The band held a charity concert in conjunction with the 3M Open at the TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, MN. Even though dark skies and rain lingered, fans still rocked out no matter the weather.
Lakes Jam 2019 has unfortunately wrapped up for this year, but the memories that it created will last far beyond the weekend. In just three days, the festival brought together country and rock fans alike, experienced campers and novice outdoorsmen, and party goers and festival newbies.
This year, Lakes Jam provided its annual entertainment beyond the music with professional drifting, lawnmower races, and watercross. These are always crowd favorites that allow people to do something during the day before the music starts. New this year were poker tournaments and a bean bag tournament that encouraged hilarious costumes from the participants. Also added was an additional stage in the campground that allowed local acts to perform on the old Lakes Jam stage before the festival grew bigger in the recent years. Lakes Jam is a unique festival because it allows plenty of opportunity for parties and campsite shenanigans, but also offers events throughout the day to keep the little more tame entertained.
As Thursday night rolled around, campers were packing in nice and close and getting acquainted with their neighbors. Many people encouraging others to stop by their site for a drink (or a few) and soon new friendships were born. The mass of people all started the trek to the concert bowl by 4pm to catch a newer country act Eric Chesser, then continued the country party with Jackie Lee, Lauren Alaina, and finally, Gary Allan. All the artists brought fire to the stage and ignited the people’s excitement for the weekend. Lee jumped into the crowd and took selfies with just about everyone, Lauren grabbed a guy with down syndrome from the crowd to dance with her to her song “Next Boyfriend” which made everyone’s hearts melt, and Allan brought together younger and older country fans with his list of hit songs.
As the sounds of the music drifted off, the voices of the festival goers got louder and louder as they headed back to campsites to keep the night rolling well into the early hours of Friday.
The sun rose to introduce a beautiful Friday morning that lead into the hot summer day. People hopped out of their sleeping bags and were ready to take on day two of Lakes Jam. Gates to the concert bowl opened earlier, giving people more of an opportunity to check out the stellar vendors participating this year. One new vendor, Twisted Tea, was the hit of the festival. Walking in, participants could attempt to throw volleyballs into giant bins, mimicking a version of beer pong. Successful throws meant free Twisted Tea swag. Additionally, they had free samples and several photo opportunities to share on social media. Other vendors included a booth to get tattoos, cowboy hats, t-shirts, and boots, and local organizations, such as animal rescue.
Friday’s musical line-up was a force to be reckoned with. Starting early with Mitch Gordon and Little Texas, people began pushing their way to the front of the stage. People’s energy levels went from high to off the charts curing Sawyer Brown’s contagious set. From jumping in circles, to cracking jokes on stage, to tunes that make you wanna tap your foot, Sawyer Brown gave the crowd everything they wanted and more. The night ended with two big acts, Scotty McCreery and Justin Moore. McCreery impressed everyone with his smooth vocals and big heart and he even watched two people get engaged during one of his songs. Moore did not want the party to end and continued his set to almost midnight, giving everyone a chance to hear all the songs they wanted. Sporting his tall, white cowboy hat and American pride, Moore’s performance ranged from supporting the troops, to songs about drinking too much, to covers of popular classic rock songs, such as “Home Sweet Home” and “Simple Man.”
Moore finished off the country portion Lakes Jam and people stumbled back to their sites, raving about the spectacular show they just received all day. As Friday came to a close, rock enthusiasts came out of their shell on Saturday morning in support of the rock line-up set for the day.
Saturday night consisted of five rock bands throughout the day, with the main acts being Collective Soul and 3 Doors Down. It is safe to say that the big names for all three nights drew in a huge crowd and left many of the country fans staying all the way through Sunday morning.
When Sunday rolled around, people were sluggish to pack up and slow to make their way out of the gates and back on the road home. Lakes Jam 2019 brought in more people than ever, expanded their festival grounds, and continued to provide entertainment and an experience that leaves people wanting more. With Brothers Osborne and Jon Pardi being announced for next year, Lakes Jam is going to be bigger and better than ever in 2020.
Thanks for another year of memories, Lakes Jam, we will see you next year!
Photos: Brandon Thompson and Matt Kennedy
Colt Ford Shakes the Saloon
By Alicia Pack
If you walk around downtown Minneapolis this week, you’ll find yourself surrounded by all things Final Four. Nicollet sports semis wrapped with NCAA banners that unfold into broadcast sets, and Final Four flags line every pole in sight. It’s March Madness in April all over the place.
Until you enter Wild Greg’s Saloon for a Colt Ford concert.
Trade your Jordan’s for Justin’s at the door because once you enter, you’re transported to a saloon that rivals the best in Texas. The bar comes equipped with swings instead of stools, a mechanical bull and a concert stage with nearly 360-degree viewing and speakers mounted just about everywhere.
After a quick lap around Minneapolis’s newest country venue to take in the sights, it was time for fans to settle in for the hometown sounds of Hitchville. The local foursome, known for their unexpectedness and lively opening sets, covered hits like “Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me,” “Speechless,” “Gun Powder and Lead,” “Any Man of Mine” and “Boondocks” as well as playing originals “Love is the Road,” I’ll Be Right There” and “Hole in the Wall.” If the band’s name sounds familiar, it could be because their music can be heard in between innings at Twins games.
Once the crowd was sufficiently rowdy and primed, Colt Ford came out shaking his hips and brought the energy and enthusiasm all night. Ford started strong with “Dynamite” and hit “Crank it Up.” Fans sang along to “Back” and “Driving Around” and compared truck sizes with the guy next to them during “My Truck.”
Ford changed the tone for a minute to remind the crowd how important it is to support our veterans who may be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and that the proceeds from every purchase of “Workin’ On” go to Marcus Luttrell’s Lone Survivor Foundation before playing the poignant tune.
Concert goers were then treated to a new, never heard before song “We the People.” Ford then launched into his favorite love song that he’s written, “Chicken and Biscuits.” He rounded out the evening with favorites “No Trash in My Trailer,” “Time Flies,” “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Gimme Three Steps” before finishing strong with number one smash “Dirt Road Anthem.”
The next time you want a little of everything: country music singing, rapping, hip shaking, fiddling and dirt road loving, get tickets to a Colt Ford concert. And the next time you want to do a little boot scootin’ and getting bucked off the bull, head to Wild Greg’s Saloon.
Photos: Alicia Pack