Locals, we meet again. I recently had the pleasure of hanging at Starland Ballroom for a Battle of the Bands, an event I always find intriguing. However, this time around, it was all love from each act, and so refreshing to see. Not only did each band congratulate one another after they played, but I saw on social media they were looking to book shows together, shouting one another out, and congratulating the winners. All love from these kids, straight-up class acts. That being said, congratulations to the winner of the Battle of the Bands, The Ones You Forgot. Part of their prize is they will get a spotlight in The Aquarian Weekly, so I am looking forward to chatting with them in the near future.

Now, let’s get down to basics. This week, I am going to talk about a show that was very cool. Although the Aquarian isn’t always about country music, I wanted to take a second to showcase a show that recently happened in the market: Chris Young at Mercer County Park Festival Grounds. Aside from marketing shows, I am not always familiar with what is hot in the country scene. However, this show was a complete eye-opener.

On a beautiful, sunny day in West Windsor, crowds lined up hours early to tailgate and hear one of their favorite artists perform sound check. I was so intrigued by the crowd, because it’s not usually a type of show I am at, that I took a loop around the lot. To my surprise, I saw a few people in cowboy hats, and even some in Mötley Crüe shirts. I asked a few people, “Hey, you guys are country and rock fans?” and it was cool to see. I got the response that I will never forget: “Live music is live music, and it’s a cool vibe here.” Being blown away, I could not agree more. Certain shows we automatically stereotype the type of fan that will be there, without even opening our eyes to experience something new. As the doors opened, I saw families, singles, young people, older couples, and even children, all there for one single purpose: live music.

The night kicked off with an opening act named LANco, who got the crowd warmed up with originals and covers. They will also be playing in the near future at iPlay America in Freehold if you are interested in checking them out.

Around 8:30 p.m., Chris Young took the stage. I must say, he is one hell of a singer, and a great acoustic guitar player! I truly enjoyed his entire set from beginning to end, and it was definitely a new experience for me. The crowd was so into it, rocking out, signing every word with their cold beers in the air. If you are just getting into this genre of music, I feel Chris Young is a perfect fit for everyone. His vocals are top notch, and his backing band is extremely talented.

I had a great time at Mercer County Park Festival Grounds, and look forward to the next event they hold there. If you haven’t been, I highly suggest you check it out. The facility is beautiful, and there is nothing like an outdoor show in warm weather!

Until next week, my friends, keep on supporting live music!

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