The sun has set on the 2012 Stagecoach Country Music Festival so as we say goodnight to the cowgirls and cowboys, I have one more wrap-up report for you. Plus, as always, lots and lots of photos!
Most patriotic: Aaron Lewis
I don't know if it was the Staind frontman (who grew up on country music) singing about the red, white and blue and his grandfather's gun, the people in the crowd waving the "Don't Tread on Me" flag or the chant of "U.S.A! U.S.A.!" during the set, but I feel like a better American having seen Lewis play at Stagecoach.
The Hitmaker: Kenny Rogers
Kenny Rogers had the country legend Palomino Tent slot and he told the crowd that every song he was going to play would be a hit. He has a ton of them, so it wasn't surprising. The man could have done a different set each night of Stagecoach and still have leftovers. Hey, that's an idea for next year. KENNYCOACH! "Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town" was pretty awesome.
Miss Congeniality: Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Crow played a sparkling sunset set over at the Mane Stage and always a gracious performer, she shared the spotlight with fellow Sunday Mane Stage players Brad Paisley and Martina McBride, who guested during her set.
Best non-hologram stage effect: Brad Paisley
In the finest laser light show since those Pink Floyd Laser Light Shows took over arenas (and later, planetariums) in America, Paisley had a blistering set of hits that started with his outline all laser-fied.
Best dressed: The Unforgiven
If you're a band that was spawned by the idea of playing arena rock while dressed up in Spaghetti Western wear, you're The Unforgiven and you reunited at Stagecoach in the clothes in the crazy heat. If I deserve a merit badge for three weekends of coverage in Indio, The Unforgiven gets one for braving it in leather. They also win the best shout-out category for repeatedly giving props to the I.E. In all seriousness, I hope we get more shows from them now that they reunited.