Country Thunder Announced Another Dog Shit Lineup (A Rant)
Warning: Explicit language.
Every year since 2013, I have said that Country Thunder's lineup can't get any worse.
Every year since 2013, Country Thunder has proven me wrong.
I used to enjoy Country Thunder. I camped out for the entire weekend for the first time in 2012. I wrote an article on how to survive the festival. I've met some amazing friends camping out in years since. But with prices raising every year, it's hardly worth mentioning anymore. IT's hard to justify 500 bucks (give or take) every year just to camp with my friends. I barely wanted to go into the concert venue the last year I went (2016) except for early in the day when some folks with talent were actually playing.
Luke Bryan used to be the worst I thought they'd do: an artist that I used to be a very big fan of who decided to start selling pop music and shake his hips for annoying sorority girls. I didn't mind seeing him because hearing Do I brings me back to the innocent days of country, when bro country was in its infancy.
Then Florida-Georgia Line was announced for 2016. I had already bought my tickets since I had to get them before they hiked up 30 bucks. Eric Church, Chris Young, and Jake Owen were the other three headliners. Three artists I thoroughly enjoy. I skipped FGL with Kevin and we hung out at the campsite while they rapped and autotune-farted into microphones for two hours.
Then this year, they have finally brought in the worst of the worst, the king of everything wrong with country radio: Sam fucking Hunt. Girls in their 20s rejoice!! Bros who love wearing confederate flag shirts and cut off jeans rejoice!! The college students on summer break will flood Twin Lakes, Wisconsin in July of 2018 to watch the greatest hip hop artist on country radio sing about parties and women! Goodbye cowboy hats, flannel, and steel-toe boots. Hello gold chains, Air Jordans, and flat-bill hats. Don't forget to leave those shiny stickers on your hats, folks.
Sure, Luke Bryan is back, but I would sit through Country Girl (Shake it for Me) for 6 hours before you could make me listen to one Sam Hunt song on stage. Toby Keith returns, but that old boy could barely stay on key when I saw him in 2012, so I doubt 5 years has improved his stage presence. The one I would hope would be the shining beacon of tradition is Dierks Bentley, but people seem to forget that he has songs in his repertoire like Come a Little Closer and Trying to Stop Your Leaving and really only care to hear Somewhere on a Beach and Drunk on a Plane.
The solution to this? The Midwest needs a red dirt festival. Windy City Smokeout brings some of the best that Texas has to offer. Joe's Bar does the same. But those are day festivals and bars. While I'm not telling these pop country fans to avoid Pop Country Thunder, us fans of traditional music need a camping festival for some real music. I know we exist. I've been crowds of thousands enjoying Cody Jinks. I've been to crowds of tens of thousands enjoying Chris Stapleton. I've been to sold out crowds for John Moreland, Whitey Morgan, and Aaron Lewis.
Fuck Sam Hunt. Fuck Country Thunder.
We are here. We want real music.
Until then, I'll see y'all at Medicine Stone next September.