‘American Idol’ crowns Just Sam the winner during finale

Just Sam (Samantha Diaz) is officially 2020’s “American Idol” winner. The 21-year-old Harlem native was crowned during the virtual season finale on ABC Sunday, May 17.

Local favorite Jonny West from Murrieta, who was the last Southern California performer, made it to the Top 5.

Due to the spread of novel coronavirus, “American Idol” fans were given a strange, shortened season. The show pivoted to remote performances from contestants and at-home judging from Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie. Fans cast their votes virtually for this season — the 18th season overall, but the third on ABC.

Previously, the Top 7 finalists had performed songs from their favorite songs from Disney films and delivered performances that paid tribute to their moms on Mother’s Day, before heading into this week’s finale.

  • Ringo Starr performs at Segerstrom Hall on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. (Photo by Kyusung Gong, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Postmaster was behind the counter at the Calico Post Office. He’s always dressed neat and tidy, but his office is a mess – and he’s always misplacing mail. This leads him to have citizens and visitors to Calico deliver mail for him upon occasion. He has not been robbed, “The Mayfields usually leave us alone, but then I’ve given up logic when the Mayfields are in question,” he said during “Ghost Town Alive” at Knott’s Berry Farm.

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  • Gold medalist Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland celebrates on the podium of the men’s individual time trial event at the Summer Olympics in Pontal beach, Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday

  • Gambian President Adama Barrow greets the crowds after arriving at Banjul airport in Gambia, Thursday Jan. 26, 2017, after flying in from Dakar, Senegal. Gambia’s new president has finally arrived in the country, a week after taking the oath of office abroad amid a whirlwind political crisis. Here’s a look at the tumble of events that led to Adama Barrow’s return â and the exile of the country’s longtime leader. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

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Along with West, the remaining contestants included Just Sam, along with 22-year-old runner-up Arthur Gunn (formerly Dibesh Pokharel) originally from Nepal and now residing in Kansas; 26-year-old Bakersfield, Calif. singer-songwriter Dillon James; Louis Knight, 19, from Philadelphia, Penn.; Francisco Martin, 18, from San Francisco, Calif.; and Julia Gargano, 21 from Staten Island.

It quickly went from seven contestants to five, as Knight and Gargano were immediately eliminated. The final five were granted the opportunity to perform one last time before the voting closed. James did a soulful, twangy rendition of Eric Clapton’s “Change the World” and the cover of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changing” that Perry noted sounded “more confident” than when he first sang it in Hawaii on the show. Martin delivered a sassy version of Harry Styles’ “Adore You” and revisited his take on “Alaska” by Maggie Rogers as fans in masks cheered him on from a balcony.

Just Sam impressed the judges with a powerful take on “American Idol” season one winner Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” and after she sang “Rise Up” by Andra Day,” Bryan said that the song was “built for her.” Gunn came in hot with Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Want to Be” and cranked out yet another version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” that had Richie noting he had “the best in style and personality.”

West broke out the keyboard for “You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down,” by James & Bobby Purify, and for his final song boldly decided to go with his original “Makin’ Love.” Bryan called it “radio ready” and Perry said she could hear someone like Mark Ronson producing the song. West was the final Southern Californian constant standing after Sophia James, 20, of Long Beach and Makayla Phillips, 17, of Temecula were both eliminated the week prior.

The home audiences were also treated to a performance of Perry’s new single, “Daisies,” and Bryan’s latest, “One Margarita” Sunday night and in the finale, Just Sam joined Richie and former “American Idol” contestants for “We Are the World,” which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year.

Before the show, the judges took to Twitter to talk about doing the show remotely and during a global pandemic.

“If you’re doing okay, help the person next to you,” Richie offered, noting that in a season of absolute chaos, the conclusion has come down to some amazing talent.

Perry said that although she was excited that someone would be crowned the new “American Idol” in 2020, she was a bit heartbroken for them in this moment. She was right; it was very anticlimactic having to do everything remotely with no big confetti finish, massive fanfare and in-venue celebration.

“It’s not like we can hug them,” she said. “We’re all just going to click off and it’s over. We don’t even get to go to Red Lobster or anything like that.”

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Zac Brown Band will headline Banc of California Stadium

Grammy Award-winning eight-piece country group Zac Brown Band will bring its Roar With the Lions Tour to Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles on Oct. 24 with special guest Riley Green.

Tickets go on sale at noon Friday, Feb. 28 via LiveNation.com.

ZBB is known for hits like “Chicken Fried,” “Keep Me In Mind,” “Toes,” “Sweet Annie,” “Loving You Easy” and “Colder Weather.” The band also likes to mix things up and blur genres by collaborating with non-country artists like Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters, Jimmy Buffett, Dave Matthews Band, Skrillex, Andrew Watt, Lil Dicky and the late Soundgarden and Audio Slave vocalist Chris Cornell. ZBB also has a large collection of Academy of Country Music Awards, CMT Awards, CMA Awards and iHeartRadio Music Awards.

Before officially releasing its sixth studio album, “The Owl,” last September, ZBB embarked on a lengthy tour that brought the group to FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine for two sold-out nights in July. So far, the record has produced two singles, “Someone I Used to Know” and “Leaving Love Behind.” The band’s frontman also surprise-dropped a solo album titled, “Controversy,” last year that leaned more heavily into the pop realm with a bit of R&B and even rap sprinkled in.

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Kanye West premieres debut opera ‘Nebuchadnezzar’ at Hollywood Bowl: Here’s what it was like

Kanye West premiered his debut opera “Nebuchadnezzar” at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday with rapper Sheck Wes in the title role — and it was as strange and occasionally awesome as you can imagine.

This, mind you, was not an opera that most people even knew existed a week ago. But when Kanye gets an idea, he goes for it, and so here we were for an opera based on the Old Testament Babylonian king with whom Kanye apparently feels a great affinity.

In an interview last month, West compared himself to Nebuchadnezzar, saying he saw similarities between himself and the old king.

This year, Kanye started holding Sunday Service performances on his Calabasas spread and brought the gospel-influenced hip-hop-and-praise show to Coachella on Easter Sunday. His album released in October is a gospel hip-hop record titled “Jesus Is King,” and the biblical opera follows in that vein.

So, let’s talk about what went down on Sunday at the Bowl, where the performance was set to begin at 4 p.m., with gates opening at 1:30 p.m., and, of course, neither of those things happened.

Early arrivals were kept outside the amphitheater while the performers — Sheck Wes, West’s Sunday Service choir, singer Peter Collins, and the group Infinity’s Song, continued rehearsing the show.

When I walked up at 4 p.m., choir members were in the parking lot behind the Bowl being distributed fresh pairs of West-designed Yeezy Boost sneakers to go with their all-cream or unbleached muslin-colored outfits.

Inside the gates half an hour later, crew members were spreading fruits and vegetables — Old Testament crops such as pomegranate, grapes, walnuts and persimmons — over a 20-foot long table.

And in the seats, people waited.

And waited. And waited.

Around 5:30 p.m., West tweeted a photo from backstage of Chance the Rapper and his entourage stopping by to wish him well. Tweets from the fans in the seats were mostly of the “c’mon and start this thing already” variety.

Finally, at 6:14 p.m., the choir filed on stage, some of them marching up and across a riser that looked like a giant sandstone croissant, the rest filling in the front of its open curve.

The musicians started to play and Wes, clad in purple robes in contrast to the choir’s pale hue, started to flail and scream around the stage. The choir sang what sounded like “misery” over and over.

Apparently Nebuchadnezzar is not well.

West, who never appeared on stage, narrated the text drawn from the Old Testament book of Daniel, from somewhere in the wings. Narrated while also live-tweeting a dozen photos of the yellow-highlighted Bible passages he was reading. Because, of course, he was.

The story, for those of you who may need a refresher, tells of Nebuchadnezzar conquering Jerusalem and bringing many of its people back to Babylonia. We saw choir members dragging other limp actors off the stage to demonstrate this.

The long table of colorful fruits and vegetables — purple cabbages really pop seen at a distance — gets rolled out along with one covered in grilled meat including lamb. Captives sit at the table to feast but one person, Daniel, is not down to dine at the king’s table, we are told.

Nebuchadnezzar starts to have dreams that freak him out. A guitarist strolls in stage along with a woman who sings in an operatic style.

Lyrics were few, or hard to decipher, with most of the singing seeming to be tones and harmonies, often quite lovely.

As King Neb dreamed, he sort of rolled back and forth across a rising and falling line of white-clad performers, one of several standout moments of stagecraft from director Vanessa Beecroft, who also collaborated with West in his fashion shows among other projects.

The king orders his soothsayers and astrologers and magicians to interpret his dream and when they can’t he throws a tantrum and orders their deaths.

Daniel is brought in to take a shot at it and “shew” the king the meaning of the dream, and while we admit to giggling at the use of the word “shew” over and over, that helped us to peg his likely Bible of choice to the King James translation.

Daniel nails the interpretation while the Sunday Service choir sings with truly impressive beauty.

What’s this now? Nebuchadnezzar orders a golden statue of himself — it’s rolled on stage and is pretty cool to see, an actor inside the shiny gold fabric atop the tall pedestal. He orders Daniel’s friends from Judea — Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego — to worship it.

They refuse, of course, and now we get the famous Bible scene where they’re thrown into the furnace. Nebuchadnezzar then freaks out and forgives them.

Soon he really loses his mind — and can we pause for a moment to praise Sheck Wes’s commitment to going nuts on stage? — goes into the wilderness to eat grass for a few years, and finally realizes that Daniel was right — glory to God, not any old king — and they all live happily ever after.

This last bit comes with not only the choir and actors on stage — probably 200 people or so right there — but also another 150 or 200 extras in matching costumes in the aisles of the bowl.

As Nebuchadnezzar’s soul is saved they all raise their arms aloft and West from offstage asks everyone to do the same. It’s an impressive sight actually, though really probably not what anyone would have thought they’d be doing at the Bowl on Sunday.

And that — after 55 minutes on stage (and live-streamed on Tidal), making this possibly the shortest opera in recorded history — was that.

At times, it seemed like there might not have been enough rehearsal time. As when West intoned, “And the king fell on his face!” — and then delivered the line two more times until Wes got the message and actually fell more or less on his face.

So was it actually an opera? Let’s say it’s more a choral performance art piece.

Was it something most Kanye fans are going to want to buy an album of? Uh, not so much. “Jesus Is King” has sold OK so far but there are far more comments of the “I like the old Kanye” variety on social media.

Does it show a Nebuchadnezzar-like sense of new-found humility in West himself? Hard to say.

But was it an event? Oh, absolutely it was that, and one the likes of which few but West would ever dream so wildly like Nebuchadnezzar to create.

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50 photos to celebrate Gwen Stefani’s 50th birthday

It’s Gwen Stefani’s birthday y’all!

The Southern California-native, singer-songwriter, No Doubt frontwoman, noted solo artist, fashion designer and current judge on NBC’s “The Voice” turns 50 on Thursday, Oct. 3.

Take a trip down memory lane with these 50 photos that showcase various stages of Stefani’s life and career. Happy Birthday, Gwen!

Stefani was born in Fullerton and raised in Anaheim, where she joined her big brother Eric’s ska band, No Doubt, in the mid-’80s. The band was signed to Interscope Records in 1990, but didn’t really hit it big until the release of its third album, “Tragic Kingdom,” in 1995. It was the band’s brutally honest songwriting and Stefani’s bleeding heart delivery with songs about her breakup from No Doubt bassist, Tony Kanal, and the empowering female anthem, “Just a Girl,” that thrust Stefani and the band into the spotlight.

The band earned a slew of accolades including Grammy, American Music and People’s Choice Awards and they even performed at the Super Bowl Half Time Show in 2003 with Shania Twain and Sting. In all, No Doubt has released six albums, its last being 2012’s “Push and Shove.” Stefani has also had a lucrative solo career, having released three albums and one holiday album. She did tour on her third solo album, “This Is What the Truth Feels Like,” and that included two sold-out nights and The Forum in Inglewood and closing down the beloved Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre in Irvine in 2016.

In 2003, she launched her fashion line L.A.M.B. Since then, she’s dabbled in high fashion and released several fragrances including her popular Harajuku Lovers fragrances, which became highly collectible since the bottles were designed after herself and her backup dancers.

In her personal life, Stefani married Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale in 2002 and the couple had three sons — Kingston, Zuma and Apollo — however, the couple divorced in 2016. Stefani met her current beau, country singer Blake Shelton, while the pair were judges on NBC’s “The Voice.” They’ve been going strong for a couple of years now and have even collaborated on songs like Shelton’s “Go Ahead and Break My Heart” and the title track to Stefani’s 2017 holiday album, “You Make It Feel Like Christmas.” 

After taking a hiatus from the show, Stefani is back for the 17th season of “The Voice” alongside Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend. The show airs at 8 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC. Stefani will also be returning to Las Vegas with her “Gwen Stefani – Just a Girl” residency at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. She has a slew of dates scheduled for October and November and just announced more in February and May 2020.

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Coachella 2019: Live updates from weekend 1 of the music festival

We’ll be bringing you all the latest news, photos and more from weekend one of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival Friday, April 12 through Sunday, April 14 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio.

You can also follow along on Instagram stories, find out how here.

Want more Coachella news? Sign up for our Festival Pass newsletter. Whether you are a Coachella lifer or prefer to watch from afar, get weekly dispatches during the Southern California music festival season. Subscribe here.

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Cal State Fullerton expert finds the Monkees were a steppin’ stone to cultural change

  • Rosanne Welch, Cal State Fullerton lecturer in cinema and television arts, is the author of a book on the Monkees.

    Rosanne Welch, Cal State Fullerton lecturer in cinema and television arts, is the author of a book on the Monkees.

  • Rosanne Welch is a lecturer in cinema and television arts at Cal State Fullerton. (Photo courtesy of Rosanne Welch)

    Rosanne Welch is a lecturer in cinema and television arts at Cal State Fullerton. (Photo courtesy of Rosanne Welch)

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  • “It was the critics who didn’t take their music seriously. But their music had legs,” says  Rosanne Welch, a lecturer at Cal State Fullerton who has written a book on the 1960s band and its television show. (AP file photo)

    “It was the critics who didn’t take their music seriously. But their music had legs,” says Rosanne Welch, a lecturer at Cal State Fullerton who has written a book on the 1960s band and its television show. (AP file photo)

  • In this 1966 file photo, cast members of the television show “The Monkees,” from top left, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, from lower left, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork pose next to their Monkeemobile, a customized Pontiac GTO. (AP file photo)

    In this 1966 file photo, cast members of the television show “The Monkees,” from top left, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, from lower left, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork pose next to their Monkeemobile, a customized Pontiac GTO. (AP file photo)

  • The Monkees were huge teen idols. When Davy Jones got married, it was kept secret to avoid upsetting his fans.

    The Monkees were huge teen idols. When Davy Jones got married, it was kept secret to avoid upsetting his fans.

  • Rosanne Welch met Micky Dolenz in 1986. (Photo courtesy of Rosanne Welch)

    Rosanne Welch met Micky Dolenz in 1986. (Photo courtesy of Rosanne Welch)

  • Rosanne Welch with Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz during their 50th-anniversary tour in 2016 in St. Louis. (Photo courtesy of Rosanne Welch)

    Rosanne Welch with Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz during their 50th-anniversary tour in 2016 in St. Louis. (Photo courtesy of Rosanne Welch)

  • This June 4, 1967, photo shows the Monkees with their Emmy at the 19th annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The group members are, from left, Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz. (AP file photo)

    This June 4, 1967, photo shows the Monkees with their Emmy at the 19th annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The group members are, from left, Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz. (AP file photo)

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She’s a believer.

And after Rosanne Welch spoke recently to a gathering of Cal State Fullerton students and faculty, many of them were left also believing that the Monkees, the 1960s boy band, had a greater impact on television, music and pop culture than they had thought.

Illustrated with slides of the Monkees with Paul McCartney and Janis Joplin, on cereal boxes and in pop culture references long after their heyday, Welch’s talk laid out evidence that the group’s TV show made strong feminist statements and advanced such TV practices as characters addressing the audience, used today on such shows as “Modern Family” and “House of Cards.”

“They influenced so many of today’s modern-day performers and yet people keep forgetting about that,” said Welch.

Welch, a lecturer in the Department of Cinema and Television Arts, wrote the book “Why the Monkees Matter.” She spoke as part of Pollak Library’s Faculty Noon-Time Talks, a series that invited faculty members to share their research.

Welch has written for the shows “Picket Fences,” “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Touched by an Angel.” She has edited “Women in American History” and written “America’s Forgotten Founding Father,” a novel based on the life of Filippo Mazzei, who is credited with the line “All men are created equal.”

But such lofty projects have a hard time competing with Welch’s favorite show when she was 7.

“The Monkees,” which ran from 1966 to 1968 on NBC, focused on the misadventures of a Beatles-like rock band, whose songs highlighted each episode. While the four band members were cast for the show, and did not play their own instruments at first, they all had some degree of musical experience and went on to play, and often write, their own music and record until 1971.

The show won two Emmys its first season — for outstanding comedy and comedy directing.

Welch got interested in the Monkees from a research standpoint when she was asked by Cal State Fullerton to present a class for high schoolers in the GEAR UP summer program, looking critically at a TV show. She chose “The Monkees,” only to discover it was far more innovative than she’d given it credit for as a child.

“In the ’60s, people in the know knew that this was something different and worth paying attention to,” she said.

She wrote a story on the show for a screenwriters magazine, tracking down seven of the original 15 writers, many of whom went on to win Emmys, including Treva Silverman, the first woman who wrote for TV without a male partner.

Then she wrote a book.

Welch set the stage for her CSUF audience by describing what the nation had been watching before “The Monkees” debuted: blander family shows such as “The Lucy Show” and “The Andy Griffith Show,” often in black and white.

Then she detailed what was innovative about “The Monkees”:

It contained social justice messages — something that got the Smothers Brothers canceled — which were overlooked by network executives who considered “The Monkees” a kids show. There were references to the Vietnam War, communism in Southeast Asia and the war on poverty.

“Timothy Leary watched and said it was far deeper than anyone else had given it credit for,” Welch said. The LSD guru wrote: “And woven into the fast-moving psychedelic stream of action were the prophetic, holy, challenging words.”

The song “Randy Scouse Git,” written by Micky Dolenz, included the lyrics “Why don’t you hate who I hate/ Kill who I kill to be free?”

“If that’s not a Vietnam War protest song, I don’t know what is,” Welch said. “They got away with singing that on broadcast television, in their hippy-dippy clothes.”

It took a progressive feminist approach. Sure, many episodes were about the four boys meeting girls. But every single girl who dated the boys had a job, Welch said. And in each case, we met her through her job first.

“They weren’t bubbleheads,” she said. “They weren’t waiting around to get married. I think that was an interesting message in 1966.” Never did the boys want a girl only because she was pretty; it was about getting a smart girl, she said.

In one episode, a girl turns down Davy Jones to do her job. Later in that episode, the boys get kidnapped and a girl rescues them, flipping the usual trope. In another episode, the actress Julie Newmar (Catwoman on “Batman”) guest-starred as the owner of a laundromat earning her doctorate (in laundry).

“If you were a girl watching in 1966, you learned that to get a Monkee you didn’t want to be a cheerleader; you wanted to be a woman of value because that’s who they would look at,” Welch said.

It furthered metatextuality, in which there’s a second level of commentary that makes observations on what’s going on.

In particular, the show routinely broke the fourth wall with the audience. George Burns and Jack Benny had done that when they talked to the screen, Welch said, but no show was doing it in the 1960s.

The series would joke about the action, such as superimposing writing on the screen to identify one actor as a friend of the producer. In one episode the quartet shows up at NBC’s offices.

“They’re letting you in on the joke,” Welch said. The younger, hipper audience could think “We’re part of this thing.”

She also pointed out the impact of the band and its TV show on popular culture at the time and since.

“There’s this idea that they weren’t very important and then disappeared,” she said. But a little digging shows they were culturally relevant then and still are.

  • They were friends with the Beatles, she noted. John Lennon would go to Dolenz’s house and jam.
  • Peter Tork was at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, where he was asked to go onstage during the Grateful Dead’s set and quiet the crowd. And the crowd listened to him. (Tork had played with Stephen Stills in Greenwich Village before Stills auditioned for “The Monkees,” was rejected and recommended Tork.)
  • Shows including “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” have used Monkees songs, introducing them to a new generation, as have covers of Monkees songs, including Smash Mouth’s version of “I’m a Believer” on the “Shrek” soundtrack.
  • Rachel Maddow interviewed Tork in 2012, after the death of Davy Jones, and gushed over how much she loved “The Monkees” and learned about the 1960s from watching its reruns on MTV.
  • The Monkees’ 12th album, “Good Times!”, released for the group’s 50th anniversary in 2016 was ranked by Rolling Stone magazine among its top 50 albums of the year.

“Suddenly it’s cool to like the Monkees now,” Welch said.

Welch met Dolenz in 1986 after a concert in Cleveland. She still has his phone number from an earlier phone interview, though it no longer works. Dolenz was her favorite Monkee, she said.

“My theory was there’s more girls in line for Davy, so I’d have better luck with the guy with the shorter line.”

Editor’s note: In the interest of journalistic transparency, this reporter acknowledges having constructed, in 1967, a Monkees fort in her closet, where she could daydream about Davy Jones.

 

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Stagecoach 2018: Brett Young played it up for a hometown crowd while Kane Brown and Lee Brice kept the party going

Huntington Beach native Brett Young had a lot to celebrate Sunday night during his Stagecoach Country Music Festival Mane Stage performance. Young played an early day set at the prestigious fest just two years ago as his single “Sleep Without You” was just breaking onto mainstream country radio.

Since then he’s dropped his self-titled debut which has spawned three more singles, “In Case You Didn’t Know,” “Like I Loved You” and his latest, “Mercy,” all of which he played during his set Sunday night. The crowd was fired up and Young worked the stage like a seasoned pro, bouncing from stage left to stage right, making sure to keep that interaction and intimacy with the fans even in front of a crowd of 75,000.

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“It’s good to be home, I love you guys,” Young said, a wide smile spreading across his face as he strutted the small catwalk clad in a Lakers jersey and a matching pair of purple sneakers.

He set the pace perfectly for South Carolina singer-songwriter Lee Brice, who also made the leap from earlier day Stagecoach act to second behind to Sunday headliner Garth Brooks this year. Brice has been headlining smaller country festivals all over the country, including the Queen Mary’s Shipkicker. However, he was ready for this crowd and this moment.

He spent years behind the scenes writing hits for artists like Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney and Faith Hill, just to name a few. He can rile up the audience with a song like “Parking Lot Party” and yank at the heart strings with “I Don’t Dance,” which sounded absolutely gorgeous out in the desert and under a full and glowing moon. Fans swayed along to his single, “Boy,” and roared back the lyrics to “Love Like Crazy.”

Georgia’s Kane Brown may just be 24 years old, but his Stagecoach debut was a pretty powerful one. Sure, he went out there and ran through his songs like “Used to Love You Sober,” “Hometown” and “Heaven,” but he shared a little of his background with the crowd before launching into “Learning.”

He let the audience know that he grew up poor, living in a car with his mother at one point and going through abuse at the hands of a step-father. His point was that everyone is going through something, so enjoy the moment and be kind to each other. Fans raised their drinks high and sang along, the heaviness of the message sweeping over them. They were uplifted again as Brown led into his No.1 single, “What Ifs,” with collaborator Lauren Alaina’s vocals piped in.

More from Stagecoach 2018:

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Keith Urban creates a memorable Stagecoach moment, strong winds kick up extra dust

It had been eight years since singer-songwriter Keith Urban has headlined an evening at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival and he more than made up for lost time during his set Saturday night at the Empire Polo Club in Indio.

Urban, who just dropped a brand new album, “Graffiti U,” on Friday, mixed a little of the old with the new in front of a rowdy and attentive audience. People were ready to party as he came out straight away with “Somebody Like You,” his hair majestically whipping in the wind as he made his guitar sing.

The Stagecoach crowd were some of the first to hear cuts like “Parallel Line,” “Texas Time” and “Coming Home” in a live setting. After nailing his hit “Long Hot Summer,” Urban, who couldn’t stop smiling, addressed his fans.

“This is exactly what I was hoping for tonight, Stagecoach,” he said. “A full moon, beautiful night, (a lot) of dust everywhere and my wife in the wings.”

  • Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban performs with Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban performs with Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

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  • Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A woman takes a selfie as she stands on a table as Keith Urban performs on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    A woman takes a selfie as she stands on a table as Keith Urban performs on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A woman reacts after receiving Keith Urban’s guitar during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    A woman reacts after receiving Keith Urban’s guitar during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban performs with Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban performs with Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Fans dance on tables as they watch Keith Urban on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Fans dance on tables as they watch Keith Urban on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban performs with Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban performs with Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban performs with Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban performs with Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Fans dance on tables as they watch Keith Urban on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Fans dance on tables as they watch Keith Urban on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban headlines on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Fans dance on tables as they watch Keith Urban on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif.  Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Fans dance on tables as they watch Keith Urban on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. Urban had special guests Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne appear as well. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Keith Urban performs with Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Keith Urban performs with Dwight Yoakum and the Brothers Osborne on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival Saturday April 28, 2018 in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Will Lester- The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

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Though “Somewhere in My Car,” “Cop Car,” “Wasted Time” and the encore of “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” were big moments for Urban, he created the ultimate Stagecoach moment when he brought out Brothers Osborne and launched into “Fast As You” by Dwight Yoakam.

Yoakam had just wrapped up his headlining set over on the Palomino Stage a few hours earlier and he wasn’t quite ready to hang up his cowboy hat. Yoakam came out with Urban and Brothers Osborne to finish off the song and the crowd went absolutely bonkers.

When Kacey Musgraves took the stage, the wind was at its peak. Security advised guests to stay away from the speaker and video screen rigs throughout the field as they swayed in the 30-plus mph gusts. However, Musgraves took it like a champ. Currently out promoting her new album, “Golden,” she admitted to the Stagecoach crowd that she fell in love and wrote a bunch of love songs, but in the same breath added “…but don’t worry, I saved some depressing songs for ya.”

She’s such a strong and rightfully celebrated songwriter. From her witty “Mama’s Broken Heart,” which was recorded and released by Miranda Lambert, to her latest country-meets-space-disco cut, “High Horse,” one thing is for sure, Musgraves just likes to have a good time and she’s a force to be reckoned with. She let the audience take the chorus on “Merry Go ‘Round” and busted out a dancey cover of Brooks & Dunn’s “Neon Moon” that bled into “High Horse.”

Brothers Osborne had a rough go at Stagecoach. It’s set was marred with technical issues from the start and though they managed to rock through it, disappointment came out in the form of sarcasm from vocalist T.J. Osborne.

“I promise we’re professionals,” he said. “I promise we’re working with professionals, I don’t know if we are professionals.”

His vocal was far too low, something the folks in the VIP pit let him know early on. Despite the struggle with sound, and later the absence of any sort of spotlight lighting, the guys were great. John Osborne absolutely shreds and even a guitar virtuoso like Urban seemed to be mesmerized as he was sitting stage side along with his wife, Nicole Kidman.

“21 Summer” was a great soundtrack to the sun finally dipping behind the mountains and sounded great as the sun set behind the mountains and “Pushing up Daisies” was another highlight. They closed out strong with an extended jam version of the boot-stomper, “Ain’t My Fault.”

Granger Smith made the most of his turn, keeping things pretty basic at the start and letting the songs do the heavy lifting. The audience sang along to “Backroad Song” and “Gimmie Something” and “Happens Like That.”

Midland, clad in their individually unique fashions reminiscent of pretty much any ‘70s rock band playing an outdoor festival, took over the stage and had some fun with the crowd who were ready to hear the guys’ biggest songs: “Drinkin’ Problem” and “Make A Little.” Their throwback country sound, choreographed moves and outgoing personalities make them instant favorites.

Related: See photos of the country stars and their fans on Saturday

“The wind is blowing, it’s so dramatic right now, it’s like a Western,” vocalist Mark Wystrach said, taking a swig of his beer and a good look out into the crowd, which was pretty filled in by 5 p.m.

It was the band’s biggest performance to date and they didn’t disappoint with their original songs and by busting out a tribute to the late Tom Petty with “American Girl” and closing out their set with Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page.” The set wasn’t flawless; a wind gust knocked over a mic stand and tragically the tequila shot Wystrach was saving to help lube up his vocals in the dry weather was spilled.

But in the end, that’s what made it a perfect Stagecoach performance.

More from Stagecoach 2018:

Read more about Keith Urban creates a memorable Stagecoach moment, strong winds kick up extra dust This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Tustin Shredding Service near me

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Stagecoach 2018: Florida Georgia Line parties with Yodel Kid and Jason Derulo

Five years ago singer-songwriters Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley played an early-day set at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio. The duo, known as Florida Georgia Line, only had a couple of hits at the time, including “Cruise” and “Get Your Shine On.”

The pair have since taken country music by storm, cranking out even more hits, such as “This Is How We Roll,” “H.O.L.Y” and “Smooth,” all of which they made sure to include in the setlist during their first-ever headlining set at Stagecoach on Friday night. It’s an important time slot as it helps set the pace for the entire weekend. It was a responsibility that Hubbard and Kelley took very seriously as they delivered the goods along with the help from a few very special guests.

First and foremost, 11-year-old Mason Ramsey, who became a viral sensation when a video of him surfaced yodeling in a Walmart, really upstaged Florida Georgia Line during its own encore. The guys gave Ramsey his Stagecoach debut, letting him sing his single, “Famous,” that dropped on Friday. Though he is so young, Ramsey, who was dressed like a mini Hank Williams, acted like a seasoned pro. He joked with the audience and delivered his new track with impressive confidence. Ramsey also made an appearance in the Sahara Tent during DJ Wethan’s set at weekend one of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Florida Georgia Line also brought out R&B singer Jason Derulo on “This is How We Roll” and kept the energetic performer on stage for his single “Want To Want Me,” which kept the audience dancing. Fellow Mane Stage performers Jake Owen and Chris Lane came out for “Sun Daze” and early day SiriusXM Spotlight Stage performer Morgan Wallen appeared for his cut, “Up Down.”  Unfortunately Florida Georgia Line’s partner on the song “Meant to Be,” Bebe Rexha, was unable to make the show so they piped in her vocals and Hubbard recorded the audience signing along to her parts on his cellphone so he could send it to her since she’s shooting a music video in Europe.

Related: See photos of Florida Georgia Line’s headlining set

The guys’ graduation from playing in the blazing sun to a sparse audience to a pyro and over-the-top production-filled headlining set was well deserved and there will definitely be more than a few Stagecoach attendees that will be feeling that party on Saturday.

The Friday Mane Stage lineup was pretty solid. Jake Owen has played Stagecoach a few times, but never as second to the headliner. He seemed overwhelmed by the roaring response to his hits like “The One That Got Away,” “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and his latest single, “I Was Jack (You Were Diane). “

He also played “Made for You” and prefaced the more tame track by noting, “I think this is the most people I’ve ever played a ballad for.” As the fans pulled out their cell phones and lit up the venue, Owen was definitely caught up in the moment.

“This is one of the most unbelievable things I’ve ever seen,” he said with a smile.

Owen was also captivating food guru and Stagecoach barbecue curator Guy Fieri, who was spotted dancing and singing along in the photo pit.

Related: See photos of the performers and their fans on Friday at Stagecoach 2018

Last year, Kelsea Ballerini came out with Shania Twain during her epic headlining turn at Stagecoach to sing “Any Man of Mine.” Friday night Ballerini held her own, making her first full-set debut at the festival, shining through songs like “Legends,” “Peter Pan,” “Dibs” and the track that really kicked off her career three years ago, “Love Me Like You Mean It.”

Chris Janson is an absolute madman. He’s a multi-instrumentalist and he showed off all of those skills on stage, ripping through his hits like “Buy Me a Boat,” “Fix a Drink” and his newest track, “Take a Drunk Girl Home.” He got a huge response when he launched into a song he wrote for Tim McGraw, “Truck Yeah.” Janson is a showman and so talented that it won’t be long before he’s headlining an evening at Stagecoach.

“Fix” singer Chris Lane also made his Stagecoach debut and got the crowd going with a cover of McGraw’s “I Like It, I Love It” and his own singles, “For Her” and “Take Back Home Girl,” which featured piped in vocals courtesy of Tori Kelly.

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Mane Stage opener Lindsay Ell caught a rough break. The Canadian singer-songwriter, who is currently topping the charts with her single, “Criminal,” was up against country music icon Tanya Tucker who was playing to a packed Palomino Stage. Dressed all in white with a bold American flag on her T-shirt, Tucker was all sass and energy.

She received loud applause after each of her songs and her smile was so wide as she relished in each moment. She squeezed so much of her 50 year career into the set that included “Hangin’ In,” “I’ll Come Back as Another Woman,” “Strong Enough to Bend” and “What’s Your Mama’s Name” as well as a mash-up cover of “I’m On Fire” by Bruce Springsteen and “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash and a cover of Tammy Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man.” It was Tucker’s first Stagecoach appearance and though it was early in the day it was a big moment and easily one of the top performances in the festival’s now 12-year history.

More from Stagecoach 2018:

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Marilyn Manson goes for a shock while Rob Zombie, Stone Sour rock at Knotfest 2017

Though the weather was cold, the ground was muddy and the sun was lost all day in the clouds, it didn’t stop thousands of die-hard heavy metal and hard rock fans from descending upon Glen Helen Amphitheater in Devore on Sunday, Nov. 5, for Knotfest. The second half of the Ozzfest Meets Knotfest weekend was just as crowded — if not more packed than — Ozzfest the day before.

Knotfest, curated by beloved metal band Slipknot, featured sets by Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor’s Stone Sour, Orange County’s Eighteen Visions, San Diego electronic rock duo Prayers, Testament, The Black Dahlia Murder and more.

In the 12-hours of hard rocking chaos we came up with the most memorable moments from Knotfest 2017.

Shock vs. rock

While out on tour in early October, shock rocker Marilyn Manson was injured when his hefty double pistol stage prop fell and crushed him, breaking his right leg in two places. Despite his very obvious medical walking boot, Manson made his return to the stage at Knotfest, first in a rig that was half wheelchair, half Segway that allowed him both to stand and sit and maneuver 360 degrees.

He addressed his injuries in between “Revelation #12” and “Disposable Teens,” telling the crowd, “I am broken, but you can’t break me.” He performed in front of the same props that had crushed him earlier in the year, though this time they were probably more secure. The flow of the set was a bit awkward and momentum was definitely lost between tracks as two men in scrubs and surgical masks would come out on stage and aid Manson into his next getup. “I don’t have to detail how much this sucks,” he said at one point. “I’ve got a broken ankle, but I’m still here. I’ve got one more foot to kick someone’s (expletive).”

The band breezed through “Dope Show” and the newer cut, “Deep Six.” Manson donned a hospital gown and hopped up on a gurney for his famous cover of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” Following that cut he was wheeled out in an actual wheelchair by one of the men in scrubs, only this time he was wielding an obviously fake semi automatic shotgun with a bright orange cap on the tip. His microphone was also rigged to the gun and he sang into it as the band launched into “We Know Where You (Expletive) Live” off of his new album, “Heaven Upside Down.” As he delivered the song, he pointed the gun at the audience, letting the drums serve as the rapid fire.

Coming on the eve of a mass shooting at a church in Texas, Manson could have had a bit more tact, but it’s Manson. He has always aimed for the shock value or to be provocative and though some that were in the crowd thought it was “lame,” the stunt didn’t seem to truly bother anyone else, especially with the handful of San Bernardino Sheriffs standing on either side of the stage.

Where Manson was clearly out for the shock value, headliner Rob Zombie just wanted to party and rock. And he did both.

Amid all the flashiness of the horror-themed stage set up complete with skeletons, monsters and more, Zombie and his mighty band — guitarist John 5, bassist Piggy D and drummer Ginger Fish — came out fast and hard with “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown.”
They kept pace into “Superbeast,” “In the Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High” and Zombie pumped up the crowd and encouraged the ladies to hop on the men’s shoulders for “Living Dead Girl.”

He’s literally the coolest guy out there sporting glittery bell bottoms, a cowboy hat and a fringe jacket.

Slipknot’s presence

Though the festival namesake and curator, Slipknot, did not headline Knotfest this year, its presence was still very much felt. Lots of fans donned Slipknot T-shirts, full-on costumes and grotesque replica masks from their favorite players in the masked metal band. Much like the first year of the fest, the band members themselves could have walked around in their full get up unnoticed since the fans are pretty good at copying their stage costumes.

Those same fans also went wild during Stone Sour’s turn on the main stage. The band is Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor’s successful and more melodic side band, one in which he performs unmasked. The guys ripped through tracks like “30, 30-150,” “Made of Scars” and “Absolute Zero,” while Taylor slowed things down a bit and jumped on guitar for “Through the Glass.”

Someone in the crowd obviously disapproved as in that moment they launched either a cup or bottle of liquid at the frontman. They missed, prompting Taylor to retort, “Aw, did you miss? I remember my first beer, too. Make sure to tell your mom I said ‘hi’.”

Musical meet and greets

Record store FYE set up a small pop-up record shop on site where fans could purchase CDs and vinyl releases from Ozzfest Meets Knotfest artists for $12-$20. The store also hosted two signing booths and early day performers, including Prayers, Warbringer, Goatwhore, Upon a Burning Body, Exhumed and Stitched Up Heart, logged autograph time.

Fans were stoked to be able to meet and greet with the artists, lining up early to ensure a handshake, a quick hello and possibly a photo.

Kilts everywhere

Even with the chillier temperatures, fans were wearing far more kilts on Sunday at Knotfest than they were during Ozzfest on Saturday. Patrons checked out on-site vendor PD Kilts and snagged brand new ones to wear throughout the day. Despite the mud and mugginess of the early evening, they wore them proudly, however by nightfall, a few admitted that pants may have actually been the way to go.

Metal in the Dark

Since Knotfest happened to fall on the first day after daylight saving time ended, things got darker earlier. That fact may have slipped the mind of festival organizers, since the side stages didn’t seem rigged for much lighting, which meant that thrash metal band Testament was playing in darkness by the time it took the stage at 5:40 p.m. It also didn’t help that it was an extremely overcast afternoon and the clouds began to hang lower and lower as evening approached. The fans didn’t seem to mind the metal blackout, however, as the band was slightly uplit from the stage, adding to the edginess of the performance.

Knotfest

When: Sunday, Nov. 5

Where: Glen Helen Amphitheater, Devore

Read more about Marilyn Manson goes for a shock while Rob Zombie, Stone Sour rock at Knotfest 2017 This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. SaddleBack Valley Shredding Service

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