The first-ever Taste of Country Music Festival is now behind us. What started as a rainy weekend ended with country music fans spread across the hill, dancing along with songs by Lady Antebellum, Billy Currington, Hunter Hayes and many more. Real estate was difficult to come by for the entire three-day festival, but Saturday's nice weather really packed Hunter Mountain.
Along the way, we learned some things about many of the festival's artists. Stars like Justin Moore and Montgomery Gentry were kind enough to do interviews before they took the stage, and that lead to a few moments of realization. A simple stroll through the concession and activity concourse also provided more than one eye-popping moment. Here are 10 things we learned from the 2013 Taste of Country Music Festival.
No song is off limits.
Among the more unusual choices for cover songs were 'Fight for Your Right to Party' by the Beastie Boys (LoCash Cowboys), 'Man in the Mirror' by Michael Jackson (Billy Currington), Katy Perry's 'Hot N Cold' (Rachel Farley) and 'Baby Got Back' by Sir Mix-a-Lot (Joe Nichols). Additionally, fans heard songs from Joe Walsh, Hank Williams Jr. and Fleetwood Mac during the unpredictable three-day camping and music fest.
Trace Adkins and Billy Currington come to life onstage.
Let's be honest: both men are kind of quiet offstage. Trace Adkins is reserved, while Currington has always been a little shy. That all changes when you put a microphone in their hands. The 'Just Fishin'' singer works the stage with more charisma than a Hollywood actor, while Currington jumps around and urges fans to help him sing his hooky hits. If anyone in the audience was not familiar with these two (hey, it's possible) beforehand, they left with a great first impression.
Joe Nichols makes beautiful kids.
The 'Sunny and 75' singer has been posting photos of his now 14-month-old daughter on Twitter since she was born in 2012, and brought his nearly 15-year-old daughter to ToC Fest. Ashelyn is gorgeous. In an interview, the singer says he wishes he was as patient with her as a baby as he is with little Dylan.
Not all cowboys can ride a bull.
While one man from New York stayed on the mechanical bull for an impressive 68 seconds, most were like Dakota Bradley and Austin Webb. Their attempts to tame this beast were futile and hilarious, even though the bull was moving at the speed of a dairy cow. At one point, Webb -- who had four tries at it -- was draped over the top, hanging on to the bull's horns while it bucked him around.
Justin Moore is going to be a superstar.
Many fans thought Justin Moore stole the show on Friday -- an impressive feat with popular acts Montgomery Gentry and Trace Adkins also on the bill. The 'Point at You' singer has seven Top 20 hits and is going to be headlining his own tour -- again -- very soon. Look for his third album 'Off the Beaten Path' to raise his profile.
Brit Turner of Blackberry Smoke shampoos his beard.
Charlie Starr, the band's lead singer, does not. The group was kind enough to answer questions smarter than this before discussing their beard grooming habits. If you're curious, Turner doesn't have a favorite beard shampoo, but he said if he ignores it he'll begin to smell like an old tire.
How to "Bicep Chug."
Dustin Lynch gave a tutorial on how one does the "bicep chug" at the 2013 ToC Festival. It's a maneuver his bassist came up with, and it's beginning to catch on with his fans. Watch the video, but use a beer instead of Red Bull. It was early when we caught up with him.
Bears are more than welcome.
OK, at least one bear was welcome. This little grizzly cub stayed on her leash for the duration of her festival outing. You may have spotted Tallulah next to the bull riding tent and the other adorable farm animals. She wasn't for sale -- we asked.
Performing eight months pregnant ... easier than you might think!
Of course, it's possible that Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum only made it look easy. The singer wasn't held back one bit by her big and beautiful belly. The trio's set was as energetic as any they've played. Lady A truly left it all on the stage at the Taste of Country Music Festival, knowing it was their last show until after Scott gives birth.
Brad Paisley is a 2014 headliner.
Before Saturday night's headliner Lady Antebellum took the stage, the 2014 ToC Fest dates were announced, along with the exciting news that Brad Paisley will be headlining one of the three nights. Mark your calendar for June 13-15 2014 and follow the Taste of Country Music Festival on Facebook for lineup and ticket updates.