Review by Kat Corbo
Windy City Smokeout in Chicago put on an amazing festival filled with absolutely delicious food, great drinks, and rocking, top-notch country bands. Even with other events going on in Chicago, the crowd overflowed each night, going back as far as the grounds would allow. Friday afternoon Shawn Lacy kicked off the whole event, jamming to some originals along with incredible covers that they put their own spin on. My favorite came when they played their mash-up of “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis with Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See.” It had been drizzling on and off during their set, but even when it started to rain pretty hard the crowd stayed towards the stage, grabbing friends and dancing happily in the rain to “Three Little Birds.” It was a beautiful way to kick off the weekend!
Josh Thompson played a growing crowd, coming to the stage fresh off a new album release along with his music video for “Wanted Me Gone” which premiered that day. The crowd sang back songs like “Cold Beer With Your Name On It” and “Way Out Here” as they ate, drank, and danced to the setting sun. His band gives off a strong rock n’ roll vibe, and in between songs they would play intros to some AC/DC and other classic rock songs, surprising the crowd but giving them something different that they seemed to enjoy. They closed the night with “Beer On The Table” and “Drink Drink Drink” and left a full crowd ready for Brett Eldredge.
Brett put on the perfect summer show, making everyone in the crowd leave with happy hearts and smiles. He charmed the entire crowd Friday night, coming out to “Beat of The Music,” picking a girl to sing it directly to in the front row, and then telling the audience that he thinks he is going to marry a girl from Illinois someday. He didn’t just perform his set; he stopped to talk between songs, telling the stories behind them, and he even played a new song for the first time since he just wrote it called “Illinois” about how much he loves the state. He sang with his sweet, boy-next-door, blue eyes right to the crowd all night, making every girl fall in love with him and every guy get jealous. Every one of his songs the crowd sang back, especially “Tell Me Where to Park” and “Don’t Ya.” Brett set the bar high for everyone’s weekend, and overall Windy City Smokeout kept their guests stomachs full and ears overflowing with great tunes. Any time US 99.5 with Bub City and Joe’s Bar host an event, you know it’s going to be one of the best nights you’ve had in a while.