Let’s get one thing straight: Country music is one of my favorite things on this fucking planet. The first song, at least to my knowledge, that I knew all the words to was “That Summer” by Garth Brooks. You can almost say that I was raised on country music. SO, for anyone who doesn’t like it, kindly reference the image below:
ANYWAYYYYYYYYY. This summer, my dad (shoutout to Poppa Pat) was kind enough to buy me the Country Mega Ticket for Jones Beach Theatre. The head acts for the six concerts were Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line (yak), Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley and Luke Brayn. Honestly, this lineup was so crazy if I didn’t get the package, I still would’ve bought tickets for 4/6 shows.
Now, I say 4/6 because there is a 0% chance I ever spend money to see Florida Georgia Line. I’m completely serious when I say that I will never spend money to see them perform live, like ever. Personally, all their music sounds the same, their country accents seem unbelievably forced, and I just refuse to be subject to any of it (sorry, but definitely not fucking sorry). As for Lady A, I just was not interested in going. I’m sure they’re very good live, my mom has told me they are, but I had 0 interest in seeing a band that only ever made me feel all the emotions listening to “Need You Now.”
So here we are: the four concerts I attended and where I think they stand, ranked from we’ll call it the worst to the best.
4. Luke Bryan
I’m sorry, Luke. I really, really am. This concert was the last one of the summer, coming allllllll the way in at the end of August. It was a good way to wrap up the summer, but Luke, my guy, you needed more vocal rest than you were given. In the nights before the Jones Beach venue, Luke (and Brett Eldridge and the other opener whose name I don’t remember) played three concerts on back-to-back-to-back nights. Brett Eldridge sounded phenomenal, even better than I thought he was going to be. But Luke, my sweet Luke, you needed time. I will say though, I’m glad he was not as intoxicated as he was the last time I saw him (where he legitimately fell off the stage and into the crowd because he was so trashed). Honestly, my favorite part of this concert was Brett’s opening performance.Five “Star” Rating: 🎵🎵 (but a full 🎵🎵🎵🎵🎵 for Brett)
3. Brad Paisley
This is the concert I was most excited for. Of the four concerts I’m ranking, Brad was the only one I’ve never seen live before. He fucking shreds on the guitar like nobody’s business, and has a voice fit for an angel. Not to mention, he has jams for songs. But Brad, why didn’t you play a single song in it’s entirety? I get it, you had a lengthy lineup, but what the shit? I will say, I did enjoy the first verse and ending chorus to each and every song you played. But I wanted more, almost expected more too. Best part of this concert? He gave a little boy in the pit, standing right up against the stage that he couldn’t see over, a signed fucking guitar. This shit hit me right in the feels, and made me cry. Anyway, Brad, sweet Brad, play a full fucking song next time and we’ll be good. Ready? Set? Break.
Five “Star” Rating: 🎵🎵.5
2. Jason Aldean
Now this guy. Holy fucking shit. He knows how to put on a SHOW. Another artist with a lengthy lineup, he played the entirety of every single song he started (subtweet @ you, Brad). I don’t know what it is about Jason Aldean when he performs live, but he really gives it his all. He runs around the stage while singing every song, he breaks the guitar out and shreds that shit up. Did I mention that he sounds exactly like he does on record, too?! Just an overall unbelievable performer, someone I would see over and over again if given the chance to. So Jason, thank you for being a fucking rockstar, belting the shit out of “Night Train” and opening up the Mega Ticket the only way you know (see what I did there?
Five “Star” Rating: 🎵🎵🎵🎵
- Dierks Bentley
I’m hella biased, but then again: I don’t fucking care. I’ve seen Dierks two times before this, once at another outdoor setting and once at a hockey arena in Canada. But this concert was different. The crowd at this concert gave Dierks so much to work with, and it’s very, very easy to tell that he absolutely loves what he does for a living. This concert, much to my dismay, he opened up with “What The Hell Did I Say” instead of the usual “Up On The Ridge,” and I think that was the start of the new experience of Dierks live. This guy just fucking kills it in concert, breaks out his guitar and plays until he’s done performing. Not to mention, he brought out Elle King for “Different for Girls”, did his usual shotgun where he absolutely destroyed the poor bastard who got picked to go up against him, and oh right, CAME OUT IN A FUCKING PLANE FOR HIS ENCORE PERFORMANCE OF “DRUNK ON A PLANE”!!!!! Also, the openers Jon Pardi and Cole Swindell were also just so good and interactive with the crowd, there’s not way this concert doesn’t win the best of the ticket. So, in conclusion, Dierks is the best there is and you won’t ever succeed in changing my mind.
Five “Star” Rating: 🎵🎵🎵🎵🎵 x Infinity
SO, there you have it. Carbie Courtney’s ranking of the Country Mega Ticket (or what I saw of it anyway). To recap, country music is great, if you don’t like it I don’t want your friendship, and Dierks Bentley is #1 always and forever (except next to you Garth Brooks).