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Rascal Flatts Delight Fans at ‘Go Fest’

“Better late than never, right?” Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts asked the crowd of Irvine, Calif.’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Sunday night, October 24. The show, which was part of the annual Go Fest put on by KKGO/Los Angeles radio station, was the last of three that had to be rescheduled owing to illness in the band.

Stealing Angels, Amie Mangola and Peter Brandon started the day with performances on the event’s second stage, before the JaneDear Girls, Sara Evans and headliners Rascal Flatts moved the to audience to the main stage.

Armed with a fiddle and electric guitar, the JaneDear girls strutted out in their five inch heels and introduced the crowd to songs such as ‘Shotgun Girl’ and their debut single, ‘Wildflower.’ “This song is a true story about some of the guys we dated,” the JaneDear girls’ Dannelle Leverett told the audience, before dedicating ‘Lucky You’ to “all the girls, and all the idiots who broke our hearts.”

Sara started her set with ‘As If,’ which led directly into ‘Perfect.’ ‘Born to Fly‘ was next, with one small change: she sang the lyrics as “Is there a blue-eyed boy in my future,” rather than “brown-eyed boy.”

“I got married two years to a football player from Alabama,” Sara said. “I have three kids and he has four, so together we have too many kids [laughs]. I moved to Birmingham and I’ve been writing and recording a new album. Lady Antebellum‘s Hillary Scott wrote this song and sent it to me. It’s ‘A Little Bit Stronger.’”

Sara took the time to acknowledge a few of her friends who were hanging out backstage, including ‘Desperate Housewives‘ actress Eva Longoria.

“I have so much to be thankful for, I dedicate this song to you guys because I knew I was taking a risk by taking some time off,” Sara confessed. “Every night when I get to my bus I say a prayer and thank God for you guys. Here’s ‘I Could Not Ask For More.‘”

Before Rascal Flatts took the stage, fans were entertained by a video from the group’s Santa Monica, Calif. album photo shoot and the music video for their current single ‘Why Wait.’

Bob That Head‘ started the show, bringing everyone to their feet, where they stayed for the next hour-and-a-half. The trio sprinted through their first album without stopping as they performed ‘Prayin’ for Daylight,’ ‘This Everyday Love‘ and ‘I’m Movin’ On’ with a backdrop of photos of the boys from the beginning of their career to now.

“We’re going to take you on a 10-year journey to ‘Why Wait,’ singing as many of your favorites as we possibly can because we’re sick of getting your hate mail,” Jay explained with a laugh before they launched into ‘Feels Like Today,’ ‘Fast Cars and Freedom,’ and ‘Here’s to You.’

The trio slowed it down, as Jay rolled out his keyboard and reminisced of growing up in church, singing gospel songs with bandmate Gary LeVox.

“We can’t go back to church any more,” Jay teased. “Joe Don Rooney decided it was a good idea to show is a** in one of our videos, so we can’t go back [laughs].”

The crowd sang back every word to ‘Bless the Broken Road,’ before the boys announced they were being joined on guitar by ‘American Idol‘ winner David Cook, the first of many celebrities to make an appearance.

Shaquille O’Neal, David Spade, Ron White and ‘CSI‘ actress Marg Helgenberger all congratulated Rascal Flatts on their 10 years together in a video shown before the group sang the appropriately-titled ‘Unstoppable.’

Guitarist Orianthi, who took the stage with Carrie Underwood during her Hollywood Bowl show last month, rocked ‘Life is a Highway‘ with the boys, officially concluding the show.

Never ones to leave their fans wanting too much more, the trio came back out with an encore consisting of ‘Foreplay/Long Time, Free Ride,’ and ‘Summer Nights.’ Fans left to a sign from the group, which read, “To the greatest fans in the world, Thanks for the ride.”

The trio’s newest album ‘Nothing Like This,’ which includes their current single ‘Why Wait,’ hits stores November 16.

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