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Thousands Brave the Rain to Enjoy Willie Nelson + More at 2013 Taste of Country Festival – Day 1 Pictures

Parmalee
Paul Brasil for Taste of Country

Heavy rain showers didn’t stop country music fans who’d come from all over to see Willie Nelson on Thursday night. Thousands packed Hunter Mountain in New York for the inaugural Taste of Country Music Festival. Ponchos, umbrellas, cold beverages and great country music kept fans in good spirits while the LoCash Cowboys, Parmalee and Nelson took the stage.

Nelson opened his set singing ‘Whiskey River’ before bringing a storm of hit songs and singalongs like ‘Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys’ and ‘Crazy,’ the song he wrote for Patsy Cline. The Family Band was as tight as ever, with sister Bobbie soloing skillfully on piano at the behest of her younger brother. The legend’s signature guitar set the tempo. At the age of 80, Nelson showed that his fingers can still move across the fretboard like a man half his age.

Parmalee played songs from their upcoming album prior to Nelson’s set. The North Carolina foursome blend rock and country, and fans came running down the mountain (literally) to watch them eagerly deliver songs like ‘Musta Had a Good Time’ and their current single, ‘Carolina.’ For a few brief moments, the rain seemed like it might let up, but the heavy pour quickly returned, creating a muddy platform for several thousand ecstatic fans to stomp around in.

Preston Brust and Chris Lucas of the LoCash Cowboys opened the inaugural ToC Fest, firing up the crowd with their radio hits, including two songs made famous by other superstars — ‘Truck Yeah’ for Tim McGraw and ‘You Gonna Fly’ for Keith Urban. Also included in the duo’s set were covers from Fountains of Wayne and the Beastie Boys. A highlight was when Brust pulled someone he thought looked like a ‘Duck Dynasty’ cast member on stage to help with ‘Hey Hey Hey.’ The entire crowd chanted “Bubba, Bubba, Bubba” as the bearded fan soaked it in.

Weston Burt closed out the evening with a rockin’ performance on the Guts and Glory stage.

Day 2 of the 2013 Taste of Country Music Festival begins with Rachel Farley at 1:30PM ET, and includes later sets from Blackberry Smoke, Craig Campbell, Justin Moore, Montgomery Gentry and Trace Adkins. Tickets are still available for the day, but if you can’t make it, you can also watch many of the sets via a live stream.

2013 Taste of Country Festival – Day 1 Pictures

LoCash Cowboys
Paul Brasil for Taste of Country
LoCash Cowboys
Paul Brasil for Taste of Country
LoCash Cowboys
Paul Brasil for Taste of Country
Parmalee
Paul Brasil for Taste of Country
Mud Girl
Paul Brasil for Taste of Country
Parmalee
Taste of Country
Willie Nelson
Jessica Bal for Taste of Country Festival
Willie Nelson
Jessica Bal for Taste of Country Festival
Weston Burt
Jessica Bal for Taste of Country Festival

Next: See the Full Taste of Country Festival Lineup

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