If there’s one thing young adults in the QC look forward to every summer, it’s Fair Week. Summer nights, country music and the night of their lives with some of their favorite people. It’s the little things in life that make it one of the best times of your life.
This year, the Mississippi Valley Fair had big country headliners like Alabama, Rascal Flatts and Montgomery Gentry as well as well-known country artists like Chris Janson and Gary Allan who didn’t fail to disappoint. For the final three shows (Rascal Flatts, Alabama & Montgomery Gentry), the crowds were packed from the pit to the sidewalk to the stands, possibly cramming in as many bodies as the Adler or iWireless could hold. But no musical venue beats the vibe of outdoor summer fair concerts. It’s an experience you cannot miss.
Each artist brought their own style of country. Chris Janson brought his back-road charm, or as he puts it, he’s a “skinny redneck white boy who plays the harmonica like you’ve never ever seen” through his popular hit “Buy Me Boat” but grabbed the hearts of the crowd through his family-focused ballad “Holdin’ Her.”
Gary Allan brings soul and meaning to his show, especially through his hits, “Best I Ever Had” and “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain).” He wasn’t an artist whose music I was entirely familiar with, other than the songs above, but what I heard I liked.
Rascal Flatts was the show I was most excited for. Probably the most talked about in the bunch next to Alabama. I’ve been singing songs from this group since I was five years old, and knew every lyric by heart. And they did not disappoint. From the heart warming, “Bless the Broken Road” to their latest single, “I Like the Sound of That,” they had us all singing along to every word and standing on our feet.
Alabama brings back the charm of the South with their down-home country music that is nothing short of fantastic and generational. Whether you’re a parent, grandparent or a young adult, Alabama never ceases to age, and their music has you on your feet the whole time. This is a pit-worthy concert to get the southern vibe and excitement of the fair.
Montgomery Gentry was one of the country duos my dad raised me on. I remember all the times he used the line, “Five miles to school up hill, both ways…” on me to get me to stop complaining about walking three feet to the car. This group knows how to bring a party to a concert and get you on your feet, stomping along to the beat and belting out the lyrics. It was a good time!
That was the country concerts of Fair Week 2016 in a quick review, and I’d say it was a hit. I can’t wait to see what next year’s Fair Week brings to the Quad Cities summer nights!