Musicians are back on stage

eric-church-12.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Eric Church greets the audience at the Country Thunder music festival in Twin Lakes, Wis., Friday, July 16, 2021. 

After COVID shuttered live music events around the world in 2020, musical artists are now returning to festival and concert stages – and so are the fans. 

Photographs by CBS News’ Jake Barlow; Ed Spinelli; and Dan DeSlover.

REO Speedwagon

reo-speedwagon-bruce-hall-kevin-cronin-dave-amato-bryan-hitt.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

In their first live show since the pandemic, REO Speedwagon performed at RiverEdge Park in Aurora, Ill, July 1, 2021.  It was the first concert at RiverEdge since 2019, as last year’s performances were cancelled.   

REO Speedwagon

reo-speedwagon-bruce-hall-kevin-cronin-riveredge-park-aurora-il-july-1-jake-barlow-01.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Bruce Hall and Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon. 

REO Speedwagon

reo-speedwagon-bryan-hitt.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

REO Speedwagon drummer Bryan Hitt.  

REO Speedwagon

reo-speedwagon-dave-amato.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Dave Amato of REO Speedwagon. 

REO Speedwagon

reo-speedwagon-kevin-cronin-riveredge-park-aurora-il-july-1-jake-barlow-02.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon. 

The band performed such hits as “Music Man,” “Keep Pushin’,” “Ridin’ the Storm Out,” “Time for Me to Fly,” “Take It on the Run,” and “Keep on Lovin’ You.” Fitting for a year of lockdown and cancelled concerts, they finished with a performance of “Roll With the Changes.” 

Key to the City

reo-speedwagon-key-to-city-aurora-il-jake-barlow.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Backstage, the band (Bruce Hall, Dave Amato, Kevin Cronin, Bryan Hitt and Neal Doughty) was awarded a ceremonial Key to the City by Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin.

Head East

head-east-darren-walker-riveredge-park-aurora-il-july-1-jake-barlow-01.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Opening for REO was the rock band Head East, featuring lead vocalist Darren Walker. 

Head East

head-east-greg-manahan-darren-walker-glenn-bridger-riveredge-park-aurora-il-july-1-jake-barlow-02.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Greg Manahan, Darren Walker and Glenn Bridger of Head East, performing at RiverEdge Park in Aurora, Ill., July 1, 2021.  

Their setlist included “Never Been Any Reason” (which was featured on the band’s debut album back in 1975)  and “Elijah.” 

Country Thunder

crowd-3.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

The Country Thunder festival returned to the Shadow Hill Ranch in Twin Lakes, Wis., July 15-18, 2021. Although COVID vaccines weren’t a prerequisite for admission, attendees with vaccination cards were eligible to win a signed guitar or a seat on stage during the headline acts. 

Nolan Sotillo

nolan-sotillo-2.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Nolan Sotillo welcomes a fan to the opening day of Country Thunder, Thursday, July 15, 2021.

Jenny Tolman

jenny-tolman-6.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Jenny Tolman, whose debut album, “There Goes the Neighborhood,” was released last year, performs at Country Thunder, July 15, 2021.  

Sykamore

sykamore-country-thunder.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Canadian singer-songwriter Jordan Ostrom, who performs as Sykamore, at Country Thunder, July 15, 2021. 

Clay Walker

clay-walker-2.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Country artist Clay Walker. 

Fans

girls-dance-on-bus-edit.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Rules about dancing on buses are apparently being flouted. 

Fans

girls-sing.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Fans swoon at Country Thunder. 

Dustin Lynch

dustin-lynch-7.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Dustin Lynch performs at Country Thunder, July 15, 2021. 

Meghan Patrick

meghan-patrick-1.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Meghan Patrick performs at Country Thunder, July 16, 2021. In June Patrick released her third studio album, “Heart on My Glass.” 

Seaforth

seaforth-mitch-thompson-tom-jordan-1.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

The Australian duo Seaforth (Mitch Thompson and Tom Jordan) at Country Thunder, July 16, 2021.  

Cocktail Glasses

cocktail-glasses-fan.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

A fan attends Country Thunder. 

Corndogs

corndog.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Festival food is served up at Country Thunder. 

Parmalee

parmalee-matt-thomas-4.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Matt Thomas, of the band Parmalee, performs at Country Thunder, July 16, 2021. 

Hardy

hardy-10.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Singer-songwriter Hardy performs at Country Thunder, July 16, 2021. 

Fans

fans-girls-cheer.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

The crowd at Country Thunder. 

Duet

fans-sing-to-each-other.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Never mind the acts on stage – fans sing to each other at Country Thunder. 

Eric Church

eric-church-5.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Friday’s headliner, Eric Church, performs at Country Thunder, July 16, 2021. 

Eric Church

eric-church-2.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Eric Church’s setlist included his hits “Drink in My Hand,” “Talladega,” “Record Year,” “Like a Wrecking Ball,” “Hell of a View,” and “Stick That in Your Country Song.” 

Ernest

ernest-2.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Singer-songwriter Ernest performs at Country Thunder, July 17, 2021. 

Chris Lane

chris-lane-5.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Singer Chris Lane takes the stage at Country Thunder, Saturday, July 17, 2121. 

Fans

the-dude-2.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

A cool dude gets down. 

Kane Brown

kane-brown-3.jpg
Jake Barlow/CBS News

Kane Brown performs at Country Thunder, Saturday, July 17, 2021. 

Blake Shelton

blake-shelton-2.jpg
Dan DeSlover for CBS News

The closing act at Country Thunder was Blake Shelton, who performed at Twin Lakes, Wis., on Sunday, July 18, 2021.  

Blake Shelton

blake-shelton-4.jpg
Dan DeSlover for CBS News

Blake Shelton performs at Country Thunder July 18, 2021. 

Country Thunder has announced future dates for events in Kissimmee, Florida (September 10-12, 2021), and Florence, Arizona (October 14-17, 2021). 

Sammy Hagar and The Circle

sammy-hagar-and-the-circle-group-riveredge-park-july-18.jpg
Ed Spinelli for CBS News

The supergroup Sammy Hagar and the Circle performed at RiverEdge Park in Aurora, Ill., July 18, 2021. 

Sammy Hagar and The Circle

sammy-hagar-riveredge-park-july-18.jpg
Ed Spinelli for CBS News

Hagar (who replaced David Lee Roth as the lead singer of Van Halen) performed a number of Van Halen hits, including “Good Enough,” “Finish What Ya Started,” “Right Now,” and “Why Can’t This Be Love,” as well as his own “Heavy Metal” and “Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy.” 

Sammy Hagar and The Circle

sammy-hagar-and-the-circle-michael-anthony-ii-riveredge-park-july-18.jpg
Ed Spinelli for CBS News

Former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, of the supergroup Sammy Hagar and the Circle.

Sammy Hagar and The Circle

sammy-hagar-and-the-circle-jason-bonham-riveredge-park-july-18.jpg
Ed Spinelli for CBS News

Jason Bonham paid tribute to his dad, drummer John Bonham, with Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll.” 

Sammy Hagar and The Circle

sammy-hagar-and-vic-johnson-riveredge-park-july-18.jpg
Ed Spinelli for CBS News

Guitarist Vic Johnson with Sammy Hagar. Johnson has played with The BusBoys and with Hagar’s earlier group, Sammy Hagar & The Waboritas.