FORT LORAMIE —The good weather continued into Friday at the 39th annual Country Concert in Fort Loramie. Not a cloud was in the sky while temperatures topped out at 82 degrees.
Chris Lane kicked off the evening’s main stage performances at 4 p.m. with the song, “Fix.” Someone came from backstage to hand Lane a beer, which he promptly chugged, tossing the empty can into the crowd, before performing his 2014 hit, “Broken Windshield View.”
“Fishin’” followed, and Lane addressed the crowd.
“Raise one for the men and the women who’ve sacrificed for this country so that we can have a good time on a Friday,” he said. The crowd obliged, and Lane and his band went on to perform, “I Like It, I Love It,” by Tim McGraw.
Lane also gave a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to a lucky fan in the audience when he invited “a very enthusiastic” girl onstage.
Leslie, a young girl in a wheelchair, was escorted onstage by a Sheriff’s Deputy and invited to sit with Lane during a song he dedicated to her.
Leslie danced and sang along while Lane kneeled down to sing to her, putting his arm around her.
Granger Smith, featuring Earl Dibbles Jr., took the main stage at 6 p.m., followed by Gary Allan at 8, and headliner Chris Stapleton at 10 p.m.
Plenty of loyal Country Concert goers returned for another year of music, sun, and good times.
Jan and Steve Klausing, along with daughter Kasidy, have attended CC about five times.
“(Steve) works at UNOH, so they give tickets to the VIP tent on Fridays,” Jan said.
“It’s a nice school outing,” Steve joked.
The Klausings, from Fort Jennings, said they look forward to the trip to CC each year.
“It’s a great time for us as a family to get together and enjoy the weather, especially this year,” Jan said.
Randy McGraw, of Portsmouth, said he and his family have been coming to CC since 1997. This year, he came along with his wife, Lori, his mom and dad, and his sister and brother-in-law.
“It’s a family thing,” he said. “It’s good, clean fun. The atmosphere is amazing, and we’ve met so many good friends here. Everybody knows everybody; it’s a good weekend getaway.”
Alexis Lawrence, of Bluffton, attended CC for the first time this year with friend Caitlin Shuey, of Harrod, who has been once before.
“(My favorite part) is the drinking and food,” Shuey said. “Of course I love the concert too — I think it’s good pricing for everything.”
“You could spend this much on just one concert,” Lawrence added. “Plus, there’s also the Saloon Stage, so overall it’s pretty amazing.”
Lawrence and Shuey said they were most excited to see Kid Rock perform on Thursday, with Thomas Rhett as a close second. Rhett will perform Saturday evening as headliner of the mainstage at 10 p.m.
Friday’s Saloon Stage featured the USA Karaoke Finals at 10 a.m., with evening performances by Tyler Rich, Walker Hayes, and Drew Parker.
The Coors Light Homegrown Honky Tonk Stage’s Friday evening lineup included Mark Cantwil, Hasting & Co., and Kaitlyn Schmit.
Saturday’s Honky Tonk Stage lineup will begin at 4:30 p.m. with Ryan Mundy, followed by Thomas Mac at 7, and Noah Smith at 9:15.
The Saloon Stage will kick off with Ross Ellis at 12:30 p.m., followed by Cash Campbell at 2:30, Jillian Jacqueline at 4:30, Confederate Railroad at 7, and Walker County at 9:15 p.m.
Along with headliner Thomas Rhett, Saturday’s main stage performances will include Ashley McBryde at 1:30 p.m., followed by Dylan Scott at 3:30, Roots & Boots at 5:30, and Dustin Lynch at 8.