Chris Young, Blake Shelton Star at Happy Valley Jam
July 08, 2017 10:15 PM
by Geoff Rushton
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Following an afternoon of sunny skies and country music to kick off the first-ever concert at Beaver Stadium, the heaviest hitters on the Happy Valley Jam lineup took to the stage.

Throughout the day the crowd slowly filtered in, with tailgates going strong from the time parking lots opened through the early evening. The early part of the concert saw up-and-comers Adley Stump -- who has played several shows in State College this week -- and David Ray delivering energetic sets that mixed originals and some rock covers.

Seats began to fill as country veterans Big & Rich took the stage at 6 p.m. with a set the leaned heavily on crowd favorites, hits and appeals to patriotism. The latter part of their show brought Cowboy Troy to the forefront and they powered through seamless segues among originals and covers before reaching a crowd-pleasing conclusion with "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" 

[Happy Valley Jam Kicks Off in Beaver Stadium]

As the sun began to set on what turned out to be a near perfect day of weather, Young took the stage with his band and charged forward with the anthemic "Underdogs." He then reached back in his catalog to his first No. 1, "Gettin' You Home," and another early hit, "Voices."

Throughout the show, the crowd continued to grow as Young led his band through a career-spanning set that blended in a few ballads, like "Tomorrow," with some of the rockers, adding in covers of Conway Twitty and ZZ Top for good measure. Young closed with another No. 1 hit, "I'm Comin' Over," that had the crowd singing along.

After the sun went down it was time for the headliner, Blake Shelton.

By the time the superstar took the stage most everyone was at their seats and on their feet. Shelton and his band opened with a rousing "Neon Light" and kept the party atmosphere moving with the 2010 single "All About Tonight."

Shelton engaged in some extended banter, saying he wasn't sure what to expect with the show being the first concert at Beaver Stadium.

"Never done this here... I think y'all oughta keep doing it here," he said. "I didn't expect to see this many people here. This is unbelievable."

An official attendance figure was not yet available, though it appeared to meet the university's expectations of more than 30,000.

He then launched into a more recent number, 2016's "A Guy with a Girl" and took it down a notch with "Doin' What She Likes" and "Sangria."

Shelton's set was continuing at the time of publication.

See photos from performances by Chris Young and Blake Shelton, as well as scenes from earlier in the day at Happy Valley Jam, in the galleries below

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