By: Candice Noak Email
By: Candice Noak Email

Chilifest 2013 increased the population of Snook, Texas by thousands this weekend, as country fans from College Station to Lubbock to Galveston flooded the Starlight Ballroom to see some of the best Texas and Nashville country has to offer.

The weekend featured acts like Gary P. Nunn, Cody Johnson Band, and Jason Boland & the Stragglers on Friday, and Corey Smith, Kevin Fowler, Aaron Watson and Josh Turner as the headliner on Saturday; and that’s not even the whole list.

This year was my third year to go to one of the biggest outdoor music festivals in the area, and my first to be on a team and get to be there Friday night, reserved only for those on a team, and all day Saturday. Being on a Chilifest team has the obvious perks: getting to hang out with some of my best friends all weekend and escape the last few stressful weeks of my senior semester was a definite highlight of my 2013, honestly. But add to that the chance to see one of my top Texas music acts, and this weekend nears the top of my list of greatest ever.

Personally I’m biased toward Texas country acts, I’ll admit it. And Cody Johnson is without a doubt in my top three favorites. With everything going on at Chilifest, it’s hard to make it to the stage and know for sure when acts are set to play, but I made sure I knew when the Rockin’ CJB would be playing. Having just released his sophomore album, A Different Day, a little over a year ago, Johnson rocked the Ballroom with his most current hits like Diamond in my Pocket, Guilty as Can Be, and my personal favorite: Ride With Me. He played his earlier hits as well, like Texas Chart topper Pray for Rain, and closing out his set with perhaps his best known hit, Texas Kind of Way. His high-energy performances are always awesome, and his heartfelt, true-to-life lyrics about small town, country life make his concerts a must-see.

Kevin Fowler was my very first Texas country concert when I was 16 years old, and after seeing him perform on Saturday, I’m happy to say his shows are just as fun, and he hasn’t changed a bit. His on-stage antics and tongue-in-cheek lyrics make his shows a total blast. Georgia-native Corey Smith has gained a huge Texas following in the last few years, and gained a few more fans this weekend. His performance of his summer anthem If I Could Do It Again is always a crowd favorite, and didn’t disappoint at all this weekend.

Along with Cody Johnson, all of these Texas acts are regulars in Aggieland. Going to their concerts have been staples of my college career and sparked my love of everything Texas country, and my desire to work in the radio industry. In other words, I highly recommend you experience at least one, if not all of them, sooner than later. In the meantime, I’ll be sure to let you know about upcoming shows, and recap all of the highlights of the ones I’m sure I’ll be fan-girling.


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