Midland Sparks Summer Vibes From Packed Amphitheaters To Intimate Venues

By Kelly Fisher

August 15, 2023

Photo: Getty Images

Mark Wystrach, Cameron Duddy and Jess Carson have their go-to routines to balance working hard and playing hard. The hit-making trio, Midland, often unwinds after rehearsals by retreating to Duddy’s Texas ranch where they crank up the country music, talk about the song they just wrote or the show coming up, fire up the grill and dive into the pool. It’s the same summertime vibe that “is America’s way of releasing steam, you know, and kind of resetting.”

That’s why it was a “natural” fit for Midland to perform an intimate show on the Bud Light Backyard Tour, taking the stage in Oklahoma City on Tuesday evening (August 15), along with OneRepublic, Dashboard Confessional and Bush. The nationwide summer tour aims to offer fans a unique chance to see the artists in unique local venues.

The intimate show comes at the heels of Midland’s high-energy sets at larger venues, including on Eric Church’s first-ever headlining amphitheater tour — with stops on Jon Pardi’s world tour coming up — and for several thousand attendees at the Ventura County Fair. Wystrach, Duddy and Carson recently caught up with iHeartRadio about the “ideal” outdoor settings for summer shows and the “great vibe” they’ve experienced all summer.

Though the Grammy-nominated trio said they've been playing fewer shows this year, they’ve maintained a busy schedule while allowing time to recharge and write more music before heading into the studio to work on their next full-length project (not to mention setting sail on The Last Resort Cruise in April 2024, bringing along Orville Peck, Flatland Cavalry, Hayes Carll, Mike and the Moonpies and many others). Midland’s next album will follow previously-released fan-favorite tracks like “Drinkin' Problem,” “Longneck Way To Go” featuring Pardi, “Mr. Lonely,” “Burn Out,” “Cheatin' Songs,” “Sunrise Tells The Story,” and other anthems that are widely requested during live shows (even deep cuts, beyond the band’s hit singles).

“If I wanted to go see one of my favorite bands, I couldn’t think of a better way to do it than somebody’s backyard in a really intimate setting and getting the chance to interact with your favorite artists. It’s a pretty cool thing,” Wystrach said of the backyard show, hosted at a surprise location. He added, “as long as you’re 21.”

Midland, known for infusing their own unique twists into their traditional country sound, anticipated playing “an uptempo, honky tonk set of some of our greatest hits,” when they recently spoke with iHeartRadio in a Zoom interview, calling in from the West Coast around 6 a.m. The group keeps an ever-evolving setlist to ensure that they never play the same show twice. Wystrach, Duddy and Carson are gearing up to perform after taking a 10-day break, “so you’re gonna catch us really fresh. …to get an opportunity to watch us play in an intimate setting like this where you’ll actually get a chance to interact with the band and (we’ll be) talking to the crowd, telling some stories. It becomes something much more intimate.

“We’ve been writing all year,” Wystrach said. “There’s music that we’ve written that still hasn’t been recorded. There’s songs that Jess loves, and Cameron loves, and I love. We just keep writing so we just have the biggest selection that we can come up with. It’s this weird thing, (the album) kind of reveals itself to you, what the songs are, they kind of come together. It ends up being this complete thought to become an album. …You’re just seeing such an evolution (from Midland’s debut album to now), an experimentation in sounds and themes.it’s hard to say until we go into the studio, but we’re working with a new producer which is gonna be really exciting.

“I do feel like this will be another evolution in the Midland sound, and hope a progression in the songwriting. I hope we’re getting better at this thing, and getting more earnest and kind of telling our story.”
Advertise With Us
Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.


© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.