Brad Paisley, Randy Houser + More Bring Party to Hunter Mountain – 2014 TOC Music Fest, Day 2 Pictures
Brad Paisley and Randy Houser‘s sets at the 2014 Taste of Country Music Festival couldn’t have been more different, but both men left the crowd wanting more. Paisley was the Saturday night headliner, but the ‘Goodnight Kiss’ singer was a bigger surprise.
Few can do what Houser did before Paisley took the stage. After his bus broke down, the 38-year-old was only able to muster a guitar and piano to the stage before his call time. It’s hard to classify a show for 20,000 rowdy country fans as “intimate,” but Houser himself said it felt like he was just sitting around his living room drinking beers and playing songs.
Paisley was the night’s final act, after sets from Craig Morgan, Leah Turner and more. He played for nearly two hours, working through his catalogue of hits plus a cover of Van Halen‘s ‘Hot for Teacher’ and several new songs from the upcoming ‘Moonshine in the Trunk’ album. DeeJay Silver joined him for a duel, both taking their turn with famous gutiar licks.
Fans who’ve seen the Country Nation Tour this year have seen the light and video spectacle that backs Paisley during his set. Captain American made a cameo during one song. Carrie Underwood showed up during another. It wasn’t the real, in the flesh singer, but a hologram that left many wondering.
A Steve Miller hit was part of Morgan’s hour-long set, but he mostly relied on his 10 years of hit country songs. The crowd gave it back to him during ‘Redneck Yacht Club’ and his first big single ‘Almost Home.’ ‘More Trucks Than Cars,’ ‘That’s What I Love About Sunday’ and ‘Wake Up Lovin’ You’ were other highlights. The Tennessee native was without his sling, surprisingly. Prior to taking the stage he explained how MMA fighter Dan Henderson was partially responsible for an injury that resulted in surgery, admitting that he should still be wearing the protection, but didn’t want to.
Charlie Worsham‘s energetic set included some impromptu crowd-surfing. Following him was Turner, the day’s most surprising act. The California native doesn’t yet have a hit to rely on, but she didn’t need one. She worked the stage like Charlie Daniels works a fiddle, bruising the floor-boards with every stomp of her high-heeled cowgirl boots. The new single ‘Pull Me Back’ was a highlight, but anytime she walked the catwalk to give it to the audience they answered right back with shouts and rowdy applause.
The Cadillac Three brought ‘The South’ to the north, proving that — as Friday night’s headliner Brantley Gilbert says — ‘Country Must Be Country Wide.’ Their set was the night’s loudest, with screaming electric guitar riffs leaning on the dirty steel playing of Kelby Ray. It was a rock show, but this country audience was not complaining.
Jamie Lynn Spears opened the day’s music, singing songs from her new EP ‘The Journey,’ as well as a few surprise covers. Her tease of one of big sister Britney Spears‘ hits was a crowd-pleaser. Prior to her set she admitted she loves paying tribute to the pop star, because she’s proud of all she’s accomplished.