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There’s no doubt that the Stagecoach moment that left fans wiping the dust from their eyes in amazement was the power couple we never knew we needed: Carrie Underwood and Axl Rose. Rose joined Underwood to perform “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Paradise City” in one of the greatest surprise guest performances in Stagecoach history. 

Fascinating crossover in that a rocker like Rose was the biggest surprise at Stagecoach, while country star Shania Twain (playing with Harry Styles) was the biggest surprise at Coachella. Memory-making moments to be sure.

Not everyone who partied in the camping ground will have lasting memories from this year’s country music extravaganza, but these are the moments that stick out y’all. 

Brothers Osborne redemption

Brothers Osborne perform on the Mane Stage at Stagecoach country music festival in Indio, Calif., on April 30, 2022.

After a self-admitted terrible set in 2018 due to immense winds that had all that night’s acts struggling, the Brothers Osborne returned with a stellar redemptive set on Saturday night. With John shredding and T.J. belting, Brothers Osborne killed it, and the set had some poignancy as well, as T.J. thanked the crowd for combatting the country music fan stereotype and showing up to support a gay man on the Mane Stage. T.J. came out in February of 2021. The band played the song “Younger Me” about his struggles to come out as a younger man, and the emotion was heavy, but in a positive way.

More:Brothers Osborne get vulnerable about sexuality in Grammy speech: ‘Never thought’ it could happen

Margo Price delivers

Margo Price performs inside the Palomino tent at Stagecoach country music festival in Indio, Calif., on April 30, 2022.

Margo Price started her set by riding a horse to the stage to deliver a flawless performance, switching between sounds of Americana and rock, often in the same songs, and playing psychedelic guitar riffs and ’80s synthesizer sound effects. The audience loved it, didn’t want to see her go and booed toward the end of her 45-minute set when she announced her final song of the night.

More:Stagecoach 2022: Luke Combs closes the festival with easy confidence and beer songs

Diplo sent the festival off on a sweaty high 

 DJ icon Diplo closed out Stagecoach inside a packed Palomino tent, expertly weaving in and transitioning from snippets of such country hits as “Life Is A Highway” and “Before He Cheats” to more classically mixable songs such as Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” and Outkast’s “Hey Ya.” Thousands of country kids who spent all weekend crushing Mich-ultras and dancing to songs about bourbon and trucks lost their minds while screaming every word of the club classic “Get Low” by Lil Jon. 

Yola reimagines Elton John classic

Yola performs on the Palomino Stage during the Stagecoach country music festival in Indio, Calif., on May 1, 2022.

Yola, the British belter who played Coachella and Stagecoach this year, livened her set with a beautiful rendition of Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” 

Thomas Rhett jams with Ashton Kutcher

Thomas Rhett gives a headline performance at Stagecoach country music festival in Indio, Calif., on April 29, 2022.

 On Friday night, headliner Thomas Rhett launched into a rowdy, sprawling rendition of the Garth Brooks classic “Friends in Low Places” and even brought some friends –country artist Hardy and actor Ashton Kutcher – on the stage to join in. 

More:‘Bucket list moment’: Thomas Rhett set on Stagecoach’s first night included Ashton Kutcher cameo

Motown crashes country party

Smokey Robinson performs on the Palomino Stage during the Stagecoach country music festival in Indio, Calif., on May 1, 2022.

Legendary singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson united Stagecoach fans of all ages with the melodies of Motown on the Palomino Stage Sunday night. The 82-year-old crooner wowed an endless sea of fans that stretched well beyond the Palomino tent from the moment he began singing. With tender hits like “Being with You” and “Ooo Baby Baby,” he had couples young and old embracing and swaying to the music. And he got the whole crowd to belt out “My Girl,” the number one hit he wrote for The Temptations.

More:‘Temptations 60’ arrives: Hear Motown group’s new album, watch documentary series

The brothers Robinson put the jam back in the band

Vocalist Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes performs on the Mane Stage during the Stagecoach country music festival in Indio, Calif., on May 1, 2022.

Not to be outdone by Smokey, two other Robinsons — Chris and Rich of The Black Crowes — took to the Mane Stage just as the elder was wrapping up in the Palomino tent, and anyone who had been craving some jam-band rock during this festival season in Indio finally got it.

More:2022 Country Music Hall of Fame: Ray Charles, The Judds, more inducted; Naomi Judd mourned

Surprise! It’s Axl Rose

Pyrotechnics filled the sky as Carrie Underwood sang Guns N’ Roses’ “Paradise City” with the band’s iconic lead singer Axl Rose.

A DJ set for millennial women everywhere

“The Bachelorette” alum Blake Horstmann played a charming DJ set Saturday night in the Honkytonk, spinning an infectious remix of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me,” as well as Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,” to a sea of 20-something women jumping up and down excitedly as if they were at a “Backstreet Boys” arena tour stop rather than an amateur DJ set. 



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