Lee Brice at Country Thunder 2022

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Paid for the music, stayed because you got stuck in the crowd. Victoria Baht

Here is one writer’s experience of the Friday night headlining act

During the third weekend of July, a big, well-known event in Saskatchewan returned. Yes, that’s right, you guessed it, Saskatchewan’s Country Thunder has come back! Here you will find some history about Country Thunder and a review on the Friday night headliner, Lee Brice.

Country Thunder was previously known as Craven Jamboree which is an annual country music festival that began in 1983. This festival takes place just outside Regina, approximately 38 kilometres northwest of the city. Country Thunder always is a great way to spend time celebrating in the prairies! What draws attendance to this event is the music. 

Normally Country Thunder has a line-up of musicians every day of the event, which takes place from Friday to Sunday. They have big headliners to end each of the nights, consisting of big-name artists that many people will recognize. This year’s line-up had some big names help draw more people to make up for the two years missed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The headliners for this year were Brice, Morgan Wallen, and Blake Shelton. For the remainder of this piece, I’m going to do a review of the concert performed by Brice. 

So, it’s Friday, and some musicians already played throughout the day. Andrew Hyatt, Kameron Marlowe, Tanya Tucker, and Lindsey Ell took the stage before ending the night with Brice. By the time he took the stage it was already late due to some wind and technical difficulties – it can’t be considered Country Thunder without some stormy weather! The show started around midnight and the music and experience was certainly a great one.

Brice, the accompanying musicians, and the tech teams ensured that the crowd had a great experience. A few of the things that they did to make sure the crowd was well engaged was having popular songs on their set list that most people were familiar with, having moments of upbeat songs and sad moments, giving each of the team a chance to shine and show their personal talent, and lastly assuring that the energy was high and lasted the entire show length.

When Brice took the stage the mood and the excitement of the entire crowd completely changed. You could just feel the emotions circulating in the crowd and the feeling that yes, this is what Country Thunder is all about, this is the first big moment of the event.  Now, if you know Brice’s music, he has a few sentimental, slower songs and upbeat, fun songs. 

A few songs that were remarkable parts of the show involved the song “Soul.” As Brice was singing this song, he took moments to walk around the stage, pointing at people in the crowd as though he was saying “I like my crowd’s soul for liking me and my music.” This helps to show the crowd that they are appreciated by the artist for being around and showing their support. Another great one was “Love Like Crazy.” If you listen to this song just on the radio, it has a slower rhythm and really emphasizes the lyrics and the guitar’s melody. But when Brice played this song live, he could tell that the crowd was ready to sing the song with him. So instead of being sentimental about the song, playing it in the way he initially intended it to be performed, he sang it with the crowd, matching the mood as a very vibrant happy sharing of love! 

Now, as you’re singing away, dancing, assuring that the crowd has a good time, you will need some water and a good break. Although, that did not stop the show at Country Thunder. When Brice needed a break, the guitarists and the drummer had their own jam sessions and song that they played on their own while Brice took a moment to collect himself. Not only did it help show different parts of the country music experience, but it helped get the attention of the crowd and show that each and every individual up there on that stage plays a key importance to helping run the concert. It takes more than just one member to ensure that music is played strongly, correctly, and with life. This is what needs to be noticed and praised for every group of musicians that accompany a singer! 

Not only were the musicians accompanied by great musicians and listened to intently by the crowd, at the end of the night when Brice was done his show, he left the stage following his goodbyes. But that was not enough for the Country Thunder crowd. Nope! They asked for an encore, and he did not just play one more song, he played a few more which helped show the power of the band, crowd, and the place where the concert was happening. 

Overall, Brice was an amazing headliner for the first night, and the concert was definitely one for the books. If you are a country fan and want to see a variety of different artist in a short period of time and for a decent price, Country Thunder is the place to get it! 

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