After a long day on the trade show floor, attendees can head to 4th Street Live! for the annual live concert series. Back for the fourth year in a row, The Crashers will take the familiar stage, this time on Tuesday evening. The band has been together since 2008 and established national credibility when they performed as the official pre-game band for NBC at Super Bowl XLVI.
The Louisville-based band has become an GIE+EXPO crowd favorite since their first GIE+EXPO performance four years ago.
On Wednesday, country singer Kelleigh Bannen will open for Colt Ford. Bannen has a new EP, “Cheap Sunglasses,” which joins a catalog that already includes a career-launching indie album, “Radio Skies,” and a handful of singles, from “Smoke When I Drink” to “Famous.”
Colt Ford will bring a hybrid of country music, blues, rock and rap to the stage Wednesday night. He recently released his sixth studio album, “Love Hope Faith.” The artist built a following that started with mud trucker events and graduated to arena status sharing the stage with country stars like Toby Keith. Ford co-wrote and originally recorded the song “Dirt Road Anthem” for his debut album Ride Through the Country; it was later released by Brantley Gilbert, who co-wrote the song.
The final night of live music kicks off Thursday with the winner of the Nashville North Star competition, MacKenzie Porter. Porter is a musician, actress and singer from Canada. After touring with her brother Kalan Porter, winner of Canadian Idol, as a family band, Porter launched her solo career in 2010 and her debut album, which includes “I Wish I'd Known” and “Never Gonna Let You,” in 2014. She has opened for Kenny Chesney, Doc Walker and Trooper, among others.
Closing the concert series this year is Platinum-artist Jana Kramer. Her debut single, “Why Ya Wanna,” hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and No. 52 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2012. She was also the most played new artist of that year.
The concerts kick off a day early this year, sponsored by BOB-CAT Mowers on the Mercedes Benz Vans stage, with the new trade show schedule.
“We're excited to have BOB-CAT and Mercedes back on board to bring three nights of networking for attendees, and we're shaking things up this year with a Tuesday concert,” says Warren Sellers, show director. “Attendees who plan to be on hand Wednesday for the new industry-wide show hours, opening keynotes and education can get an early start on the networking and fun.”