Every July in Twin Lakes, WI, country music comes to town. Country Thunder brings some of the biggest acts together to create a four-day weekend that all who attend do not want it to end. This year’s festival brought headliners Jerrod Niemann on Thursday, Dierks Bentley on Friday, Blake Shelton on Saturday, and Luke Bryan on Sunday.
While waiting on the headliner’s performances throughout the day everyone was able to catch sets from up-and-coming artists to some who have been well-known throughout country music for many years.
Throughout the day there are many more activities to do such as taking in a breathtaking view on the ferris wheel, worth every bit of $5, visit your local radio stations to win awesome prizes including meet and greets for some of your favorite artists at the festival for the day, or head back to the campground and party until your favorite artist plays, find something great to eat amongst the vendors, and I even saw some taking great pride in finding some shade to take a nap. There’s also the Boathouse Cabana stage where entertainment can be found throughout the day to catch some new artists, and at night when the main stage party is over you can head on over to Electric Thunder and party until the wee hours of the night with DJ Hish.
Logan Mize is one of the artists that took the stage on Thursday, and he had a high energy set. This guy is incredibly talented and is one to check out.
I’m always super impressed with every single Neal McCoy show that I see. He’s a great performer, great with the fans, and he has a long line of hits everyone should know a few lines to. Cool moment in his set was when he mentioned he would like to sing “How Great Thou Art,” one of his favorite memories of being back at home and singing in church. After that portion was over he joked how the best way to follow up that performance is with, “Beer Goggles.” He’s not only a great performer, and great with the fans, but he is hilarious. If you haven’t seen McCoy, I’m pretty sure you’re missing out. See him, and if you have a chance to say hello to him in person like I did, he’s just as down to earth as can be. He’s the real deal.
Clay Walker has been in this business for a long time and his set was also extremely good. He’s another performer with a long line of hits and he made sure his fans left happy. Of note, he mentioned that he has a new cd coming out that’s been four years in the making. It’s gonna be good.
Another one of the highlights of Country Thunder 2015 was the incredible performance from Dierks Bentley. His set was incredible, it wasn’t only the stage set and the lights and the video footage to go along with his performance, it was the way Bentley has the ability to own the stage and follow through on making sure the fans get the kind of concert they paid to see. The coolest thing about Bentley is that he is so laid back and legit that he came back out after his set and walked the catwalk down in the VIP/Reserved section until every single autograph was signed. Having been a country music fan for as long as I can remember, it really means a lot that an artist is appreciative to the fans that made him who he or she is today.
One moment on Saturday that stood out was when Cort Carpenter owned the stage. Carpenter won a competition to perform at Country Thunder and he did so well he looked like he’d been there a million times before. Cool moment from him was at the end of his set when he passed out koozies and sang “Let Me See Ya Koozie.” If you’re not familiar with it, check it out, you’ll love it.
The Swon Brothers were one of my absolute favorites on Saturday as well. I’d never seen them before and they are certainly talented. Whether it’s joking with each other and flirting with the crowd, or singing their own hits, or a mix of pop ones…these brothers have all it takes to succeed in this business. Loved their set.
There is also no doubt why Tyler Farr had a spot before Blake Shelton….that dude can really kick some other ones right out of the water with his performances. He can move around and own a set, that’s for sure.
Sunday’s highlights included seeing John Michael Montgomery on the Country Thunder stage. With a strong catalog of hits, he made sure to cover all bases, even going way back to his first hit, “Life’s A Dance.” He mentioned he also had his family with him for the show and brought his son out to sing with him. It was quite an incredible moment to see a son take after his father, the handshake and the hug brought it all full circle.
Dustin Lynch is one of the most high energy performers that I have ever seen. He owned every single piece of that stage and knew how to work the crowd, even taking time to sign a few autographs during his set for the fans down in the VIP/Reserved area. He definitely knows what he is doing and left no doubt about why he has made it already in this business.
It’s always a sad thing when Country Thunder comes to an end, but on Sunday there was no better way to end it than with Luke Bryan. I saw him before he was the Luke Bryan that he is today, performing in a much smaller scale venue — a fair. But, there is no doubt that his past helped him become the Entertainer of the Year and performer he is today. His stage setup for each song, and the video screens behind, to the catwalk shaking, moving, grooving, to him jumping off of the catwalk to climb the tower with the lighting crew and give the general admission fans a taste of what his show had to offer was amazing. In no way shape or form did anyone leave that Sunday night without getting an incredible show Bryan. No doubt, he deserves the accolades.
All in all, Country Thunder 2015 left many memories for all who attended, and next year claims to be even bigger as they are bringing in Eric Church to the lineup. Fans of Country Thunder will have to stay tuned to hear more lineup announcements, but one thing’s for sure, it’s going to be even more amazing than this year.