Country LakeShake, a three-day country musical festival at the Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, returned for its third year on June 23.
High Valley, Mo Pitney, Randy Houser and Big & Rich took to the main stage throughout the day leading up to the night’s headlining act, Thomas Rhett.
Rhett opened his set in a throwback Scottie Pippen Bulls shirt while performing his hit, “Crash and Burn.”
Although a star known for his own abundance of chart-topping hits, Rhett surprised fans by playing country favorites “Parking Lot Party” and “ Round Here,” two songs he co-wrote for Lee Brice and Florida Georgia Line, respectively, while he was establishing his own performing career.
The “Die a Happy Man” singer-songwriter spent plenty of time interacting with fans throughout the night. He sang “Happy Birthday” to several fans in the crowd, acknowledged the concertgoers in all parts of the venue and got down off the stage to sing among those in the front.
“Die a Happy Man,” “T-Shirt” and “Vacation” were some of the final songs on Rhett’s setlist, wrapping up his entertaining and engaging hour-and-a-half long set.
In addition the main stage, the festival brought back the Next from Nashville stage. This performance area features a lineup of some of the genre’s top up-and-coming artists. Caitlyn Smith, Seth Ennis and Drake White and the Big Fire were among those to showcase their talents here on the festival’s first day.
Aside from the music, the festival features a Chicago Blackhawks bar, food vendors, wine lounge, Silento Disco Line Dancing, Budweiser Clydesdales and more.
Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Dan + Shay and Michael Ray will be some the acts taking the main stage on June 24, the festival’s second day.
Friday Highlight: The many covers and mash-ups performed by Big & Rich. These included “American Pie,” “Uptown Funk,” “Baby Got Back” and “Get Down Tonight.”