Detroit’s 33rd annual Downtown Hoedown headlined by Rascal Flatts and Darius Rucker on the Detroit Riverftont.

99.5 WYCD is Detroit’s longest running country station and presented the 33rd annual Downtown Hoedown. Previously held in Hart Plaza and Comerica Park, this was the first year it was held on the Detroit riverfront at West Riverfront Park, a beautiful location right on the river with plenty of room for three stages and tons of other activities.

The 2015 Downtown Hoedown opened Friday with Audrey Ray from Highland, MI. She and her band were the perfect kickoff of the event. Annabelle Road, also from Detroit, would kick off the party on the 2nd stage. A staple in the Detroit music scene for years, they, along with Audrey Ray, were the perfect acts for fans before heading to the mainstage.

Rising Star Cam opened the main stage on Friday. Fans would recognize her when she played her hit song “My Mistake.” After Cam, one of the highlight artists of the weekend took the stage. A Thousand Horses are on the fast track to stardom. Their hit song “Smoke” is taking over radio stations all over the country. Their whole set was energetic and their combination country and southern rock sound was a great mix. Brothers Osborne would perform next and was a great band to follow A Thousand Horses. With similar sound and energy it would not be a surprise to see these groups playing shows together in the future.

Friday’s main stage headliners were Brett Eldredge and Darius Rucker. Brett took the stage and played a set of songs including his three number one songs “Don’t Ya,” “Beat Of The Music,” and “Mean To Me.” Darius Rucker would close the night with his collection of hits including “Radio,” “Alright,” and “Wagon Wheel.” Darius also gave fans a throwback to his days as the frontman for Hootie and the Blowfish when he played a few of their songs including, “Time,” “Let Her Cry,” and “Only Wanna Be With You.”

Saturday’s show began with some of Detroit’s best local talent. Paulina Jayne, David Shelby, and Gunnar and the Grizzly Boys have all been successful in Detroit’s country scene and are now tapping into the national market. All of them have ample talent, and it’s only a matter of time before they will be on the big stage.

Saturdays main stage kicked off with Striking Matches, Ashley Monroe, and Drake White. Eric Paslay would play next with his recent collection of hits including “Song About A Girl” “She Don’t Love You” and “Friday Night”. Hometown beauty Jana Kramer was next with many friends and family in attendance. Jana is from Rochester about 30 minutes from Detroit.

Headlining the show Saturday night were The Eli Young Band and Rascal Flatts. The Eli Young band has produced quite the collection of hit songs over the last few years. Playing their hits “Drunk Last Night,” “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” and “Crazy Girl,” they had the crowd ready for the main act of the weekend, Rascal Flatts. When they took the stage, it meant the hoedown was wrapping up. Fans were not ready for it to be over, though, as the band rolled through their huge collection of hits. “What Hurts The Most,” “Life Is A Highway,” “Rewind,” and “Take Me There,” were just some of the hits that closed out a beautiful Saturday night in Detroit.

Rascal Flatts
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Darius Rucker
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99.5 WYCD Detroit
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About The Author

Me, Myself, & I were born and raised in metro Detroit. I have been photographing since I first discovered the throw-away camera. I spent most nights of my youth in concert venues developing a love for the live show. In the past couple of years I have combined those two hobbies. For me there is no better escape than having music to hear and a lens to look through. I looked forward to sharing my photographic eye with you here on National Rock review.