Chicago’s Northerly Island was the picturesque home to the second annual Country LakeShake festival this past weekend, hosting some 50,000 fans for three days of performances.
The lineup of more than 30 acts included Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride, Thomas Rhett, Sam Hunt, Kacey Musgraves, A Thousand Horses, Jon Pardi and Aubrie Sellers, among several other big and rising Nashville names. We spoke to several of the acts about the huge country music party [see video above], including Rhett who can’t get over the Windy City energy.
“Me and the band sit down after every Chicago show that we play and we’re like, ‘How do we replicate these people and put them in every other part of the country?’ It’s amazing,” he tells Rolling Stone Country. “I remember playing LakeShake last year and just thinking, ‘Why are these people going ballistic at 3:10 in the afternoon for people they don’t even know?'”
Aldean is equally as enamored with Chicago country fans. “When I just got started in this business, I really hadn’t been out of the Southeast much,” he says, “so to come up here and see how big the fans are here, it’s crazy.”
On LakeShake’s final night, Aldean led a show that was taped for an upcoming TV special. CMT Concert of the Summer: Jason Aldean & Friends Live at LakeShake will air September 3rd at 8:00 p.m. ET on CMT.