Welp, the animosity in the country music world is starting to bubble over and it seems like we might just be on the verge of a full blown shitstorm.
Chase Rice’s concert this past weekend (along with Chris Janson’s festival appearance) caught the attention of a number of artists who were more than pissed about the size of the crowd he had. Kelsea Ballerini called him out, as well as Mickey Guyton, Maren Morris and even Jason Isbell, who indirectly said he wasn’t a “star” and added that he was “so broke he had to play a show.”
But it was songwriter Abe Stoklasa who went the hardest in the paint.
After Chase shared his explanation to Instagram, Abe tore into him in the comments section.
“You’re a fucking disaster man. You don’t even sing well. Just retire and do the world a favor.”
He followed it up with:
“You sound like if Sam hunt took a shit seven years ago and somehow grew a mouth and learned protools. My whole industry hates you.”
If you’re not familiar, Abe co-wrote Chris Lane’s “Fix,” Michael Ray’s “Get To You,” along with other songs by Tim McGraw, Billy Currington, Blake Shelton, Charlie Worsham and more.
However, it was Jake Owen that chimed in, calling his comment “sad” and “ignorant.”
“Hey Abe, you are a talented, smart guy. Why lower yourself to a post like this? It’s sad man. What you said is ridiculous. “Hate?”… you’re gonna use a word like that, in a time like this? Chase is my friend. I am a part of this industry, and trust me it’s not just yours. I stick up for my friends. I’ve always thought you were a great musician, songwriter, and voice. You are better than this. That was straight ignorant thing to say.”
Abe responded to Jake saying that the you KNOW the concert will inevitably result in more deaths.
“A straight ignorant thing to do is hold a concert that you KNOW will result in more deaths. This isn’t an apology. It’s an ad for his next concert. How is this cool in any way? If he is your friend, y’all some sense into him.”
At the end of the day it’s just a tough situation for everybody. It’s also not exactly Abe’s “whole industry” to speak for, but sincere or not, he later apologized for it.
Obviously, keeping people safe and limiting the spread of the disease is the number one priority, but keeping food on the table for the artists, band members, crews, venues, etc… can’t be completely ignored. The fact of the matter is that a large number of artists and venues aren’t going to survive this if we don’t find new and safe ways to play shows soon.
According to the venue, they took ever precaution necessary to make this show as safe as possible including limiting capacity from 10,000 to 4,000 (although there was only about 800 fans in attendance), checking temperatures at the gate, providing sanitizer, masks, gloves etc… and posting tons of signage to encourage fans to keep their distance. Unfortunately, when the lights come on, everybody crowded to the front of the stage and all hell broke loose. They said that they would re-evaluate things moving forward to create a safer show for everybody since you can’t rely on a large crowd to follow every single instruction. Hoping everybody stands 6 feet apart in a big field isn’t going to happen and it’s foolish to think so. So whether it’s drive-ins, virtual shows, shows in plastic bubbles, whatever… we have to figure it out soon.
Now, Chase didn’t really address much of that at all in his video, but either way, it doesn’t look like this kind of divisiveness is going away anytime soon. In fact, as more and more shows start to pick back up again (Chase has a drive-in show on Friday), you can bet your ass that more and more artists are going to get pissed off about it and this argument will only continue to get more heated.