Written by Dave Clements
Jul 06, 2013 at 07:00 PM
ImageA Day In The Country turned out to be a Big, Hot, Loud and of course – Yee Haw – Very Country day in the country.

The Woodlands Pavilion hosted this year’s 93Q DITC event and, best this writer could tell, it was a successful one.

There were thousands in attendance with bodies parked everywhere within the confines of the facility. They spanned from right in front of the stage to the top of the hill and all points in between. Most of the crowd for most of the time had a fan in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other. What a novel approach to staying cool and hydrated!

Staind was up when we got there and although I didn’t get to see them my wife did and she was impressed. At some point near the end of the set their lead singer, Aaron Lewis, started reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The whole audience was on their feet, hats removed, hands over hearts reciting right along with him. Very cool move, guys. Well done!

The first act I saw was Joe Nichols. He was full of energy and spent most of his set trying to get the audience to get behind him and feel it too. His almost desperate effort to get the crowd on their feet, clap their hands, sway to the music was distracting to me and took away from the show.

Joe was in good form, actually the best I’d ever seen him. He could have just played his songs and I think this crowd would have come along on their own.

ImageHe shared with us that about three years ago he moved to Texas, just up the road (Tyler, TX) and since then he it appears he is losing some of his Nashville tendencies. Here’s hoping that trend continues.

He worked through his past hits and some new stuff including Sunny and 75 that the crowd all liked. And, of course, he ended with fan favorite Tequilla Makes Her Clothes Fall Off.

I thought the highlight of his time on stage was when he was singing the lyrics from his song Brokenheartsville “…..here is to the girl that wrecked my world” and pointed back to his wife and young daughters who were sitting on the edge of the stage. Love those personal touches, Joe. Moves like that get you a BIG Texas ‘At a Boy’!

Easton ‘A Little More Country Than That’ Corbin hit it big with that song about three plus years ago. The Florida born turned Nashville resident has steadily been moving up the Country food chain since that time. I think he did an admirable job in the pre-headliner slot although it wasn’t clear to me how he was going to pull it off.

It took several covers during his hour plus set to keep things going and he leaned heavily on Mr. Alan Jackson with Where I Come From, and Chattahoochee, Gary Allen’s Watching Airplanes and Brooks & Dunn’s Brand New Man. It was probably a smart thing to do as the crowd seems to enjoy the tunes and it helped him with ‘Killing Time’. Maybe he should have thrown in a little Clint Black to boot!

ImageOne final Easton Corbin note – When I first heard him on the radio I really liked his voice and certainly he had a little George Strait sound going for him. I think he still does but it was hard to tell in this set. His vocals were muffled and it was only when the band backed off and just let his promising voice ring through.

Local boys made good, make that really good, the Eli Young Band from Tomball were the night’s headliners. Who would have thought that these guys with such humble beginning would draw over 10,000 people and be touring nationwide routinely? Well they did and they are. Wow, what a difference a few years has made! I last photographed them at a ZiegenBock Festival at the Race Park and now they have a full production stage show with all the lights, crafted set and big ass Eli Young sign that sprawled across the entire back of the stage.

I like their tunes, especially Always The Love Song, When It Rains, and Crazy Girl. However, in spite of their personal appeal to me, on the whole this show was too loud and the effect was it pulled focus away from the music and their talent. I don’t know if it was on purpose or a mistake but they over cooked the amps and caused me to step away from what most just decided to stay and endure.   Perhaps at that point of the evening some of the boom was soaked up by the beer.  Did I mention the event was sponsored by Bud Light?

Until next time remember there is no time to kill!