Jon Pardi got surprised by Alan Jackson & Guy Fieri during his Stagecoach performance with an invitation to become a member of The Grand Ole Opry pic.twitter.com/hw7q9iiCQS
— Whiskey Riff (@WhiskeyRiff) April 29, 2023
The dust is beginning to settle now that Stagecoach 2023 is over, but what a weekend it was! With searing temperatures out in the California desert, this year’s festival was a hot one — and the acts were on fire, too.
Wearing double denim in honor of Denim Tuxedo Friday, festival-goers poured into Coachella Valley’s Empire Polo Club on April 28 ready to kick the dust up and have the time of their lives. Did it live up to expectations? Here’s our recap of country music’s biggest party!
Nelly at Stagecoach
Kicking off on Friday, attendees saw stellar sets from Melissa Etheridge, Elle King, and Riley Green, with Stagecoach veteran Luke Bryan headlining the newly-relocated Mane Stage. After previously headlining the festival in 2014, 2016, and 2019, Bryan showed his expertise by working the crowd perfectly, all of whom were likely telling their friends “I Don’t Want This Night to End.”
During Jon Pardi’s set earlier in the day, fans also got to witness Guy Fieri introduce an on-screen Alan Jackson, who invited Pardi to become the latest member of the Grand Ole Opry. Sinking a shot of tequila in celebration, Pardi is the first person to be invited to join at Stagecoach, as well as the first California-born member. Huge news — only now we can’t stop trying to guess who’ll be inducting him!
In case the temperature wasn’t high enough already, day two headliner Kane Brown brought the heat — literally. With stunning pyrotechnics, Brown delivered an energetic, irresistible first half of his set, before cooling things off a little and slowing it down. Opening up to the crowd, he spoke about mental health and depression, giving us a vulnerable and touching intro to “Memory.”
While Stagecoach was light on surprise appearances this year, Brown did bring out a very special guest: his wife, Katelyn Jae. After discussing their mental health struggles and the support they offer each other, this particular moment hit us all right in the heart, with the crowd singing along at the top of their lungs as they dueted “Thank God.”
Ahead of their slot, Old Dominion spent the day in Flavortown with Stagecoach staple Guy Fieri. Despite his recent ATV injury, singer Matthew Ramsey cooked up vegan trash-can nachos just as enthusiastically as the rest of the band, and we’re pretty sure that’s where they all got the energy for their performance! The band also shared that they’re working on getting their own bar up and running in Nashville, where they’re sure to be serving trash-can nachos from day one.
Over in the Palomino tent, Nelly — whose hit “Hot In Herre” could’ve arguably been the theme song to the whole scorching weekend — stole the show for a lot of attendees, closing out night two. Reunited with Breland for “High Horse,” we were treated to a “Country Grammar” lesson that we won’t be forgetting anytime soon. With a strict midnight curfew to meet, his live rendition of “Dilemma” might’ve stopped almost as soon as it started, but you can’t blame him for sticking to the rules!
— SiriusXM (@SIRIUSXM) April 30, 2023
The final day of Stagecoach was everything we wanted and more. Brooks & Dunn added sparkle to their set by bringing out Lainey Wilson to lend her vocals in Reba McEntire’s place on “Cowgirls Don’t Cry.” Later, even more special guests joined their set for “Only in America,” with members of various military branches taking to the stage as the musicians and crowd paid their respects.
Gotta love family! 🤣@laineywilson's nephew will definitely make sure she doesn't get too big for her britches.
— SiriusXM The Highway (@SXMTheHighway) May 1, 2023
Headlining Sunday night, Chris Stapleton opted to let the music do the talking. Aiming to “play as much music as we can,” he powered through his biggest hits and delivered on a spectacular no-frills set that won the collective heart of the crowd.
Funnily enough, Taylor Swift chose that same night to spotlight “I Bet You Think About Me” as a surprise song for the last night of her Eras Tour shows in Atlanta — the recorded version of which features Chris Stapleton’s vocals. Happy coincidence? Perhaps, but who can be sure when “Mastermind” Taylor Swift is involved!
— Stagecoach Festival (@Stagecoach) May 1, 2023
Diplo’s Late Night in Palomino afterparty gave the crowd a chance to soak up some ‘YEE-DM’ before the festival officially came to a close for 2023. Revelers made the most of every last drop of Stagecoach they could before bidding it farewell for the year. Before the post-festival crash sets in, just remember — the countdown to Stagecoach 2024 has already begun.
All that’s left is to blast The Highway (Ch. 56) to keep reliving all the best moments from Stagecoach 2023. Who else is planning their outfits already to head back to Indio, CA next year? We here at SiriusXM are thinking triple denim!
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