Night in the Carolina delivers hot country music

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Deep in the heart of North Carolina, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll find the Tryon International Equestrian Center.  This 1300+ acre facility was transformed into a haven for country music fans from all over the United States.  From August 26–August 28 attendees enjoyed daily activities including Beer Relays, Ultimate Air Dogs, Vino Van Gogh (Wine & Painting), Rolled & On the Rocks (cigars & whiskey), a Maze Bar, to name a few and live music daily from late morning to well after midnight.  

The inaugural Night in the Country Carolinas boasted a completely immersive experience. Tickets ranged from single day general admission to Superfan, VIP, and Club 828, The Ridge, & private cabana options, each with perks; the best offers include access to an air-conditioned tent serving gourmet food and drinks, private bathrooms, and your own concierge.  The resort grounds were beautiful, and the venue was perfect for this kind of festival.  

Day 1. Lily Rose was the first up for the day. Raised in Atlanta but currently residing in Nashville.  She was signed to a record deal with Big Loud/Back Blocks & Republic Records in January 2021 after huge success with her song “Villain” after uploading it to TikTok and having it go viral in December of 2020. She played close to an hour set with songs including “Remind Me of You”, “Know My Way Around”, “Better Than That”, & “Villain”.  She also played a couple of covers from Sugarland and Jason Aldean. Technical issues were present, but she made light of them by saying “somethings don’t go together like liquor & beer, Red Sox & Yankee fans, guitars & sun”. I highly recommend checking her out as she has an original sound which I feel will help draw more fans her way and I’m excited to see her path unfold.  

Tyler Rich‘ was next and his set included “Real Love”, “The Difference”, “Here With You”, “Leave Her Wild”, the crowd was engaged, especially during “Better Than You’re Used To”, when he said “95% of you said it was your first concert & 95% of you were singing along”. He has previously toured with Cole Swindell, Justin Moore, & Brett Eldridge so he’s cut his teeth and is on to bigger things.  The audience enjoyed his performance, evident by the beer that was thrown up to him on stage which he opened and toasted the audience, telling them it “always feel like home when I’m in North Carolina.

Having seen Chris Janson live at a previous concert, we knew we were in for a treat.  He’s extremely energetic, I don’t think he stood still for more than a couple of minutes.  He’s proved his musical abilities by playing the guitar, piano, drums, and he is amazing on the harmonica.  Announcing he was the 215th member of the Grand Ole Opry earned him big cheers from the crowd.  He gave a highly entertaining set and performed many songs including “Redneck Life”, “Drunk Girl”, “Good Vibes”, &” Bye Mom”.  He ended the night with “Buy Me A Boat”, inviting the crowd to sing along.   We were excited about seeing him live again and he did not disappoint.

Last band of the night was Old Dominion.  I’m a big fan of their music so I can say they were another one I was excited about seeing live as this was my first time with them.  They performed “One Man Band”, “I Was on A Boat That Day”, “Written in the Sand”, “Song for Another Time”, & “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart”.  My favorite part was hands down when they all came to mid-stage, sat down on stools, and recited this history how they went from individual song writers to the band they are today.  Earning the first “bra on the stage” for the weekend was entertaining to them as well.  I would go to see them again.  

Day 2. The day started with Avery Roberson.  Previously on “The Voice” and a Rutherfordton native (just down the road) he has already begun accumulating a following.  Performing his new songs “Next Thing I Knew”, “Ringtone”, & “Lord Have Mercy”, he was nervous when addressing the crowd but seemed right at home when he was behind the mic and immersed in a song.  He sang a duet with another former member of “The Voice” Ethan Lively who happened to be in town recording a tune with Roberson called “What Country Boys Do”.  He’s dipped his toes in the pool of country music, I truly believe he’s got a lot going for him.  His voice is smooth and genuine and with the support of his family & friends behind him (especially if it was anything like I saw this weekend), he has a lot of back up to support him on his way up.  I’m looking for good things from him.

Next up was Heath Sanders.  He got his start from going viral with a cover of a Chris Stapleton song.  He connects with the audience by explaining his blue-collar roots that had him starting out in the oil fields.  It wasn’t long after that he posted the video that he was invited on Bobby Bones to perform live and signed a record deal shortly after.  He treated the audience to “Raised on Red” which was co-written with Dawson Edwards & Houston Phillips, “Common Ground” and a cover of Montgomery Gentry’s “Hillbilly Shoes”. He’s got a great start and I have faith he’s going to continue grow.  If you get the chance to catch him near you, I would recommend it.

Big & Rich – together since 1998 it’s always a party when they come to town.  Starting with DJ Sinister warming up the crowd.  “Rollin”, “Comin’ to your City”, “Lost in This Moment with You” & “Wild West Show” started off the night.  They honored our active duty, veterans, and first responders and even called a veteran Marine on stage to have a drink at the “Heroes Bar” they had set up and played the “8th of November” as a dedication.  They asked the audience to observe a moment of silence and prayer for all our armed forces and you could hear a pin drop in that whole arena, the silence was deafening.  Finishing up the night with Cowboy Troy joining them on stage for a fun dance medley, “I Play Chicken with the Train” & “Save a Horse”.  These guys are such a great duo and their music always means a good time when they’re in town.  

Miranda Lambert – I’m extremely biased with this one as she’s been a favorite of mine since she broke out with “Kerosene” in 2005.  Born & raised in Texas, she was a 3rd place finisher a tv program called “Nashville Star” and a member of another group called “Pistol Annies”.  I admire that she has always championed the women in country music, spoken her mind, & represented with southern charm and sass.  Her show on night 2 was wall to wall packed and for good reason.  She fully entertained the huge crowd with “Kerosene”, “Locomotive”, “Fastest Girl in Town” and “Vice”.  The audience completely sang every song with her while she walked the catwalk to address fans in the back and on the upper level.  When she broke out with “House That Built Me” the entire area sang with her so loudly everything else was drowned out.  She finished up the night with “Heart Like Mine”, “Only Prettier”, & “Gun Powder & Lead”.  I’ve seen Miranda 2 other times live and loved every time.  This was one I was absolutely waiting for. Miranda Lambert Photos courtesy of Acacia Evans

Day Three. The home stretch which was started by Shy Carter. Originally from Memphis, he has written for many people from Meghan Trainor to Kane Brown to Tim McGraw.  Giving the audience “Boom in the Boondocks”, “Good Love” & “Beer with my Friends”.  He leans more toward the Hip Hop side in my opinion, but his music is good and still gets you moving.  He works the crowd well and even called a girl out next to me after she yelled to tell him it was her birthday and had the band play along to sing “Happy Birthday” to her.  A good show.  Shout out to birthday girl Haeden Threatt, and her friends Tessa Norris & Taylor Scott who were attending from South Carolina.

Ingrid Andress came up next and to be honest here, she wasn’t my cup of tea.  I didn’t feel like there was really a lot that was country here.  I’ll admit her song “More Hearts Like Mine” is really the only song of hers I know.  She performed “Wishful Dreaming”, “Both”, “Bad Advice”, & “More Hearts Like Mine”.  Her sound is quirky and more progressive/folk, but that’s only my opinion here.  If that’s your lane, then I would recommend catching her on the road.

Chase Rice was third in line.  Originally from Florida but raised in North Carolina, he’s another down-home boy and the audience loves him.  He also was a football player for UNC, a pit crew member for NASCAR, and on the show “Survivor”.  He performed songs including  “Gonna Wanna Tonight” “Ready Set Roll”, & “Carolina Can” which he said “always brings him back home”, also “Jack Daniels and Jesus”, passing a bottle of Jack to a guy in the audience, right behind me coincidentally and this guy must’ve chugged at least 1/3 of that bottle.  Ending the night with his crew bringing out a big yeti cooler to the catwalk, he passed the beer to the audience and sang “Drinkin” Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen”, afterwards bringing a gentleman up from the front row and said “we’re not done until you come up here and shotgun a beer with me” which he couldn’t pass up.  He earned the second “bra on stage” for the weekend along with tee shirts, a small bag, and a bottle of Coors Light, all of which were thrown up to him during his show.  He has a lot of local fans and for good reason, he’s entertaining, has a great voice, and southern charm.

Last but most certainly not least, the final act of the weekend was Chris Young.  I’ve been following him since he won “Nashville Star” in 2006. His smooth, deep voice was made for country music.  He has a humble way about him that makes him very likable and his music style is more traditional country.  I think my husband think I have a crush but to be honest, I just love his music and I feel like he hasn’t gotten the fair shake that he deserves in the industry.  He performed for an hour and a half and came out after having lost his voice completely a couple of days prior, but he still wanted to show up for everyone.  Singing a good mix of his earlier and newer music he performed “Hanging On”, “Getting You Home”, “Who I Am with You”, “Hold My Beer, Watch This” & “Raised on Country” to name a few.  He also performed his newest single “Famous Friends” which is a duet with Kane Brown who showed up on the screen behind Chris to sing with him.  Finishing up the night with “Drowning” & “Aw Naw”.  He is one not to be missed if he comes near you and his music deserves a definite listen.  

 

Overall the 3-day festival was excellent.  The venue was not to be beat, they had amenities galore, immersive experiences to keep everyone busy the entire 3 days from morning to very late night.  The entertainers were top notch and the crowd came from all over to attend.  We met people from Arizona, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, all over North Carolina, and even Nick Tramone from Nevada who attends the event on that side of the country.  He was the grand prize winner of a trip to North Carolina for 4.  It was his first time out to NC, and he was loving it.  He and his friends won the Beer Relay on Friday and said they had met the nicest people since being here.  They will definitely be back, and we will too for sure.

A huge Thank You to Night in the Country Carolinas and Liquid Blue Events for allowing us to attend and review the festival.  Ya’ll put on a hell of a show and I can’t wait for 2022.

Review by Melissa Gibson
Photos provided by Stephen Gibson Photography unless stated otherwise.

 

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