the night, Legends collected a bit of steam from the sweat of the crowd, but it was a healthy and enjoyable kind of perspiration.
Things only got steamier when Thomas Rhett took the stage. He seemed to know that the crowd wouldn’t know all his songs, so he mixed in covers between his own bigger hits. As a well-known songwriter, Rhett tapped some of the pieces he had composed for his peers, while also pulling on classic country songs like “Friends in Low Places” and “The Joker.” Rhett even played some cross genre covers like “Suit and Tie” and “Beverly Hills.” There were so many of those awesome concert moments when the crowd knows all the words to a song that the performer steps away from the mic and lets them run with it. When Rhett played his slow, sentimental song, “Beer with Jesus,” the more tenderhearted members of the audience shed a few tears. Then, amidst a dynamic chant for an encore, Rhett sauntered back onstage to warm Legends with a final song.
With such vibrant and emotional acts, the combination of Thomas Rhett and Jon Pardi onstage left the event as a great memory for country connoisseurs and first-timers alike.