The 2012 edition of Stagecoach brought world-class country music talent with headliners Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Jason Aldean. The weekend dubbed “week three of Coachella” did not disappoint. Indio saw the crowd morph from hipsters to over 50,000 screaming and dancing country fans. For the weekend, Stagecoach was home to Rebel flags, every type of American brew, and cowgirls in skimpy outfits. Brad Paisley acknowledged all this by singing “This is country music and we do.” Here is a recap of the Top Five Performances over the weekend.
5. Brad Paisley
With impeccable guitar slinging and a unmatched stage presence, the Virginia-born cowboy Brad Paisley dazed the crowd with upbeat songs like “Celebrity” and “Online” and timeless love songs with “She's Everything” and “Then.” Not only did he have the all of Stagecoach singing along to fan favorite “Alcohol,” but also had majority of the crowd line dancing. No, there were no holographic images of Tupac, Hank Williams or any other dead great country artists. However, special guest Carrie Underwood joined Paisley onstage for their ballad “Remind Me.”
4. Aaron Lewis
Known for being the frontman of the high profile hard rock band Staind, Aaron Lewis brought his raspy country vocals to Stagecoach with a solo acoustic performance. This being his first big country festival, you could see the excitement in his eyes as photographers rushed in after shooting The Band Perry. Lewis did not shy away from being his rebel self and showing his true colors while performing “Red, White and Blue.” He even had the crowd screaming and yelling “USA, USA” after. Although this was Stagcoach, Lewis did not stray away from playing Staind's most popular song to date, “It's Been Awhile.” The crowd sang in harmony with complete passion. Lewis' set did not have flashy lights nor a backup band to drown out this back-to-basics country performance.
3. Blake Shelton
While opening for his wife Miranda Lambert on Saturday night, Blake Shelton stole the spotlight when he graced the stage with her to perform a breathtaking duet of “Home.” During his own set, Shelton started on a high note, walking out to the theme song from rebel dancing movie Footloose. After settling in, he transitioned to his latest single “Drink On It.” After performing his single he admitted he was nervous of the big crowd and added he took a drink every time he was “nervous.” Drunk or not, Shelton got funky with “Play That funky Music” by Wild Cherry, showed his crazy side while doing a county rendition of Bobby Brown's “My Prerogative” and performed a soulful rendition of Cee Lo Green's “Forget You.” When Shelton performed his first ever single “Austin,” it was like he had shot Cupid's arrow into the crowd.
2. Jason Aldean
Jason Aldean kicked off his kinda party on the first night of Stagecoach while performing his classics like “Amarillo Sky.” Either anxious or drunk, Aldean stumbled and fell at center stage while doing his iconic backwards cowboy crawl. No, it wasn't the most perfect performance to date as he did mix up lines during “Dirt Road Anthem,” but he brought the crowd to its feet to do what they all traveled to do, party.
1. Justin Moore
With his big white cowboy hat and thick country twang, Justin Moore put out a great effort on the main stage. This young gun let everyone know no one would get in his way with “I Could Kick Your Ass” and “Backwoods.” Moore then showed his softer side as he brought out his daughter, and said he truly knew what “Small Town USA” meant once she was born. He had to compete against the world-renowned comedian Steve Martin, who was on at the same time slot, but this country rebel stole all the Hollywood limelight from Martin. In his first Stagecoach, Moore rocked the stage like he owned it and solidified his place within country music.