DNCE, Hunter Hayes among highlights of Houston’s Freedom Over Texas July 4 event

June 28, 2017 GMT

Country, pop and a bit of ThunderSOUL collide for this year’s Freedom Over Texas festivities.

The city’s annual Fourth of July celebration will feature plenty of fireworks, of course. And much of the sparkle comes from the musical headliners: country singer Hunter Hayes and dance-pop outfit DNCE, led by Joe Jonas.

The lineup also includes long-running local band Mango Punch! and the ThunderSOUL Orchestra, which features original members of the legendary Kashmere High School stage band.

The United States Air Force Band of the West, which features 45 members, will kelp kick things off. There will be entertainment throughout the afternoon and evening on four stages from local and regional acts.

Prepare for patriotic fun. But don’t bring any of the following into the area: weapons, pets, outside food and beverages, drones, bikes, skates, skateboards, fireworks, coolers, glass containers and beach umbrellas.

There is no re-entry, which means you can’t see a band in the afternoon, leave and return later for the fireworks.

Got all that? Good - here’s a look at the days’ star-spangled lineup:


Start time: 8:05 p.m. on the Citgo Main Stage

How you know them: DNCE is a dance-pop quartet led by the eldest former Jonas Brother. The group scored a top 10 hit with the ridiculously catchy “Cake by the Ocean” and released a debut album late last year. They performed at the Maxim Super Bowl party here in February. New single “Kissing Strangers” features Nicki Minaj (who will most likely not be celebrating the Fourth with the group onstage).

Hunter Hayes

Start time: 6:30 p.m. on the Citgo Main Stage

How you know him: He’s the youngest man to score a No. 1 country single (“Wanted”), at 21 years old. Hayes was also a musical prodigy. He was an accomplished accordionist at just 4 years old and played all over the area, including the Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival, Pasadena Strawberry Festival, Bayou City Cajun Festival and Texas Crawfish Festival. He made appearances on national talk shows, Nickelodeon and performed for President Bill Clinton. As a country singer, he’s released three albums and scored hits with “Storm Warning,” “Somebody’s Heartbreak,” “I Want Crazy” and “Invisible.”

Mango Punch!

Start time: 4:10 p.m. on the Dr. Pepper Stage

How you know them: Chances are you’ve been at a local event featuring this enduring Houston act led by Walter Suhr. The band’s tropical rhythms have earned it a slew of high-profile gigs over the years, including the 2004 Super Bowl pregame show and mayoral inaugurations for Bill White and Annise Parker. Suhr also has written songs for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign, the Houston Texans and the University of St. Thomas.


Start time: 6 p.m. on the Dr. Pepper Stage

How you know them: The Dallas band released its debut single “Date You” this month. The coed quartet follows in the footsteps of Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum. Vaudevylle has been writing songs for its debut album with hitmakers Shane Stevens (Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum) and Sugar Land’s Maddie Marlow, of country duo Maddie and Tae.

ThunderSOUL Orchestra

Start time: 7:50 p.m. on the Dr. Pepper Stage

How you know them: ThunderSOUL is an offshoot of the original Kashmere Stage Band, which won 42 out of 46 contests from 1969-1977, recorded albums and traveled to Europe and Japan under the tutelage of Conrad “Prof” Johnson. The high school band was the subject of an award-winning 2011 documentary.

Also on the bill:

The Peterson Brothers: 4:05 p.m. on the Wells Fargo Stage

Lil Nathan and the Zydeco Big Timers: 5:45 p.m. on the Wells Fargo Stage

The Jukebox featuring Regina Belle, Erin Stevenson, Chris Walker and the Ernest Walker Band: 7:30 p.m. on the Wells Fargo Stage