Large crowds invade Adado Riverfront Park on Friday’s country night at the 17th annual mid-Michigan music festival as national headliner Toby Keith takes over the main stage.

For the 17th consecutive year, downtown Lansing and Adado Riverfront Park host the Common Ground Music Festival.  The music festival is multiple stages erected throughout the park in order to host more skillful talents on any given day with staggered start times so as to not interfere with other stages.  The music genres range from R&B, Hip Hop, Pop, Country and Rock.

Country night starts off at the Sparrow Stage where Lisa Mary from Sterling Heights, MI gets the day going.  Lisa performs covers and songs from her debut album Everyone Has A Story To Tell that is released to the public on this day.  Lisa also performs her current single “Clear For Takeoff” before exiting the stage.

The Auto Value Main Stage opens and comes to life with the Illinois native Aileeah Colgan welcoming the crowd.  Aileeah is joined on stage with her band that also consists of her newly wedded husband on acoustic guitar.  Aileeah and her band perform originals like “Sweet Tea and Whiskey” and “Happily Ever After” before her band dresses in Hawaiian luau beach clothing for their song “Life’s A Beach.”  The artist and band end their set with their current single “Country Scene” from her soon to be released 2017 album.

Alternating back to the Sparrow Stage, country rocker Drew Hale sets the stage ablaze as they entertain the crowd that arrived for his performance.  Drew calls Traverse City, MI home and was evident to have brought some of his Northern Michigan friends and family to the show as the crowd screams and shows their support throughout the set.  The 2015 Country Showdown National Champion, the largest and longest running talent search in the nation, included his current single “Great Lakes Summer Night” from his latest album Roots And Wings.

LOCASH is next to take the main stage with an eager Michigan crowd waiting as they open their set with the up-tempo song “Ain’t Starting Tonight.”  To keep the pace going, Chris Lucas and Preston Brust show off their songwriting skills with their version of their first #1 hit song they penned for Keith Urban, “You Gonna Fly.” Next, they perform their very own first #1 single “I Know Somebody” from their current album The Fighters off the Reviver Records label. 

Joking with the crowd, Chris points out where the drinking crowd is from the crowd’s response to another crowd favorite “Drunk, Drunk.” Preston stops the song midway so that he can correct “Bubba” who is singing the song incorrectly by stating the verse for drinking Long Islands is “Floor” and not “Four,” as the guy standing in front of him is already leaning against the railing early and will never make it to four.

After the current single “Ring On Every Finger,” the guys roll with their second #1 song “Truck Yeah” which they wrote for Tim McGraw.

As dedication to our men and woman of the armed forces and other services that are fighting for our freedom, Chris states out to “Kick the ass of those who don’t stand for the National Anthem and salute our Flag…you don’t kneel for the National Anthem” before performing their title track of their current album, “The Fighters.”

Chris and Preston finish their highly energized and entertaining set with their hit “I Love This Life.”

Closing out the evening’s Sparrow Stage is The Railers from Nashville, TN.  Consisting of Jonathan Lawson on lead vocals and guitar, his wife Cassandra on multiple instruments including an accordion, floor tom and a megaphone while Jonathan’s brother Jordan performs with a violin and mandolin.  Performing in front of a full crowd, The Railers sang songs off their EP The Geraldine Session with their current single “11:59 (Central Standing Time).”

Toby Keith puts closure on the country side of the 2017 Common Ground Music Festival by performing on the Auto Value Main Stage.  The show begins with a video playing on the big screens on each side of the stage and the stage’s video backdrop.  As the video concludes, the stage lights come up to show Toby standing at center stage surrounded by his band on each side of him.  Toby professes he “Hasn’t Had A Drink All Day” before showing off his American pride on this July evening with hits “American Ride” and “Made In America.”

With his personal image preferences always in question, Toby performs his new single “Whacky Tobaccy” from an album to be released at a later date.  Toby then proceeds to toast the fireman, first responders, police officers and their families before “Beer For My Horses.” 

Being in the business for twenty-four years, Toby has accumulated 20 #1 top hits from 64 singles and 23 albums.  After discussions with his band, he has arranged a set list that includes all his top hits ranging all the way back to his debut single “Should Have Been A Cowboy” that also became his first #1 single to ballads like “Who Is That Man.”

With all his songs about drinking and bars that appease the crowd, Toby and his band decide to join the crowd with a drink as they pass a bottle around back and forth amongst the band as his guitarist plays a solo leading into “Who’s Your Daddy.”  To continue, Toby keeps the party going with his fun, party and crowd participation song “Red Solo Cup.”

Digging deep again back to 1993, Toby finishes the set with “A Little Less Talk And A Lot More Action” while letting his band top off with Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold” as the crowd cheers them on.

As an encore, Toby returns to the stage to be patriotic with “American Soldier.”  Toby thanks the US Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and National Guard for keeping us safe and free.  He calls out three military vets to the stage and thanks them before concluding with “Courtesy Of The Red White And Blue” as the crowd stands and sings along while saluting the American flag flying overhead.  The show ends as the stage lights go down and the crowd chants “USA” over and over. 

Toby Keith
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The Railers
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Drew Hale
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Aileeah Colgan
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Lisa Mary
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Common Ground Music Festival
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Event Date: 07-JUL-2017