After the first concert was washed out by rain, country stars Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell and Mitchell Tenpenny on Thursday finally rocked Stafford Farms in Richland. The review, photos at Local Spins.
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From the get-go, Take 2 of Luke Bryan’s West Michigan stop on his much-talked-about “Farm Tour” was a much smoother — and dryer — affair.
After the initial late September date at Stafford Farms was washed out by rain, thousands of country fans returned to the Richland farm on Thursday for the rescheduled concert starring Bryan, Cole Swindell and Mitchell Tenpenny.
Facing cooler October weather, there were more winter boots and beanies in the crowd than cowboy boots and ten-gallon hats but parking areas filled up early, with the event resembling the atmosphere of a college football tailgate: Fans grilled food, drank beer, played games and partied with those parked around them.
With about 6,000 people through the gate, Tenpenny took the stage a little after 6 p.m. as fans continued to pour into the concert area, eventually swelling to a crowd of about 16,000.
Swindell followed with a set full of his hits — including “Rock Brought to You by Beer” and “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey” — that had many singing along.
Bryan then deliver a set that showed why he’s been named entertainer and male vocalist of the year more than once.
Fans — many of whom had waited in long line for the September show that eventually was called off — were rewarded with the first-ever live performance of Bryan’s next single, “What She Wants Tonight,” a moment captured by many on their cellphones.
Bryan thanked the farmers and Stafford Farms for allowing him to come back after a thunderstorm canceled his first attempt at the Michigan “Farm Tour” tour, and showed his appreciation for fans for coming back for Thursday’s show.
Leaving the show, with dew setting in, getting out of the field was a bit tougher for vehicles than getting in: It took a little more than an hour for this writer/photographer to get from the back parking lot to the road, though police and volunteer firefighters helped keep traffic moving without anyone getting too stuck in the slick ground.
And fans left with a great message about helping feed America: Every time the hashtag #HeresToTheFarmer gets shared, Bryan and Bayer donate a meal to someone in need. To date, about 6 million meals have been donated.
Bryan plays Ford Field in Detroit tonight.
PHOTO GALLERY: Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell, Mitchell Tenpenny at Stafford Farms
Photos by Derek Ketchum