The 2014 Country USA music festival in Oshkosh, Wis., came to a close on Saturday, June 28. The five-day event held at Ford Festival Field drew strong attendance despite inclement weather that affected the site grounds heading into the festival. Carrie Underwood headlined and Rodney Atkins provided direct support.
A huge line of thunderstorms appeared on the Wisconsin-Minnesota border around sunset, suggesting the festival was going to end as it began. However, the storms were moving to the north and held off long enough that they did not impact the show.
Rodney Atkins has been working in his next album, the followup to 2011's "Take a Back Road." He played a 60-minute set that included his latest single, "Doin' It Right," as well as a few of his #1 singles including "America" and "If You're Going Through Hell."
The crowd was primed for Underwood, who took the stage a little after 11 p.m. The season four American Idol winner shot straight to the top of the charts in 2005 and has not looked back. Supporting her 2012 album, "Blown Away," Underwood took the stage in a pair of shorts and red cape while immediately impressing the crowd with her strong and soulful vocals.
From her most-recent single "See You Again" to "Jesus, Take The Wheel," Underwood worked through her impressive catalog of hits. While she did not get through them all given her rather short 75-minute set, there were no faults in her performance. Fans were somewhat disappointed with the short set times, considering the break between sets frequently eclipses an hour.
Country USA will return in 2015 and they have already announced a handful of next year's headliners. Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert and Eric Church will be three of the five headliners. Management announced that they have a talent budget of $2.6 million--their largest to date.