Four States Music Festival invades Pittsburg State University!

Chase Rice and his band performing at the Four States Music Festival in Pittsburg, Kansas on Friday, September 16, 2022. (Photo credit: Kyle Million)

BY KYLE MILLION | Go Venue Magazine

Friday, September 16th was a beautiful night for an outdoor concert series that came to the small town of Pittsburg, Kansas.  With four bands and a constant live DJ I’d say it was a hit with everyone who attended and the locals listening from their back decks.  The staff was super helpful and everything we well laid out for all the attendants to have the best night of country entertainment.

DJ Lazer kicked it off with non-stop tunes to greet all as they came in and found their spots or ordered food and drinks, as well as pounding out the beats between setts.  Played a range of country to rock with some classic rap beats in the mix, it seemed all ages had something to dance to while awaiting the bands.

Adam Doleac was a new band to me and did not disappoint, as most who know me know a band doesn’t exist until I have captured them live.  Adam is a country music singer/songwriter signed to Arista Nashville and has written songs with Darius Rucker and Kane Brown.  “Whiskey’s Fine” is probably his most known song, and you could hear most of the crowd singing along with him as if they were on stage with him. I would definitely check this artist out and see a show if you get the chance.

Kameron Marlowe took the stage right on time next coming out to many cheering fans that nearly shook the ground with cheers.  Marlowe was born and raised in Kannapolis, North Carolina, which was brought up to intro a song and involve the crowd at the end of his band’s set.  While working as a car parts salesman in Kannapolis, Marlowe received a call from a talent recruiter from The Voice, who had seen his live performance videos on YouTube. They offered Marlowe a fast track to the series’ live auditions. He debuted on the show’s Blind Auditions premiere on September 24, 2018 and subsequently joined Blake Shelton‘s Team Blake before being “stolen” by Coach Adam Levine later in the season.  Subsequently, Marlowe moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a career as a songwriter and is now touring the states and growing his fan base!

Parmalee took the stage a few mins ahead of schedule and when the lights came up there was the same energy in the air as the last time I captured them at country stampede in Manhattan, Kansas.  Consisting of brothers Matt Thomas (lead vocals, guitar) and Scott Thomas (drums), along with their cousin Barry Knox (bass) and Josh McSwain (guitar), who is a best friend since childhood. Little tragic backstory in 2010, the band were victims of an attempted robbery.  They had just finished playing at The Money, a bar in Rock Hill, South Carolina, on September 21, and were in their RV when Dytavis Hinton and Demario Burris entered the vehicle with a handgun demanding money. Drummer Scott Thomas came out from the back of the bus with his own gun and told them to leave. According to the band, Burris opened fire and a gunfight erupted. Thomas was shot in the leg, stomach, and chest. Burris was killed and Hinton wounded in the lower half of his body. Both wounded men were transported to the Carolinas Medical Center. Thomas remained in critical condition after the gunshot wound and was hospitalized in Charlotte, North Carolina, for 35 days, ten of which he spent in a coma.  Hinton pleaded guilty to attempted murder, burglary, attempted armed robbery, and criminal conspiracy; he was sentenced to 20 years in prison with no chance of parole. By May 2011, Thomas was well enough to get behind a drum kit for the first time and the band finally performed their promised label showcase. These boys are pure country and their lives and music reflect that and are always on my top 20 in their genre.

Last but not least is Chase Rice and like Parmalee I had the privilege of both capturing and meeting them at past country stampede and other shows.  The year before I met him, he was on the cast of survivor Nicaragua, and before that worked a pit crew for NASCAR and played college football. Chase has many hit titles both before and after that first meetup and will continue to wow his country music fans with more to come.

I have to say after talking to attendees and other Pittsburg residents, we really had a great time and hope to see more shows like this of all genres of music come to both the Pitt state campus and other music venues around the town both big and small.

All images © Kyle Million

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