2022 was the year of the concert comeback!

At least in my incredibly professional opinion...

K92.3 logo
Get our free mobile app

I'll start this off by saying that I am so incredibly lucky to be able to go see artists that I love live in concert. Nowadays, concert tickets aren't always cheap so going to shows can sometimes seem like a huge luxury for people.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic live and in-person concerts sort of took a backseat. Many of our favorite artists' concerts and festivals had to be postponed or canceled due to the corona virus.

I personally didn't realize just how much I missed concerts until I walked out of one festival with my ears buzzing from the loud music. This sort of communal experience of listening and singing along to your favorite music is something I refuse to take for granted again.

That's why at the beginning of 2021, I made a promise to myself that I would go to as many concerts as I could (and as many as I could afford).

Here are my top ten favorite artists that I saw perform live this year! These are in no particular order or ranking.

Photo by Oscar Keys on Unsplash
Photo by Oscar Keys on Unsplash
  • Lainey Wilson

In this house, we love Lainey Wilson. The country star became one of the most popular names in the genre overnight. I don't know how this girl does it...by the time I was getting ready to interview the singer at Country Thunder Iowa, she had already announced the news she was going to be on the latest season of "Yellowstone."

AND she was well into making her latest album "Bell Bottom Country."

Not only is she a talented musician, but she's got a great personality.

  • Cody Johnson

Johnson made venue history at his sold out show in Coralville at the Xtreme Arena. The country star also broke some really exciting news with the Iowa crowd when he shared that his song "Til You Can't" had just reached the top of the country music charts.

  • Maddie Poppe

We put on a show with Maddie at the end of July of this year in Waterloo at the Elk's Lodge. Not only did we have a great crowd (thanks for showing up), but I finally got to hear the "American Idol" winner and Iowa native sing for the first time.

This girl KNOWS how to win over an Iowa crowd.

  • Lee Brice

What a cool dude! The singer performed at Country Thunder Iowa on his birthday, and he still brought so much energy to the stage. Brice had been on tour with Jackson Dean and Michael Ray at this time so it felt like a big birthday party!

  • Alanis Morissette

Yes, a bit out of left field, but bare with me. Not only did Morissette sing to a packed crowd at the Iowa State Fair this past August, BUT she did the entire show while it was downpouring. The entire day was a wash out. However, crowds of fans still waited patiently to hear the music icon sing some of her most iconic songs.

Plus, this stop in Des Moines was the last stop on her summer tour!

  • Demi Lovato

I know...another one that just seems like a strange pick.

I grew up listening to Demi on the Disney Channel, so when the artist came to Iowa for a show at the State Fair I HAD to find a way to go. Lovato sang the perfect combo of some of her most well-known songs and new tracks.

She performed a full version of "29" before the song even dropped.

  • Luke Bryan

This year Bryan returned to the Hawkeye State for his Farm Tour. The star made several stops to a few farms throughout the country to perform a special show. In September, the 'American Idol' judge performed a stellar show to an amazing audience in Boone, Iowa.

  • Kip Moore

Another artist that I saw for the first time at Country Thunder Iowa. Of course I love his songs that we play on our station, but I had no clue just how talented this guy is!

  • Tenille Arts

Arts opened for Scotty McCreery when he came to Cedar Rapids in January of 2022. This show was my first concert of the year and both of them kicked it off with a bang. However, I loved hearing her perform my favorite song of 2021 "Somebody Like That" right after it rose to the top of the chart.

  • Jackson Dean

He is one of my favorite artists of the year. I initially discovered him when some of his songs were used on "Yellowstone." If you are looking for someone to go see who will give you a great sounding outlaw country sound, make sure to see Jackson Dean.

Country Thunder Iowa 2021-2022

The music festival will not be returning in 2023. After only two festivals under its belt, Country Thunder Iowa brought in well-known country acts to the area.

Maddie Poppe Waterloo Show

An Intimate Evening with Maddie Poppe at the Waterloo Elk's

More From K92.3