published Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Country time at Riverbend

by Laura Galbraith
  • photo
    Staff Photo by Dan Henry Headliner Montgomery Gentry plays on the CocaCola Stage at the 2009 Riverbend Festival on Friday, June 12th.

There might be one more night of Riverbend, but for country music fan Steve Newman, of Etowah, Tenn., Friday was the festival's culmination.

Friday night's headliner, Montgomery Gentry took the stage shortly after dark, opened with "The Big Revival," and had hundreds of attendees lined up shoulder-to-shoulder singing along and clapping to the beat.

"I love these guys," Mr. Newman said. "We've come down (to Riverbend) a couple of nights, but this is definitely the night I've been waiting for. I'm a country boy like they are."

Having secured a spot for himself and his friends on the lawn near the Coca-Cola Stage hours before the country duo's performance, Mr. Newman said he was ready for a night of Southern rock-and-roll.

"I've seen them in concert before and they're pretty dadgum energetic," he said. "It's probably going to be the best night of Riverbend."

The second song the group performed was their hit single "If You Ever Stop Loving Me," followed by "She Couldn't Change Me."

This was the first live performance of Montgomery Gentry for Kim and Larry Pillsbury, of Dayton, Tenn.

"I've always liked their style," Mr. Pillsbury said. "It's a lot of Southern rock. It's a little more upbeat than regular country."

Several families attended the night performance, including Jean Smith and her daughter, Jordan, 9.

Although her husband is not as big of a country fan, Mrs. Smith, of Dalton, Ga., said she was excited when she heard Montgomery Gentry was part of the festival's lineup.

"I just love their beat," she said.

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