Don't get me wrong — I loved every second of Brad Paisley's guitar riffing, Tim McGraw's leather pants, and Sam Hunt's whole... vibe. But where on earth were all the women at the iHeartRadio Country Festival? Country music is chock-full of some of the most talented women in music but that wasn't evident from iHeartRadio's lineup. For goodness' sake, one of them was hosting! Jennifer Nettles promised she was working on a new single for summer and a new album by fall, but if she wasn't ready with new original music, I would have been happy with her just getting up there and covering, I don't know, "Shut Up and Dance" (OK... ecstatic).
In two hours of performances, I counted exactly three women on that Austin, Texas stage and not a single solo female performance among them. Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry came in half way through the festival with an awesome cover "Uptown Funk" alongside her brothers, but even then — still not a single female country note sung at one of country's biggest events. Thank goodness, then, for Karen Fairchild, who the audience was lucky enough to get two shared performances from: one with Tim McGraw on a beautiful duet of "Diamond Rings and Old Barstools" and again later breaking every heart with lead vocals on the Little Big Town hit, "Girl Crush" (with bandmates, including Kimberly Schlapman, backing her up). And even though Fairchild pretty much stole the show from the many men who followed and preceded her, I could have used a few more of the coolest ladies in country...
I mean, if we're doing Tim McGraw duets, it seems only appropriate. Also... I miss her.
There's hardly a country singer out there who can lay a candle to Miranda Lambert's stage presence... maybe that's why they didn't bring her out? At least we got her Dodge commercial in between dude performances, I guess.
If there's a country music event without Carrie Underwood, her perfect voice, and her perfect performance gowns, did that country music event every really happen at all?
I think I've made this argument clear, but seriously, any old song in Nettles' husky tone would have been the perfect addition to this night of country music.
But it's not all about the biggest names; just like there was room for the fresh male faces of country on the iHeartRadio stage, there should have been room for the very cool Mickey Guyton to sing her big 2015 debut, "Better Than You Left Me."
And while I'm making specific song suggestions, what better place to get a serving of Kacey Musgraves' pun-tastic "Biscuits" than the iHeartRadio Country Festival? Honestly!
Images: Getty Images (3)