Brooks & Dunn Lead a ’90s Country Revival at 2019 Taste of Country Festival [Pictures]
On Saturday afternoon (June 8), the crowd on Hunter Mountain in upstate New York started swelling early. Brooks & Dunn were the penultimate act for the second day of the 2019 Taste of Country Music Festival, and they packed the mountainside to a level often only reserved for the festival's evening headliners.
Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn say they're surprised by the level of interest in their music that still exists, a decade after they called it quits and nearly three decades since their debut album, 1991's Brand New Man. They opened their 90-minute ToC Fest set with that album's title track — their first No. 1 hit, and one of their biggest — and the crowd let 'em know right from the get-go: Heck yeah, they're still interested. The ensuing singalong echoed down the hill.
Up against the stage, die-hard fans brought the party, a few climbing onto friends' shoulders but all singing nearly every word. Back a bit further, line dances broke out during a number of songs. You know the crowd shots you see in '90s country music videos (Tim McGraw's "I Like It, I Love It" is a good example)? It was the real-life version of that.
Nearly every hit that you'll find on the duo's new collaborative album, Reboot —from "My Maria" to "Believe" — found its way into Brooks & Dunn's Saturday evening setlist. Their performance of "Neon Moon," in particular, benefited from that project, with Brooks, Dunn and their band imbuing their live version of the song with a bit of Kacey Musgraves' magic (though they left the vocoder at home).
While Dunn is the primary singer of the two — yes, his voice still sounds incredible — Brooks commands the stage in his own way. Before "Rock My World (Little Country Girl)," he engaged in a riff-off featuring the band's two guitarists vs. his harmonica. "Boot Scootin' Boogie" turned into a sweet dance with a fan, him twirling her around the stage before she snapped a selfie and returned to the crowd.
Following Brooks & Dunn's set, Rascal Flatts closed out Day 2 of the 2019 Taste of Country Festival. The three-day event in New York State concludes Sunday (June 9), with a headlining show from Little Big Town. Keith Urban closed out the first day (June 7) of the fest.
See the Highlights From the 2019 Taste of Country Music Festival