Stagecoach: California’s Country Music Festival Features Jason Aldean, Eric Church, and Luke Bryan

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Luke Bryan is one of the many acts that'll perform at this year's Stagecoach in Indio, Calif.

Luke Bryan is one of the many acts that'll perform at this year's Stagecoach in Indio, Calif.

Stagecoach Festival 2014 is set to take place April 25-27 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif.

Stagecoach, the biggest country music festival in California, has been held since 2007 and brings some of the biggest names in country music to southern California. This year’s event will be no different, as Jason Aldean, Eric Church, and Luke Bryan will headline each of the festival’s three nights.

The Headliners:


Having recently released his fourth studio album titled The Outsiders, Eric Church will headline Friday night. The Outsiders debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 after its release in February. Songs such as title track, “The Outsiders” and “Give Me Back My Hometown” have resonated well with critics and many well-known publications have given The Outsiders a big thumbs-up. Brian Mansfield of USA Today recently said The Outsiders “steps far outside country music’s safety zone: It’s adventurous and outrageous, full of metallic guitars and funky country skronk but also expresses vulnerability and pain.” While Church’s sound won’t make for as vivacious a crowd as other headliners with a more revved up, blustery sound, he is nonetheless a worthy headliner who’s been making increasingly good records over the years.


If you’re coming to Stagecoach with the intention of singing your heart out to some of today’s biggest hits, then Saturday night’s headliner is for you. Jason Aldean will headline Saturday night and bring his Georgia sound with him. Aldean brings a well-rounded repertoire to Stagecoach. Party anthems such as “My Kinda Party,” “She’s Country,” and “Take A Little Ride” are perfectly complimented by smash hits “The Only Way I Know” (featuring fellow headliners Eric Church and Luke Bryan), “Dirt Road Anthem” (which preceded the re-mix of the same song with fellow Georgian Ludacris), and “Night Train.”

Aldean was named the Male Vocalist of the Year earlier this month at the Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, and is still touring in support of 2012’s Night Train. The album has sold more than 1.6 million copies and was highly praised by critics.


Luke Bryan will cap off Stagecoach with a sound that’s more conducive to indulging yourself in libations than an American Pie 2 frat party. Bryan is one of the biggest names in contemporary country music today. His 2013 album, Crash My Party, sold 528,000 copies in its first week and more than 1.5 million copies by the end of 2013—making it the third best-selling album in the United States for that year.

Bryan released his yearly spring break EP titled Spring Break 6…Like We Ain’t Ever last month—part of a series that Bryan supports by putting on a concert in Panama City, Florida. Songs from that album, such as “Shore Thing” and “If you Ain’t Here to Party” will likely be part of his setlist along with songs from Crash My Party, Tailgates And Tanlines, and Doing My Thing.

Los Angeles Acts to Watch Out For

CALICO the band are a country band from Los Angeles (yes, Los Angeles, California) recently added to the lineup. The band is comprised of Manda Mosher, Kirsten Proffit, and Aubrey Richmond and are characterized as a “refreshingly lush, original, 3-part harmony reminiscent of an earthier Dixie Chicks mixed with Crosby, Still and Nash. Don’t let their good looks fool you, CALICO can write a mean hook and perform their sonic gems with total dedication.” They formed in 2012, but since then have made quite a name for themselves. Aside from getting airplay in a number of TV shows on major networks recently, they were named the National Touring Artist Of the Year by the Los Angeles Music Awards in 2013. Also, Neil Portnow (Pres & CEO, The GRAMMYS) recently called CALICO the band “Jaw Dropping.”

Another recently-added band from Los Angeles are Nocona. Nocona describe themselves as an “Americana country- punk-blues act with a psychedelic Mexicali twist.” The band is comprised of husband and wife team, Chris and Adrienne Isom, Annie Rothschild (all 3 formerly of the band Paladino) and Justin Smith (Old Californio, The Seeds). They recently played SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas and the Bonaroo Festival in Tennessee.

Boricua Flair in the Desert Air

Bronx, New York native Alynda Lee Segarra, a singer-songwriter of Puerto Rican descent, fronts Hurray for the Riff Raff, a music collective from New Orleans. The band defies the rigid conventions of the country music scene in many ways. The band’s fiddle player, Yosi Perlstein, is transgender, which is something Segarra embraces. “I really like to make our image as a very queer band,” said Segarra. “Yosi identifies as queer. So do I, as a longtime ally of queer causes.” Although Segarra grew up in the Bronx punk rock scene, Hurray for the Riff Raff blends elements of folk, country, indie, and Americana—and Segarra is more than qualified to be their frontwoman.

Other Notables

There will be a little of everything in this year’s Stagecoach lineup. Legendary acts such as Duane Eddy, Wanda Jackson, and Lynyrd Skynyrd will perform prior to the headliners. Even artists who have made their careers elsewhere, such as Katey Sagal’s Katey Sagal and the Forest Rangers, will be there.

Other contemporary stars, such as Brantley Gilbert, Easton Corbin, Hunter Hayes, Jennifer Nettles, and Lee Brice will have prominent sets right before the headliners.

Stagecoach 2014 is presented by Goldenvoice, The Messina Group, and Moore Entertainment.

Francisco Reyes is a Staff Reporter for Living Out Loud - LA, covering entertainment and sports. Follow him on Twitter: @fjr3487
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