Stagecoach merges rock ‘n’ roll and country

Stagecoach may be known as California’s Country Music Festival, however this year, the sold out concert brought in some rock ’n’ roll.

The three day festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio included performances by Tim McGraw and Blake Shelton. Saturday’s performances had several of tunes that got the crowds rocking ’n’ rolling. Texas blues rock icons ZZ Top and Southern rocker Gregg Allman were among the rock groups performing for the fans.

ZZ Top filled the Palomino Stage and brought along its own production with video screens on stage. The band opened with radio hits “Got Me Under Pressure” and “Waitin’ for the Bus.” Also, ZZ Top was the band most covered at the festival. Miranda Lambert covered “Tush” and Frankie Ballard covered “La Grange.”

“It’s refreshing to have a rock band at a country music festival and blend the two genres,” Aimee Van Nieulande said, a ZZ Top fan.

Southern rocker Greg Allman attracted fans over from the Mane Stage, while performing the Allman Brothers classic “Statesboro Blues.” Allman, playing with a large band featuring a jazz-savvy horn section, a drummer, and a keyboard player, gave an energetic performance for fans at the Palomino Stage.

“I thought it was the best show of the festival,” Margaret Cilano of Dana Point said. “Gregg Allman is incredible. His performance was so energetic and amazing.”

Saturday’s top Mane Stage artists Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley even had an arena rock feel to their performances.

Lambert’s performance of her hits “Little Red Wagon” and “Gunpowder and Lead,” along with covers of Led Zeppelin and ZZ Top added to the rock ’n’ roll feel.

“Country and rock have merged together this year at Stagecoach and I have really enjoyed it,” Molly Regan of La Quinta said.  “I think each year is has gotten more rock, along with more pop.”

Jake Owen’s Friday night performance included a cover of Sublime’s “What I Got,” and on Saturday artist Cassadee Pope performed Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” all on the Mane Stage. In addition, new artist Clare Dunn covered Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” also on the Mane Stage.

The rock ’n’ roll also continued on into Sunday’s performances with Eric Burdon and the Animals, who performed the hit “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” and blues rock band George Thorogood and the Destroyers, who performed their hit “Bad to the Bone.”

Headliner Blake Shelton wrapped up the three day festival on Sunday night with his Mane Stage performance of new and old songs. This year marked the ninth edition of the festival and attracted a combined 200,000 people.

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