DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — In addition to seeing some of the biggest stars in country music play in Minnesota’s great outdoors, one of the best things about WE Fest, which starts this Thursday, Aug. 1, is the artists getting festive with their setlists.
Whether it's a headliner embracing the party atmosphere and throwing in one of their favorite tunes or an opener needing to fill out their set, WE Fest acts have had some fun with cover songs over the years.
Other than each artists’ biggest songs, here is what else you might hear this weekend.
Always one of the most entertaining artists at WE Fest, Urban keeps his set fresh. This includes showcasing members of his band on vocals singing anything from U2’s “With or Without You” to Niall Horan’s “Slow Hands” to MAX’s “Lights Down Low.”
Brooks & Dunn
Country’s biggest duo is together again, but the group hasn't released any new material in a decade, so they’ll likely just stick to the many hits they had. The one cover you can bank on is one of their biggest hits, B.W. Stevenson’s “My Maria.”
Stapleton went from being known in certain country circles to being a household name in 2015 when he performed “Tennessee Whiskey” with Justin Timberlake at the Country Music Association Awards. Until then it was best-known as a David Allan Coe song, but now it’s a Stapleton staple.
Always one to straddle the line between country and pop, you can expect Currington to play both sides with his cover of Walk The Moon’s “Shut up and Dance” as well as a nod to a country legend with his spin on Alan Jackson’s “Don’t Rock the Jukebox.”
Owen scored a hit when he recorded Cadillac Three’s “Days of Gold,” but live, he’s been known to pull out an Alabama medley. He outdid himself at ND Country Fest earlier this month near New Salem, N.D., when he brought Fargo singer Blind Joe onstage to play David Allan Coe’s “You Never Even Called Me by My Name” and Hank Williams Jr.’s “Family Tradition.”
While he’s penned more than a few hits himself, Johnson likes to keep the show rolling by mixing in a handful of covers. When he played the Fargo Theatre last year, he pulled out John Prine’s “Paradise,” Jerry Reed’s “Eastbound and Down” and a rousing finale of spirituals medley of “I Saw the Light,” “I’ll Fly Away,” “This Little Light of Mine” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”
You know she’ll throw in some Patsy Cline, but the fun thing about Rimes is you don’t know what else she’ll bring to the stage. At a recent show, she threw in Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” John Anderson’s “Swingin’” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Secret Garden” before ending the show with Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon.”
With only one album to their credit, expect LANCO to tap into some cover tunes when they play early Friday evening. Earlier this year, they pulled out The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside,” John Michael Montgomery’s iconic “Sold” and Eric Church’s “Drink in My Hand” and “Springsteen.”
Big & Rich
Big Kenny and John Rich don’t give a concert as much as they throw a party, and the playlist can get surprisingly funky. The duo have been known to crank out Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back,” Red Hot Chili Peppers' “Give it Away,” Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” KC & The Sunshine Band’s “Get Down Tonight,” Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” and Parliament Funkadelic’s “Give Up the Funk.”
If you go
What: WE Fest
When: Mainstage concerts start at 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, through Saturday, Aug. 3
Where: Soo Pass Ranch, Detroit Lakes, Minn.
Info: Single-day tickets start at $198; https://wefest.com/