Bonita High School

Don’t count out country from Southern California’s music scene

Southern California isn’t a place that comes to mind when the word ‘country’ is mentioned. California is more like the ‘concrete jungle’ mentioned in several country songs. Regardless of its reputation, there are a good amount of Californians who listen to country music anyway.

Last Saturday, popular country radio station Go Country 105.1, held its annual festival in Irvine. The event featured artists such as Sam Hunt, Hunter Hayes, and Lady Antebellum. The event was sold out and thousands of people packed the outdoor amphitheater.

The atmosphere of the concert included cutoffs, tank tops, crop tops, cowboy hats, boots, and other clothing items mentioned in country songs. One of the main staples of country music includes alcohol, and the long drink lines proved that the stereotype lives on in real life. Also, the parking lot featured big trucks and some were adorned with massive American flags. The wait before the main acts performed was an experience in itself with all of the characters walking the place.

The first act, Sam Hunt, came on while it was still light out but that didn’t stop everyone from having a good time. Hunt brought the shock factor with him by walking into the audience, without a security escort, and singing around the seats. The female fans were very fond of Hunt’s music and also his looks. Hunter Hayes followed up with a fantastic performance. Hayes’s musical abilities stole the show with guitar solos, piano ballads, and even an appearance of the mandolin! Not only is he amazing with the instruments, but he also has an incredible voice to go along with his music. The top-billed act, Lady Antebellum, came on with their amazing set displays and performed hit after hit after hit. The group consists of two males and a female and they all met in Nashville, reaching for the same dream, to make it in country music. They have definitely reached that dream by performing numerous hit singles in front of thousands of people in Southern California. They loved the venue so much that they filmed the entire concert for their upcoming concert film.

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Lady Antebellum performing their new single with Hunter Hayes 

The show got even better when Lady A invited Hayes back to the stage to perform their newest collaboration. A couple songs after, they exited the main stage and performed on a platform in the seats. The acoustic set on the platform was outstandingly real. They surprised the audience again by bringing back both Hayes and Hunt to the stage to perform a cover of “Walk this Way” by Aerosmith. The crowd went wild!

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Lady Antebellum with special guests, Sam Hunt and Hunter Hayes

Overall, the concert was a blast and was well worth the money. Country music is able to surprise its listeners and still maintain realness. Country is well worth listening to and should not be overlooked. If you’re considering listening to it, try the radio station Go Country 105.1 or look up an artist on any streaming device. Take some time to really listen to the lyrics because you might be surprised about how you really feel.