Nearly a decade ago, Dierks Bentley was playing the Mane Stage at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in the bright sunlight just after another up-and-coming star named Taylor Swift. But on Friday, Bentley was the king of the festival as he headlined the opening night of the festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio. We have photographic proof.
Before Bentley’s headlining set there were plenty of other notable performances, including sets from Cole Swindell and Elle King, who both joined Bentley during his show.
Long before Bentley took the Mane Stage, 19-year-old Bailey Bryan opened Stagecoach 2017 with songs off her brand new EP. Bryan told reporter Kelli Skye Fadroski about what it was like to play Stagecoach and what happened when she saw some fellow performers backstage.
Away from the Mane Stage, which draws the largest crowd at Stagecoach, there was a lot of really great music between upstarts and legends.
The highlight was easily Jerry Lee Lewis, the 81-year-old fiery rock ‘n’ roll pioneer who played to the Palomino tent at his Stagecoach debut. After being brought to the stage in a wheelchair, Lewis walked out with assistants flanking him. Wearing a white suit, Lewis sat down behind the glossy black Yamaha piano and played with verve. Early in the set, if you closed your eyes, you wouldn’t have thought he showed his age at all. And at the end of “Great Balls of Fire,” Lewis even did a leg kick.
The only disappointment was that he ended his set more than 20 minutes earlier than scheduled with a finale of “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.” As he stood up from the piano, he shooed away his assistants and with the aid of a cane, walked off the stage on his own while the crowd cheered, and then started chanting “Jerry! Jerry!” It was like an episode of “The Jerry Springer Show” without any punches being thrown.
Even more fans were on hand to see the Southern rockers in 38 Special deliver an hour of hits that included the rousing “Rockin Into the Night,” “Caught Up In You” and “Hold On Loosely” as well as ’80s adult contemporary ballad “Second Chance.”
Earlier in the day, The Zombies performed a harmony-laden stellar set that included newer material as well as classics such as “She’s Not There” and “Time of the Season.” Singer Colin Blunstone introduced another track, “I Want You Back Again,” as a cover of Tom Petty’s cover of a Zombies song. The band also performed a cover of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles “You Really Got a Hold on Me,” which might have made Stagecoach history as the first Motown cover.
Check out all of the photos of the performers from Friday.
Other highlights of the set included “Hold Your Head Up,” which became a hit for Argent, the band Zombies founder and keyboardist Rod Argent formed after the Zombies’ demise but was actually co-written by Argent and original Zombies bassist Chris White. While introducing the song, Argent said when people sing along to the chorus, they usually sing the wrong words, “Hold your head up, woah,” and implored the audience to sing along correctly with the real lyrics: “Hold your head up, woman.” The crowd happily obliged.
On the nearby Mustang Stage, Son Volt had an electrifying set that didn’t have as many fans as it richly deserved as Jay Farrar and company played a rip-roaring set. Earlier in the afternoon, Anderson East brought some soul to Stagecoach – complete with a horn section – with a batch of songs that included an impeccable cover of the Faces’ “Stay With Me” and a crowd sing-along to “I Can See Clearly Now.” However, there was no sighting of his girlfriend and former Stagecoach headliner Miranda Lambert.
It was all part of the Stagecoach vibes. If you want to know what it’s like to really be at the festival, take a look at our photos on the ground. Also, Stagecoach is very different from the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which occupies the grounds for the previous two weekends. However, both festivals share a love of Korean barbecue tacos.
If you’re at Stagecoach, here’s where you can get free stuff. Everybody loves free stuff. And if you’re not at Stagecoach, you can follow us all weekend long on Snapchat and Instagram or on our Stagecoach live blog.
Get ready for Saturday night, when Shania Twain makes her Stagecoach debut.
- These photos show you what it’s like to be at Stagecoach 2017
- Photos of Dierks Bentley’s headlining performance
- Photos of the bands and their fans on Friday at Stagecoach
- Live updates from Stagecoach 2017
- 5 differences between the Stagecoach and Coachella festivals
- Bailey Bryan takes being the new kid at Stagecoacjh in stride
- Here’s how to get free swag at Stagecoach 2017
- Ditch Stagecoach’s Mane Stage for Willie Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis and these other 8 acts
- How to listen to Stagecoach 2017 online
- Here’s when Shania Twain, Dierks Bentley and all of the other performers go on stage
- Dierks Bentley’s fired up to headline day 1 of Stagecoach
- Shania Twain’s Stagecoach set will debut new songs from first album in 15 years
- Stagecoach 2017 isn’t Kenny Chesney’s first rodeo
- How the Stagecoach Country Music Festival honors legends and upstarts
Read more about Stagecoach 2017: Everything that went down on Friday This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Mission Viejo Paper Shredding Company
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