Greeley Stampede gets Toby Keith, Clay Walker, LOCASH to headline 2017 concert series
December 12, 2016
The Greeley Stampede's concert lineup features two long-time country-music veterans surrounded by two up-and-coming acts.
Chase Rice, LOCASH, Toby Keith and Clay Walker will headline the 2017 summer concert lineup, the organization announced Dec. 6. Stampede organizers also are working on two more shows, including one that will feature a rock act.
By numbers alone, Keith is the biggest name of the series. He's sold more than 40 million albums and has had 21 No. 1 hits, including his signature hit, "How Do You Like Me Now?" He's released 17 studio albums and two Christmas albums. He's known for his down-to-earth, outgoing and outspoken partying personality.
Trent Johnson, the night show chairman whose job it is to book the shows, said Keith's concert "will be the biggest of the summer." He said the last time the Stampede had him was in the early 2000s. He called Keith the anchor of the concert package.
"He's still a huge force to be reckoned with," Johnson said. "I'm super excited to have him back."
Clay Walker is another established country-music veteran, with 11 albums and 30 hit singles, including many No. 1 hits such as "Live Until I Die," "Rumor Has It" and "What's It To You." Johnson said many in the industry said the Stampede needed a classic country act such as Ronnie Milsap and Kenny Rogers, who came to the Stampede in 2015. Johnson believes Walker now fits that role.
"We are all getting older, and what your dad listened to is now vintage country," Johnson said. "He is the new classic country."
On the other end of that spectrum, LOCASH is a pop-country crossover duo known for its biggest hit, "I Know Somebody." They're an energetic and young group and should be a nice contrast to Keith's and Walker's more traditional country sound. Even if people don't know LOCASH the way they know Keith, the band seems to have a huge cult following, Johnson said.
"There are people who will go to that show if they're within 100 miles," Johnson said. "This is a great way to get some people out of Denver and see what Greeley is about."
Chase Rice is 31 and considered a budding superstar, Johnson said, after opening for several big-name acts. He was on "Survivor: Nicaragua" and finished runner-up on the show. Rice follows another recent Stampede tradition of signing relatively new acts while they are cheaper, sort of the "buy low, sell high" strategy of the stock market. It's worked well for the Stampede in the past, as last year a red-hot Thomas Rhett came to the Stampede for four times less than what he's charging now.
"We had lightning in a bottle for Rhett, but unfortunately, that's now expensive," Johnson said. "I see a lot in Chase Rice. I think he will be huge if he gets a few more hits in between now and May."
That act also gets a boost from Ned LeDoux, Chris LeDoux's son, who opens for Rice. LeDoux was a fixture at the Stampede, and people may buy tickets just to see Ned, Johnson said.
That somewhat risky strategy helps the Stampede keep costs low, which translates to low ticket prices. When tickets went on sale Dec. 8, packages for all five shows were $60 for the grandstands and $90 for the arena floor. Keith's tickets alone can go for that much when he comes to Denver. The Stampede's sixth concert will be an individual show that fans will be able to add on to the package later.
"It's all about this package," Johnson said. "Where else can you buy five concerts for $60?" ❖