Before Dustin Lynch hits the stage at The Rust Belt this evening to belt out some tunes, potentially including one of his newest releases “Red Dirt, Blue Eyes,” the country singer/song-writer will be dealing with some green fairways and white golf balls.
Lynch is playing in the John Deere Classic pro-am this morning with professional golfers John Senden and J.T. Poston before preparing as the headline act for the PGA Tour's concert fundraiser in the evening.
There was no word on Lynch's golf game circulating the area before he teed off, but his music has garnered rave reviews and includes six No. 1 hits since his debut in 2012. That should make for quite a charity show as the JDC has moved the concert to the Illinois side of the Quad-Cities to the new venue in East Moline.
Sean Moeller, owner of The Rust Belt, is excited to have the venue host the fundraiser for the local PGA Tour event.
“For us and the JDC it makes a lot of sense,” said Moeller pointing to the proximity of his facility to TPC Deere Run in Silvis. “It just makes a lot of sense, especially with a lot of the golfers staying at the Hyatt (as are a number of Deere & Co. guests). The partnerships alone — Clair and I have been talking about things for a number of years. Even before we had The Rust Belt, we were trying to figure out things to do together, anything JDC week.
"Now that we have The Rust Belt, it just feels like there are mutually beneficial things that we can do together.”
This is the second of three shows at The Rust Belt this week. It started with Monday's fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club that featured Phil Vassar. Son Volt plays on Friday.
“I think the week is going to be a really nice showcase week for us,” Moeller said of his facility that can handle 3,800 fans. “Eventually, I want to have a full week of entertainment down here for John Deere Classic week. Make it so people are finishing up on the 19th hole (at the course) and popping down the hill and continuing to celebrate what I think is probably the best event we have in the Quad-Cities every summer.”
Moeller also sees this as a great opportunity to show off his new venue that opened in February.
“It's going to be great to have golfers from out of town see this facility,” he said. “We really have the good fortune to show off the Quad-Cities in a nice showcase week.”
While he was talking about the QCA as a whole, he also included The Rust Belt in what will be shown off.
“We can have some bigger shows here,” he said. “We really did build one of the coolest new music venues in the country.”
Being bigger, the hopes is that the tournament can raise more money for local charities. This show helps the tourney expand the Bonus Fund, which gives charities additional funds above what they are able to solicit for the Birdies For Charity program.
Able to almost double the potential crowd at a facility that requires no extra set-up, this year's charity concert also features different price points. A $125 donation guarantees a spot in the VIP section closest to the stage and also includes food and beverages. A $75 donation gets you into the show and has access to the cash bar.
Lynch's music has drawn a nice following since he rose to prominence with his 2012 hit single “Cowboys and Angels” off his self-titled debut album. He since has recorded six songs that have reached No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, including “Hell of a Night,” “Good Girl,” “Mind Reader” and “Small-Town Boy.”
The Tullahoma, Tennessee, native has made the Midwest a familiar stop, having also played in nearby Dubuque, Iowa, last month. Some of his songs resonate in the farming region of the country and are a natural fit in the area.
“One of his songs has lyrics that revolve around John Deere, its equipment and that lifestyle,” JDC tournament director Clair Peterson said.
This is the fourth year that tournament organizers are offering a concert in connection with the tournament's Wednesday charity event.
Lynch follows shows by Jake Owen, Cole Swindell and last year's Bryce brothers show that featured headliner Lee and opening act Lewis.
“This is the fun part of tournament week,” Peterson said.
After tonight's show, Lynch returns to the Thomas Rhett: Very Hot Summer Tour 2019 when it plays in Toronto, Canada, on Thursday.
Tonight's event is standing room only, with only a few seats available for those needing one.
The Rust Belt is located at 533 12th Avenue, East Moline.
For further information on the charity concert or for tickets, call the JDC tournament office at 309-762-4653.