As Dan + Shay began their show Thursday night at the Great Jones County Fair in Monticello, Iowa, one thing immediately came to mind... anybody who's never seen these guys live before is in for a big surprise. While most of their biggest hits are slow songs propelled by Shay Mooney's incredible vocals, their stage show is bursting with energy. Prepare to be entertained, I thought. The guys didn't disappoint.

That live show energy was at peak level Thursday evening and with very good reason. It was the first time Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney had done a live concert in a very long time.

Ellyn, a former intern at KHAK, couldn't have said it any better. After approximately 30 minutes of non-stop music, the pair paused and just listened. Shay, off-mic, could be seen saying 'This is crazy.' Then, he and Dan hugged. Then they hugged again. Clearly emotional, they shared just how long it had been since they'd last done a live concert: 458 days.

I swear Shay Mooney never has a bad night vocally. He is spot on, every time. And with a fresh voice after so much time off the stage, both he and Dan were nothing short of phenomenal Thursday night.

Before the show began, Courtlin and I had the privilege of greeting the crowd and welcoming Gavin DeGraw to the stage. He did a perfect job setting the tone for a great night of live music, with a wonderful set of his own. As I emerged from the top of the hill and looked down on the stage and the growing crowd before heading down to help kick off the festivities, my heart seemed to take an extra beat. The Great Jones County Fair was back after a year we all want to forget. When the night was done, another thing was certain. There was no one better to bring the live music back to Monticello than Dan + Shay.

Dan + Shay with Gavin DeGraw at the Great Jones County Fair July 22, 2021

Photos from the Thursday night concert at the 2021 fair in Monticello.