On July 2nd I had the opportunity to cover yet another major event for our wonderful website, Got Country Online. This time it took me beyond the gates of Summerfest into the gorgeous BMO Harris Pavilion which sets directly on the shores of the Milwaukee lakefront. Every year this festival brings 11 days of talent that spans across various genres. On that nights lineup was Kip Moore with opening act Blackjack Billy. Also on the list every year at the festival is a Big Bang fireworks show which with this summer’s crazy Wisconsin weather much rain, wind, and fog had to be pushed back, and it just so happened to be on the night Kip Moore was playing. It was perfect.
Blackjack Billy took the stage around 8pm. I cannot put into words just how beautiful the atmosphere is at this stage unless you’ve been there, but I will do my best. While we watched the guys of Blackjack Billy rock out we could feel the cool summer nights wind upon our backs and tiny rain droplets blow briskly through the pavilion. Looking forward you see the stage and alongside it, the lakefront. It is such a perfect setting, a beautiful setting for a summer country concert.
The guys of Blackjack Billy really know how to get the crowd hyped up. If you aren’t familiar, these guys are total redneck rockers and Rob Blackledge, Noll Billings, Jeff Coplan, Patrick Cornell, and Brad Cummings, make up the Nashville-based country rock band. They are indeed rock stars, just take one listen to their independent debut single, “The Booze Cruise.” Much respect to these guys for giving Milwaukee an awesome show and mad props to them for giving country a redneck-style version of the Stones! Loved their set, be sure to check them out! After the Blackjack Billy set was over, Summerfest gave us all a beautiful lights show and where the pavilion is it gives a gorgeous lake view of the amazing fireworks display. I couldn’t have thought of a better way to introduce Kip Moore after that, it was unbelievable.
Kip Moore had the crowd on their feet throughout his whole set. He gave the crowd total control of his show, fans were screaming out songs and he would play them, he said it was the crowds show, their night, and he wasn’t going to go by a set list. The crowd went extra wild as the fan favorite “Back Seat,” was shouted out and Kip followed their lead. Of course, the night couldn’t have been more perfect for a city known for brewing traditions without a rendition of, “Beer Money,” being sung. Kip Moore is such a crowd-pleasing act. The best part of the whole show was when he jumped off the stage, came running back to the bleacher section and gave all around him a better view, just a little taste of what it would be like in a front row seat. After that he ran back up to the stage, lifted himself up and laid face down on the stage for a minute. He claimed the crowd was so wild that he didn’t ever think he’d be able to get back up to the front. Another favorite moment is when Kip thanked the crowd for totally being into the show, after observing no cellphones out.
Kip played a great long set full of hits and fan favorites. All I know is that he had the crowd “Up All Night,” rocking on a gorgeous summer night at one of the most beautiful stages on the festival grounds. One things for sure, Kip Moore is one big ball of energy, who leaves a lasting impression on the crowd. He does what he loves, and he’s good at showing it. That was my first Kip show, but it sure isn’t going to be my last. Thanks for a great night, Kip it was unforgettable!