All Eyes on Chase Rice

Country star Chase Rice merged music and tailgating for a new concert experience.

Bring your chairs, coolers, and cars for a new solution to live music experiences. Hosted at Bradley Ranch Winery, 300 cars lined up to see a live performance for the first time in months. Cars were staggered in parking spaces to allow for social distancing guidelines.

Opened by local Sacramento band Locked-N-Loaded, the country crowd enjoyed live music, tailgating, and dancing in the fresh air.

photo courtesy of Kaiser Cunningham

Starting the night off with ‘Break. Up. Drunk.’ from his new album, Chase Rice was thrilled to be performing for a live audience. Stating how he is missing fan interactions, Rice took a break between songs to answer questions from the crowd. After talking with a group of fans, he brought them on stage to be his back up dancers for the chorus of ‘Lonely If You Are.’ The women were grateful to get a socially distanced elbow bump from the star.

With catchy songs and great melodies, the audience enjoyed dancing in truck beds and singing along to songs they know and love. Rice’s powerful vocals echoed through the night sky.

Chase went on to serenade another woman with his version of ‘Ride.’ While a bit uncomfortable to watch as she was in the audience and Chase stayed on stage, we appreciate that distance was kept between the two.

photo courtesy of Kaiser Cunningham

However, Chase Rice isn’t shy to show his feelings about the COVID-19 pandemic. After hosting a ‘normal’ concert in June 2020 and facing backlash on social media, Rice commented “I understand, there’s a lot of varying opinions, a lot of different opinions on Covid-19, how it works with live music, crowds and what all that looks like.”

The artist announced that parts three and four of his album will be coming later this year and into next year. Chase Rice then went on to say he will be touring in 2021 no matter what the rules and regulations for COVID-19 are. While met with many cheers from the audience, the reality causes great concern for the possible impacts a regular concert will have on the health of the community.

Although drive in concerts seem to be a great solution to the decline of live music, the venue and staff neglected to enforce any rules set in place to avoid the spread of COVID-19. On the ticket purchasing page, audience members were told stay in their own parking spot and to wear a mask when leaving their spot. On air host Cody from local Country Music station KNCI reminded guests to wear masks, socially distance, and to stay in their personal bubbles. Nonetheless, groups merged together for dancing, corn hole, and mingling with no masks. The lines for food and restrooms consisted of hundreds of people wearing masks incorrectly or no masks at all. Venue staff let every case slide. The venue also completely lacked security. Vehicles were allowed in with no questions asked. Recognizing metal detectors are not an option, vehicles should be searched at the bare minimum. As Bradley Ranch Winery gears up to host more concerts this fall, there is no doubt Corona Virus will continue to spread.

photo courtesy of Kaiser Cunningham

Overall, there’s no denying Chase Rice’s musical talent. He put on a great and personal show with only ten days notice during this unpredictable time. We hope that future artists and venues seriously consider the pros and cons of hosting live outdoor concerts as Covid-19 restrictions loosen. When done well with regulations followed, this is a great way to begin bringing back the concerts we know and love. If you are missing live music and want to try out a drive-in concert experience we recommend bringing your own food and drinks and not leaving your parking space bubble, even to use the restroom.

To see where Chase Rice is headed next and to stay up to date on new music, check out his Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and website.

photo courtesy of Kaiser Cunningham