Review: Neal McCoy Covers Sam Hunt Metal-Style at 2016 Taste of Country Music Festival
You can’t accuse Neal McCoy of being out of step with the times. The veteran country star gave fans one of the most unexpectedly awesome onstage moments at the 2016 Taste of Country Music Festival on Sunday (June 12).
The veteran country singer took the stage in mid-afternoon at Hunter Mountain in New York, following an earlier set from Outshyne on the final day of the three-day country music and camping festival. The first two days of ToC Fest had already seen hot sets from the likes of the Cadillac Three, Big & Rich, Kid Rock, Old Dominion, the Swon Brothers, Eric Paslay, Frankie Ballard, Kenny Chesney and more. McCoy is especially well-known for his live shows, and he brought some serious energy and infectious humor to the Ram Guts & Glory Stage.
McCoy’s hour-long set included plenty of his own hits and fan favorites from across the decades, but he also included covers of “Uptown Funk,” Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” and even Sam Hunt‘s “House Party.” The first three were pretty close to the originals, but in the loose spirit of fun that pervades his shows, McCoy and his band re-arranged the Hunt track in a beefed-up heavy metal arrangement, including his keyboardist playing a keytar onstage and McCoy himself delivering part of the song in a throat-shredding, distorted metal vocal style, much to the crowd’s astonished delight.
McCoy offered up energetic renditions of songs including ‘The Shake,” “I Like It Loud,” “They’re Playing Our Song” and “No Doubt About It,” warning fans that he had performed that song at the weddings of Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, as well as Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert. “You know what happened there,” he quipped, “so if you’re thinking about playing this song as your first dance … ”
He included a sincere version of “How Great Thou Art” before wrapping up his set with “Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On” and “Wink,” leaving the stage to the powerful strains of “I’m Your Biggest Fan,” which McCoy dedicated to both his own fans and the U.S. military. He left the fans with one final comedy turn, telling them, “If you liked [the concert], let Taste of Country know. If you didn’t like it, when you get back to your tent or your truck, I hope someone’s broken in and stolen all your sh-t,” drawing roars of laughter from the fans. “That’s karma, right there.”
McCoy released his most recent album, You Don’t Know Me, exclusively online or via his fan club. For more information, visit his official website. Click through to keep track of the rest of his 2016 tour dates.
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