Most people think about the party aspect of Country Thunder. I will be there to listen to as much country music as I can in 4 days. I’ve always connected to the lyrics of country music songs. I grew up in a big, small town. My biggest childhood memories were made in a place where everyone knew you. I spent my teen years in the country driving around and chasing boys. Justin Moore’s “Small Town USA” is my country “theme song”. The lyrics in this song are a reflection of my life in a small town.
Country Thunder has a headliner each night – Brett Eldredge,Big & Rich, Blake Shelton, and Luke Bryan. These acts are sure to draw a crowd. For me, I’m looking for the “underdog” – too bad the true “underdog” Aaron Watson isn’t playing. I’m more excited to see artists whose career is about to, or just taking off. There is so much more to Country Thunder than the headliners. I look forward to seeing Old Dominion, Clare Dunn, Maddie & Tae, The Swon Brothers, Phil Vassar, Dustin Lynch, J Michael Harter, Ryan Bexley and local country duo Heartlyn Rae. I’ve done my research by reading artist bios and listening to singles or EP’s. These artists are the real reason I cannot wait for Country Thunder!
Country Thunder is less than 3 weeks away. I, also, cannot contain my excitement. This will be my first time. I have been researching everything from outfits, to decorations, to supplies. There are a few good country festival guides I found online to get an idea of what I will need. Since I will be camping all 4 days, I wanted to make sure I bring everything possible. Country Thunder is sure to be one crazy weekend!
Tickets are now on sale for the upcoming KNIX block party with Sam Hunt and special guest Kelsea Ballerini. According to Whiskey Row, their Tempe location “will not be open by then”. If you are like me, you are patiently waiting the opening of this well-known country bar. Good news, the concert will still take place in front of the future location, on 6th St. and Mill Ave. For the meantime, I will continue living in suspense.
What I am more excited about is the performance by Kelsea Ballerini. Thanks to Jessica Northey and friends at Country Music Chat (#CMchat), I was introduced to Kelsea prior to the release of her debut E.P. back in 2014. Her recent single “Love Me Like You Mean It” has peaked in the top 30 on both Billboards Country Airplay chart and Country Digital Song chart. Kelsea Ballerini has already had her OPRY debut. You might have also heard her name from the infamous shout-out by Taylor Swift.
When Taylor Swift approves, you know it must be good! Those of us that already have it are awaiting her upcoming May album to be released.
Stay updated on all country music events in Arizona HERE
Another country bar is making its way to Tempe. Since the close of Graham Central Station and Toby Keiths in Mesa, country music fans in the east valley have had fewer options for local country bars.
Dierks Bentley Whiskey Row in Scottsdale has been home to live country music from local and national acts. KNIX brings free monthly concerts and who can forget the random appearances by Dierks Bentley himself. Mill Ave. is a great location for Whiskey Row. If you’ve ever been to Moonshine Whiskey Bar on Mill, you notice people wearing cowboy boots, belt buckles, and western styled shirts. The dance floor is always packed. Having another option for country music will bring more country music lovers to Tempe.
Whiskey Row in Tempe is scheduled to open soon. Via social media, KNIX announced a block party featuring Sam Hunt & Kelsea Ballerini on April 16th at 6th & Mill at the home of Whiskey Row Tempe. Tickets will be available soon.
For more information on country music events in Arizona, visit HERE
Celebrity Theatre – http://www.celebritytheatre.com Capacity – 1,400 – 2,650
Comerica Theatre – http://comericatheatre.com Capacity – 5,000
Crescent Ballroom – http://www.crescentphx.com – Capacity – around 500
Live Wire – http://livewireaz.com/ 1,100+ capacity
Marquee Theatre – http//www.luckymanonline.com– Capacity – around 1,000
Mesa Amphitheatre – http://mesaamp.com – Capacity – around 4,900
Mesa Arts Center – http://mesaartscenter.com – around 1,050
Orpheum Theatre – http://orpheumtheatrephx.com – around 1,360
Rialto Theatre – http://www.rialtotheatre.com – 1,200
Country Music in Phoenix, Arizona
Looking to find a place to listen to country music in the Phoenix area? These are the more popular bars for country music.
Harolds Corral – Cave Creek
6895 E. Cave Creek Rd. Cave Creek, AZ. 85331 (480) 488-1906
Buffalo Chip Saloon – Cave Creek
6811 E. Cave Creek Rd. Cave Creek, AZ. 85331 (480) 488-9118
Bourbon Jacks – Chandler
11 West Boston St. Chandler, AZ 85225 (480) 664-1738
Roman’s Oasis – Goodyear
16825 W. Yuma Rd. Goodyear, AZ. 85338 (623) 932-0922
Roosters Bar – Mesa
3731 E. Main St. Mesa, AZ. 85205 (480) 985-4088
Denim and Diamonds – Mesa
7336 E. Main St. Suite #106 Mesa, AZ. 85207 (480) 832-5000
Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill – Peoria
9824 W. Northern Ave., Suite 1840 Peoria, AZ. 85345 (623) 208-7288
San Tan Flat – Queen Creek
6185 W. Hunt Highway Queen Creek, AZ. 85142 (480) 882-2995
Nortons Country Corner – Queen Creek
20835 E. Ocotillo Rd. Queen Creek, AZ. 85142 (480) 882-1231
Whiskey Row – Scottsdale
4420 N. Saddlebag Trail #105 Scottsdale, AZ. 85251 (480) 945-4200
Coach House – Scottsdale
7011 E. Indian School Rd. Scottsdale, AZ. 85251 (480) 990-3433
Rusty Spur Saloon – Scottsdale
7245 E. Main St. Scottsdale, AZ. 85251 (480) 425-7787
Handlebar J – Scottsdale
7116 Becker Ln. Scottsdale, AZ. 85254 (480) 948-0110
Pinnacle Peak Patio Steakhouse & Microbrewery – Scottsdale
10426 E. Jomax Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85262 (480) 585-1599
Greasewood Flat – Scottsdale
27375 N. Alma School Pkwy. Scottsdale, AZ. 85262 (480) 585- 9430
Moonshine Whiskey Bar – Tempe
410 S. Mill Ave.
Tempe, AZ. 85281