For the past 25 years, country music lovers have come together in West Michigan to form the largest free concert in the Midwest. 

Since their inception, Grand Rapids local radio station B-93 FM has been saying ‘Thank You’ to their loyal listeners and supporters by hosting the annual two-day free country music festival known as Birthday Bash.  

For 2017, the festival is held on the grounds of US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, MI in order to hold the estimated 50,000 people attending the festival.

Day One

Day one starts off with local artist Shelagh Brown singing the “National Anthem” while being joined on stage by the U.S. Marine Corp. color guard.

With over hundreds of entries to choose from, Grand Rapids own southern rock/country band Paradise Outlaw won a singing competition to be able to open the 2017 B-93 Birthday Bash 25.  Their performance on stage consists of original songs like “Six Feet Down” and “Friday 1974” that cause the crowd to jump to their feet and dance with the band.

With an army of hit songs, Joe Diffie is next on stage entering with “Third Rock From The Sun.” Breaking the rules and not playing off his prepared set list, Joe takes requests from the crowd that include songs like “Pick Up Man,” “So Help Me Girl,” “Prop Me Up By The Jukebox” before performing a new song “I Got This” to an upcoming album to be released later this fall.  Joe ends his set with the crowd favorite “John Deere Green.”

The only female to perform at this year’s event Brooke Eden takes the stage next with her band.  Brooke introduces herself to the crowd by performing songs from her new album Welcome To The Weekend that includes her current single on the radio “Act Like You Don’t.”

Up and coming artist Michael Ray gets the girls excited in the crowd with his handsome looks and tattooed arms.  He excites the rest of the crowd during his performance while singing his two #1 hits “Kiss You In The Morning” and “Think A Little Less.”  Michael and his band also performed his new single “Get To You” from his upcoming album.

With his merchandise being worn and flags being flown sprouting “YEE YEE” on them throughout the park by his loyal near cult-like following, it was obvious Granger Smith was on the grounds and ready to perform.  The Texas native is a crowd favorite that has performed at the Bash for the past three years consecutive.  Granger performs his hit songs like “If The Boot Fits,” “Backroad Song” and “The Country Boy Song.”  With excitement bubbling from the crowd over his highly anticipated return to the stage, Granger returns to the stage for an encore as the popular alter ego Earl Dibbles Jr.  Waving his own “YEE YEE” flag Earl starts off his performance with the crowd assisted “Merica” before ending his set with the dramatic “Put A Dip In.”  In closing, Earl takes two beer cans and smashes them together spraying those in the front rows before guzzling the remains.  Next, Earl takes a handful of chewing tobacco and puts in his mouth before signing the remaining pouch and throwing out to the eager crowd.  Earl then finishes off by signing his white tank top before stripping it off and throwing it into the crowd.  Just one more display of why his performances have continued to grow in attendance while he keeps getting invited to all the bigger events and festivals.  

DJ Sinister arrives on stage to pump up the crowd with a mix of country dance tunes before the evening’s headliners Big and Rich take over for their evening performance.  Entering the stage with “Comin’ To Your City” continues to bring the crowd into a party like atmosphere.  After performing their only #1 single “Lost In This Moment” they take a moment to call out to all serviceman and woman of the armed forces for their time served.  As they do in each of their performances, Big and Rich bring a local veteran to the stage where they sit them down at their makeshift bar and offer a toast to them and the remainder of service personal.  As an added salute, the guys dedicate their single “8th Of November” and “God Bless America” before kicking off again in party mode.

With a new album coming out later this summer, Big and Rich introduce their new single “California” before being joined on stage by Cowboy Troy for their song together “I Play Chicken With The Train.”  The night ended with the encore performance of their signature song “Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy).” 

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Day Two

Day two starts with the Vice President of B-93 Tim Feagan saying a Sunday morning prayer before Shelagh Brown once again performs the “National Anthem” with the U.S. Marine Corps. color guard.

Jackie Lee starts off the day’s performances with songs from an unannounced album that includes his debut single “She Does” with “Leave The Light On” and his current single “Getting Over You.”

Trent Harmon is the winner of the 15th and final season of American Idol in 2016.  Trent along with his band entertains the crowd with songs from his self-titled debut album that includes the hit debut single “There’s A Girl.”

Placed on everyone’s radar as an artist to watch in 2017, Luke Combs arrives on the Bash stage to the crowd’s delight.  Just like a “Hurricane,” Luke steals their attention for the next 30 minutes while he performs other songs from his first studio album This One’s For You.

The next up and coming artist to perform for the Birthday Bash crowd is Tucker Beathard.  From his debut album Fight Like Hell, Tucker performs his debut single “Rock On” along with his current single “Momma And Jesus.”

The four-part family band Parmalee “Bring The Music” next with their performance on stage.  The set list includes crowd sing-a-long songs “Already Callin’ You Mine” and “Day Drinkin'” along with their debut single “Musta Had A Good Time” and first #1 single “Carolina” from their breakout album Feels Like Carolina. While introducing their second album 27861 due out in July, Parmalee performs their debut single “Roots” with their new single “Sunday Mornin’.”

Closing out the 2017 B-93 Birthday Bash 25 is headlining act Jake Owen.  Bringing a part of his Florida native home with him out on the road, Jake has included a stage set that includes palm trees and planters with crabgrass that blows in the wind along with a fluffy floor rug that appears like sand when Jake dances across the stage barefoot.  

With the beach like scene stage set, Jake enters the stage with his #1 hit single “Beachin.”  Jake has added a horn section to compliment his love for the South Eastern US with a reggae sound to his songs like in “Surefire Feeling,” a summer jam.

Jake continues his show in Martin with his new single “Good Company” from his current album American Love while including the other five of his six #1 singles “Alone With You,” “Anywhere With You,” “The One That Got Away,” “American Country Love Song” along with his show-closing signature single “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.”

As Birthday Bash 25 has come to a close, number 26 is already in the works.  To stay up with current news of Birthday Bash 26 click on the links below for more.   

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