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After Weather Ruins Festival, Oliver Anthony Teams with Other Musicians to Give Fans Epic Parking Lot Surprise

The following article, After Weather Ruins Festival, Oliver Anthony Teams with Other Musicians to Give Fans Epic Parking Lot Surprise, was first published on Flag And Cross.

Severe weather wreaked havoc on last weekend’s Blue Ridge Rock Festival in Alton, Virginia, prompting show cancellations Saturday and Sunday.

That did not stop viral sensation Oliver Anthony from giving fans an unforgettable show.

According to Billboard, the “Rich Men North of Richmond” singer-songwriter joined long-established rock bands Papa Roach and Shinedown for an impromptu acoustic performance in a festival parking lot on Saturday.

Papa Roach posted a short clip of the outdoor session on X, the social media platform formerly called Twitter.

The clip featured performances of Papa Roach’s 2004 hit “Scars” as well as Shinedown’s 2008 mega-hit “Second Chance.”

Meanwhile, Anthony sang “Rich Men North of Richmond,” the working-class anthem that topped global music charts in August.

In an accompanying tweet, Papa Roach credited Shinedown singer Brent Smith with putting together the combined performance.

“We love you all Thank you for sticking around with us despite the rain and @BlueRidgeRock getting canceled! Thank you @TheBrentSmith from @Shinedown for pulling this idea together last minute for the fans and to @AintGottaDollar for joining us,” the tweet read.

The musicians, however, did not settle for performing their own songs. Before closing the impromptu set, they treated fans to a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 1973 classic “Simple Man.”

The “Simple Man” cover alone leaves a viewer with at least three distinct but related impressions.

First, Anthony’s three dogs joined him on stage. This alone must endear him to millions. It also must enhance his growing reputation as an ordinary man — a “Simple Man” — in the midst of something extraordinary.

Anthony’s dogs appeared in the video for “Rich Men North of Richmond.” But they received an even more prominent mention in the lyrics for Anthony’s follow-up hit, “I Want to Go Home.”

Well, if it weren’t for my old dogs and the good Lord
They’d have me strung up in the psych ward

Naturally, the video for “I Want to Go Home” also featured Anthony’s “old dogs.”

“I Want to Go Home” provides a useful segue into the second impression left by the “Simple Man” cover.

Going “home” refers to Heaven. Coincidentally, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” features the following line:

And don’t forget son there is someone up above

During the “Simple Man” rendition, fans sang along. When they reached the words “up above,” their voices became noticeably amplified.

Anthony has opened concerts by reading from Scripture. During a recent appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, Anthony read from Proverbs.

Then, during a lengthy interview with the Daily Wire’s Jordan Peterson, the singer kept talking about God. In fact, Anthony credited the legendary conservative psychologist with inspiring him to begin reading the Bible again.

Finally, the “Simple Man” video showed fans’ reactions to the impromptu performance.

Audible chants of “Thank you! Thank you!” began even before Anthony and his fellow musicians had left the makeshift stage.

Through social media posts, interviews and other public appearances, Anthony has made it clear that he intends to maintain accessibility to fans, even if it costs him opportunities for financial gain.

On Monday, for instance, Anthony canceled an upcoming show in Knoxville, Tennessee, when he discovered the venue’s inflated prices.

“I had to pull off on the side of the road and make this video. My adrenaline’s pumping. I’m p***ed off right now,” Anthony said in an Instagram video posted Monday.

Are you a fan of Oliver Anthony?

The situation stemmed from a mix-up involving an amateur booking agent, though Anthony later took responsibility.

“Ultimately, it’s my fault for not being more directly involved with the venues who have reached out,” the singer wrote on Facebook Tuesday.

Miscommunications involving tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars no doubt will test Anthony’s commitment to perpetual low prices.

Meanwhile, one hopes that the ultimate feel-good story of recent musical history will continue for as long as possible.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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