FLORENCE -- In their native Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, in Canada, the Hunter Brothers have the No. 1 country song in the country and attract screaming throngs of mostly female fans to their concerts.
At Country Thunder here, they played the opening slot at 2 p.m. Saturday before a crowd of several hundred.
There were more people waiting in a traffic jam on the mile-long entrance ramp.
Those poor folks missed arguably one of the best shows of the weekend.
No other act this weekend will sing in such perfect five-part harmony or any harmony for that matter. The brothers -- J.J., Ty, Dusty, Luke and Brock -- covered the highs, the lows and every range in between as they took us to their small western Canada town of 1,800 where they are raising crops and kids on the family's farm. Between them, lead singer Ty told the audience, they have nine children; Brock is the only single one among them.
"When we get back home we've got to put in the crop," Ty said, adding that they would crank up the town's lone country station in their tractors out on the field.
They sing about the land and the farm and the small-town life that is embedded in their DNA with crunchy rock-worthy guitars that never lose their twang and pulsating drum beats from big-brother J.J. But it is their harmonies, so on point that you have to watch their lips move to see where one stops and another starts as they invited us for a ride in "My Eldorado," one of their first radio hits.
Their stage moves are as choreographed as their vocals. During a cover of Little Big Town's "Boondocks," they each stomped their right foot to the beat creating a percussive thump.
They took us joyriding for a purpose in their hit single "Lost" and made us appreciate their affinity for their small town, deep roots and mud on these boots that have made them who they are today.
There was a bit of sibling rivalry; Dusty, who possesses the highest range among the five, had to bend over to reach the mic that his brother had lowered to about three feet off the ground. As Dusty raised it to his height, he sang higher reaching that tenor stratosphere that raises the hair on your arms.
Brothers Luke and Brock showed off their acrobatic side on the catwalk as Brock took a running leap over his brother's back. Another time, all five brothers stretched the length of the catwalk and sang and danced in unison. If you didn't know better, you'd have thought they were a boy band.
For 45 minutes, the Hunter Brothers were non-stop rocking energy. They slowed down just once near the end of their show when they gathered on the catwalk close to the stage to sing "When You Love the Girl," a song in honor of their daughters; the first four of the brothers' nine children were girls, which they said made their mother happy.
The Hunter Brothers were the first sibling act at Country Thunder Saturday in a day that featured several brothers bands. The Canadian brothers duo of High Valley opened the evening lineup and the Brothers Osborne were set to open for headliner Dierks Bentley Saturday night.