Think of this weekend’s NASCAR races out at Phoenix International Raceway as mere appetizers.
The main course for die-hard, downhome partiers committed to camping out for days on end to see a big show rolls into the desert on Wednesday.
Country Thunder will bring headliners Keith Urban, Willie Nelson, Miranda Lambert and Kid Rock (yes, that’s Kid Rock ... at a country-music hootenanny) to Canyon Moon Ranch in Florence, southeast of Queen Creek.
The four-day party kicks off with an indoor saloon concert featuring Eric Church, Neal McCoy and local fave Harry Luge. Other notable artists set to perform later in the week on the outdoor stage include Gary Allan, Jo Dee Messina, Collin Raye and the Randy Rogers Band.
Actor Kevin Costner will also play with Modern West, the rock-country band he assembled in 2007.
Kid Rock, who performs Saturday night, headlined last year’s Tempe Music Festival with rock acts Three Doors Down and All-American Rejects, and he’ll open select dates this summer for Bon Jovi on that band’s Circle tour. But two of the Rock’s most played songs — “Picture” (2001) and “All Summer Long” (2008) — were hits on the country charts.