CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (March 28, 2014) — The “Off the Beaten Path Tour” featuring Justin Moore with special guests Randy Houser and Josh Thompson found their way to the stage at the U.S. Cellular Center Friday. Justin pulled a pretty good crowd, and all three acts were pretty solid (this coming from a guy who is admittedly not a huge fan of current mainstream country)! The crowd was pretty into it, and surprisingly in better behavior (at least towards me) than the crowd at the last big country show at the Cell, Florida-Georgia Line. I’ve seen first hand how rowdy you cowboy folk can get. The experience as a photographer mirrored that show in many ways. There was no press pit, so I had to deal with the crowd first hand. This makes for a truly more challenging shooting environment, but I really think it adds to the personal feel and vibe of the show. Yeah, I wasn’t able to get as close as I would have liked in many cases, but I think it allowed me to find images that relate more with audience that was there. This is the true FAN view, not the elitist prick view, but recorded in a way much better than crappy smart phones can capture. I had fun. I think everybody there did.
Like I said, I’m not a super huge current mainstream country fan, and I’m certain I’m not the best dude to critique the show. It’s just not really my jam – so to speak. So in the interest of being, well . . . diplomatic, here are some thoughts from folks who were at the show.
Josh Thompson up and coming! Randy Houser crowd pleaser! Should be the headliner! My bestie Amber shook his hand while I was taking a video. Justin Moore is down home “Redneck” – the crowd loved him. He talked about killing and catching referring to his passion for hunting and fishing. He talked about being sponsored by NRA and Cabela’s! Great concert in Cedar Rapids! — Tammie Cheney
I thought for the money you got a heck of a show. They played for almost 4 hours! At times with Josh you couldn’t hear him very well over the music. But nevertheless was a great time and great show! — Nick M.
I know we left early because we weren’t super impressed with Justin Moore. I think he’s good but just not ready to headline a tour. Randy Houser was outstanding and Josh Thompson was pretty good . . . From the people that I talked to, nobody was super impressed with Justin. — Jenn R.M.