Signs Country Music is Rising in Boston
Image Credit: rowelbg via Flickr
Until recently, country musicâ€™s relationship with Boston was best captured by Taylor Swiftâ€™s monstrous unrequited-love hit, â€śYou Belong with Me.â€ť
If you could see that Iâ€™m the one who understands you
Been here all along, so why canâ€™t you see?
You belong with me
Maybe that’s overstating the plight, but believe it or not, Boston does have a strong country following that doesnâ€™t get the attention it truly deserves. Country tours have hit Gilette Stadium, the Bank of America Pavilion, the Comcast Center, and just about every venue not in the city, but we continue to ignore its vast fan-base and banish it just beyond 495.
Things may be turning around for the country lovers, though. WKLB, or 102.5 FM, reported today that itâ€™s been named the Country Music Associationâ€™s 2012 Major Market Station of the Year, topping Phoenix, Portland, OR, Washington, DC, and Baltimore. (Yes, there is a country station in Boston. No, youâ€™re not the only one whoâ€™s surprised.)
In even bigger news: Live Nation announced last week that Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert will play Fenway Park on July 13, marking the first time (â€ślike, ever,â€ť as Swift would say) a country music star will have the Green Monstah as his backdrop.
And, oh, is the media having a field day with their baseball puns.
From the Herald: â€śFenway not swinging for fence with Jason Aldeanâ€ť
And then there’s the Washington Post: â€śOut of left field: Country star Jason Aldean announces shows at Wrigley Field, Fenway Parkâ€ť
The point there is that it’s shocking that Fenway, whose field has been graced by the likes of Springsteen, Aerosmith, and the Rolling Stones, would choose a country man as its summer sellout. The Herald‘s Jed GottliebÂ is far from impressed with the announcement.Â Though heâ€™s positive â€śmodern country lovers who pack the park will have a rip-roaring timeâ€ť (you can almost hear him saying â€śrip-roaringâ€ť in a mocking Southern accent), he just doesnâ€™t think the Aldean/Lambert lineup isâ€¦ wait for itâ€¦ “legendary.” Itâ€™s simply not good enough for the Fens. Why not get Jay-Z or BeyoncĂ©? Why not get Jay-Z and BeyoncĂ©? These are the questions plaguing Gottlieb. The funny part is that in the poll beside his blog post, asking what readersâ€™ fantasy Fenway bill would be, the most popularÂ responseÂ (33%) is from those who say theyâ€™re happy with Aldean and Lambert. And thatâ€™s probably because, while they slide under the radar, there are lots of country lovers out there, thrilled with Fenwayâ€™s choice.
Though this writer isn’t typically among them, still we ask: what about this show isnâ€™t legendary?
For the first time in history, the sound of country twang will fill Fenwayâ€™s airwaves, and bring together throngs of fans who have been patiently awaiting this announcement. This concert may not be for everyone, but the very fact that itâ€™s highly expected to sell out the parkâ€™s nearly 40,000 seats is evidence enough that it will be a knockout. The performers are contemporary, the idea is fresh, and itâ€™s time for a change. History is full of them, is it not?
You want something big and new, Gottlieb? Well, here it is. Pull on your cowboy boots and get ready. Fenway has finally realized that what itâ€™s looking for has been here the whole time.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2012/10/22/signs-country-music-rising-boston/