Boots in the Park at Norco launches with Tim McGraw, Dustin Lynch and more – Press Enterprise

As soon as the doors opened for the first Boots in the Park at SilverLakes in Norco on Saturday, fans were ready to party. The weather was hot and windy, and there was fried food and barbecue, cold drinks, country music and good vibes all around.

Attendees who showed up early played games on the spacious festival grounds, hit the free Ferris wheel and line-danced. Throughout the day, many enjoyed the range of cocktails, shots and beers available, so much so that at the end of the night a Riverside Sheriff’s Deputy, who had been brought on stage to present Tim McGraw Festival headlinerjoked that although it had been a pretty peaceful day, he thought a lot of people had forgotten how to behave after two years at home.

But the fans weren’t the only ones having a good time. Dustin Lynch came out after the sun went down with hits like “Where It’s At”, “Small Town Boy”, “Seein’ Red” and his latest “Party Mode”. He told the crowd that he could definitely feel her energy.

“I can already say this is a night we will never forget,” he said. “You all look so good. I’ll have to catch a buzz with you all tonight.

  • Tim McGraw headlines the Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • DJ Keahi performs during Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Boots in the Park Music Festival attendees enjoy dancing at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Tim McGraw performs to a sold-out audience at Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Claire Wright performs during Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Laura Kimborowicz, right, tries on a white suede cowboy hat during the Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Craig Morgan performs to a sold-out audience at Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • From left, Michael Bronson and Brenna McCurry pose for a photo during Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • From right, Jenny Kottman and Abigail Magnusen line dance during Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Craig Morgan performs during Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Dustin Lynch performs during Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Different types of cowboy hats for sale during the Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Tim McGraw performs to a sold-out audience at Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • From left, Diane Adams and Racheal Cope pose for a photo during their first appearance at the Boots in the Park festival in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Dustin Lynch performs during Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Philip Victor, center, leads a line dancing class during Boots in the Park Music Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Annie Trail line dances during the Boots in the Park Festival in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Morgan Evans, center, performs during Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Tim McGraw headlines the Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Craig Morgan performs during Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Dustin Lynch fans enjoy his performance during Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Dustin Lynch performs during Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Country music fans pose for photos during the Boots in the Park Music Festival at SilverLakes Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Dustin Lynch performs during Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Dustin Lynch performs during Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Craig Morgan, left, performs during Boots in the Park Festival at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park in Norco on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

Lynch’s deep voice swept through the festival grounds with the ballad “Cowboys and Angels,” but he brought the party back with “Good Girl.” Midway through that song, he added a medley that included ’90s hits like Smash Mouth’s “All Star,” Semisonic’s “Closing Time,” and Green Day’s “When I Come Around,” as he hopped from the stage and passed through the enthusiastic audience who sang with him in the pit.

He’s been a great warm-up for McGraw, who also seemed genuinely excited to perform after a pandemic-enforced hiatus. He now has decades of live-playing success and he has mixed the game well with a good mix of classics and fresh material. He opened with “How Bad Do You Want It” with his band absolutely tearing up the song and the crowd going wild. They really wanted it and he gave it to them.

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Next up was “Something Like That,” a late 90s hit that gave us the oft-joked lyrics “I had a barbecue stain on my white T-shirt.” McGraw smiled as he sang the line and later in the song he just pointed the microphone at the fans and let them roar him. He didn’t say much during the set except to thank everyone for making a day like this possible again. Instead, he sang, danced in his blue jeans and boots, strapped on an occasional guitar, and put on a show for that crowd. People got excited during “Felt Good On My Lips,” “I Like It, I Love It,” and “Live Like You Were Dying.”

Although it was around 80 degrees earlier in the day, the temperature dropped quickly at night, dropping into the upper 50 degrees by the end of McGraw’s lap. Fans began to walk out, their daytime summer clothes now covered in sweatshirts, beach towels and blankets, as he dove into a three-song encore. He ended the set with ‘The Cowboy in Me’, ‘Indian Outlaw’ and although it wasn’t his most exuberant outing, he saved the timely ballad ‘Humble and Kind’ for last and reminded everyone of take care of each other.

The day also included sets from singer-songwriter and Army veteran Craig Morgan, who had traveled from Alaska for the concert and shook his hips and sang songs like “This Is What I ‘likes about Sunday’, ‘Whiskey’ and he added a bit of The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ to ‘Wake Up Loving You’. Australian country star Morgan Evans impressed with songs like “Kiss Somebody” and “Day Drunk”, which some found a fitting anthem for the event.

Northern California singer-songwriter Claire Wright had fun running while the crowd danced to her song “Vice.” Norco’s Presley Tennant not only opened the show and played new music, including “Gamble On You,” but stunned the crowd when she returned to the stage to sing the national anthem just before the performance of McGraw.

Overall, the day felt as “back to normal” as things can feel right now, with a few dozen fans still opting to wear face coverings during the outdoor festival. Promoters were also teasing his upcoming Boots in the Park festival in Norco, led by Blake Shelton, which takes place on June 17. After having to postpone festivals for over a year due to COVID-19, promoters brought the series back to Norco in June 2021 with Chris Young.

There were still a few things to settle. As fans left the site in droves on Saturday evening, there was confusion over exit routes for vehicles. Everything stopped near the entrance to the site for about half an hour before law enforcement took control of the situation and began directing traffic to safety.

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