Concert Reviews

Brothers Osborne and Gary Allan Bring Country Back to Medina County Fair

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It may have been a couple years since there has been a country show in the grandstand at the Medina County Fair, but last Thursday’s Brothers Osborne and Gary Allan concert made the wait seem worth it. The tandem of a 20+ year veteran of country music, coupled with a new and upcoming act was a perfect combination on a beautiful summer’s night.

The crowd was a split between those who were there for the Brothers Osborne and those who came to see Gary Allan. But, by the end of the night it didn’t seem to matter as everyone was having a good time and happy to enjoy two great country acts.

The evening started a bit later than scheduled as the crowd waited for a long time to get in the gate to the grandstand area. Many who were there to see Brothers Osborne unfortunately missed a part of their show because the line was so long to get in.

By the time the Brothers Osborne hit the stage the crowd was eagerly waiting with high excitement for the the show to come. The duo kicked off with “Down Home,” from their album Pawn Shop which got he crowd on their feet. They moved through the set with little banter, but lighting up the stage with their hits “Rum” and “Stay a Little Longer.”

Brothers Osborne kicking off the concert at Medina County Fair on 8.3.17. (Photo by Charlie Kriak/CCM)

Midway through their 45-minute show they switched gears and took everyone back a little with a cover of Willie Nelson’s “Whiskey River” and Hank William’s “Hey Good Looking.” On the latter T.J Osborne introduced the song as one every country fan should know.

The Brothers Osborne proved throughout their set why they are the reigning ACM Duo of the Year and closed out with their current single on the chart, “It Ain’t My Fault,” which was a fun romp through the song and had everyone singing and clapping along.

Gary Allan was up next and you could tell by the crowd reaction that his legion of fans were there in full force. The California native got right to his long line of hits early in his set performing “Nothing On But The Radio,” which topped the charts in 2004.

Allan covered over twenty songs during his 2-hour show including everything from his first single in 1996, a cover of Waylon Jenning’s “Her Man” all the way to his current single “Mess Me Up.” He added in the chart topping hits of “Man to Man” and “Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain).” And though it did seem that Allan may have been nursing a sore throat or strained vocal chords, it didn’t matter too much to the near capacity crowd.

When Allan got to the latter part of his set he threw in the cover of Vertical Horizon’s “Best I Ever Had,” which he scored a Gold Record with and a Top Ten in 2005. He closed out his set with the fan favorite, “Right Where I Need to Be” from his Smoke Rings in the Dark album. But, he wasn’t finished yet.

After the thunderous applause Allan and his band returned to perform a few more songs for the highly appreciative crowd including the Chris Stapleton and Mike Henderson penned “Drinkin’ Dark Whiskey” that was on the singer’s 2003 album See If I Care. The song is highly infectious when performed live and a perfect send off to the crowd after a night of great music.

The Medina County Fair may have missed the big country acts over the past two years, but leaving all I could think is how can they top this next year. It may be a tall order to fill.

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