The 2016 Country LakeShake Festival kicked off yesterday in a big way. The first day of the Chicago country music festival had performances from two very talented female singers, Jana Kramer and Kacey Musgraves.
All female country singers aren't cut from the same cloth. That was very apparent when Kramer and Musgraves showed they had two very different styles when it comes to live performances. Kramer was energetic and worked the entire stage. Musgraves was laid back and serene as she belted out her tunes.
Jana Kramer was the first artist to perform on the mainstage at the 2016 Country LakeShake Festival. She came out swinging by having her first song be "Pop That Bottle," which is a hard hitting and high energy track from her latest album Thirty One.
During "Pop That Bottle" Kramer worked the entire t-shaped catwalk stage, and showed she was there to put on a memorable performance. One of those memorable moments was when she performed "Love." During the song she went down to the crowd and sang while taking pictures with fans.
Not only was she energetic while performing, but Jana Kramer also playfully bantered with the crowd. Before she went into "Don't Touch My Radio" a young male fan caught her attention. Not sure what he yelled to her, but Kramer's response was "I have a baby and ring on my finger, I'm too much trouble. Plus I have spanks on, I don't know if you're into that."
Other songs Kramer performed during her set were "Circles," "I Got the Boy," and "Whiskey." Towards the end she sang a medley of cover songs, which included Pink's "So What," Katy Perry's "Dark Horse," and Charlie Puth's "One Call Away." Overall, Jana Kramer was a great artist to kick off the 2016 Country LakeShake Festival.
Later on in the day country singer Kacey Musgraves took the stage with her band. During her set she never once walked the catwalk part of the stage. She opted to stay on the mainstage, and behind her glittery mic stand for most of the performance.
Musgraves started out her LakeShake set with "Step Off," which is a fun track from her debut studio album Same Trailer Different Park. During her set she also sang "This Town," "Blowin' Smoke," "Family Is Family," and Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy."
Towards the end of her performance Musgraves sang the biggest song of her writing career, "Mama's Broken Heart," which was recorded by Miranda Lambert. Even though Musgraves was a co-writer on the song, it was a bit strange watching her perform it because you just want to compare her take on it to Lambert's. In the end, Musgraves' live performance was a bit softer compared to Lambert's 'in your face' delivery.
After "Mama's Broken Heart," Musgraves sang the biggest single of her career, "Follow Your Arrow." When it came time for the last chorus, Musgraves stepped back and let the crowd take over vocals. She closed out her 2016 Country LakeShake Festival performance by covering Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walkin." Following that song, all her band members took a bow with Musgraves.
It was a nice way to end the set because she was the only performer on the mainstage to take a bow with a backing band. All the other performers said their 'thank yous' and departed the stage while their band was still playing.