As part of my recent trip to the Brickyard 400, I went to my first ever country music concert. As you can imagine, country music is a major component of the event – it being Nascar and all – and the folks at Big Machine Records did a lot for the armed forces heroes in attendance. One of Big Machine’s artists is Justin Moore, who was the headline performer for the weekend.
Let me preface what I’m about to say with this: I wasn’t asked to write this post by anyone in connection with my trip to Indy. I wasn’t approached by Big Machine Records. I wasn’t asked to write this by Crown Royal or anyone. I’m saying this of my own free will: Justin Moore is one badass dude. And his concert was one of the most fun music experiences I’ve ever had.
Regardless of if you dig the music or not< , any fan can appreciate when an artist has enough charisma to hold the crowd in the palm of his hand and Moore did just that.
At one point, Moore yelled “You not taking my gun!” while tossing his guitar and pounding his chest (that's actually what's happening in the image above) and the crowd went absolutely ape sh*t. Buddy had a control over the crowd you have to appreciate no matter if you’re into country music or not. He really reminded me of a little country T.I. - short, badass and all attitude and charisma. I can dig it.
One of Moore's most popular songs is "Bait A Hook" and it's just glorious. The premise of the song is his ex dating a man who isn't manly enough to. Why isn't he man enough? He drinks martinis and "eats that sushi stuff." Guys. This is just manly man sh*t and it's amazing.
But this…this song which Moore didn’t perform but people were talking about, may be my favorite new thing ever. Moore is so no-nonsense. Seriously, he’s really like a little T.I. in the way he presents his badassery. Here’s Justin Moore with “I’ll Kick Your Ass.”
And that, my friends, is why I’m officially bestowing the label of Country Music Swag God to the one and only Justin Moore.
One thing that really stuck to me was the country music aesthetic as opposed to rap music. Rap is aspirational in the way rappers talk about stuff most fans will never have access to (millions, models, jewelry, etc) while country music is about celebrating sh*t we do every day. Here’s how Justin Moore’s monologue before a song went:
“I like to hunt…”
*crowd goes wild*
“I like to fish…”
*crowd cheers louder*
“I like to drink Jack Daniels…”
*Crowd loses its mind*
“And ride around in my pickup truck…”
roof comes off the concert (it was outdoors but you get it) and crowd starts chanting “USA! USA!”
It’s as if they’re saying “WE DO THAT TOO! YEAHHHHH!”
It’s just an interesting juxtaposition between rap and country that I can’t stop thinking about. It’d be much easier for rappers to rap what they know and for a crowd to celebrate it. But alas…
* — Moore also explained something called #bowseason, which was about the hunting time when he gets to do whatever he wants. Essentially, it’s YOLO for White people.