- Read more on the Messina concert and see a photo gallery here.
- Find more Freedom Festival events here.
CEDAR RAPIDS — Country music star Jo Dee Messina brought her high-energy show to Kirkwood Community College on Saturday for the annual Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival Country Concert. Messina brought the crowd of about 3,000 to its feet with her signature “Heads Carolina, Tails California” and kept them there with “I’m Alright,” “That’s the Way” and “Downtime.” Recalling the birth of her son, Jonah Christopher, in January, Messina told the audience the back story of “A Woman’s Rant,” a new song. Noting that she was more than physically ready for Jonah to be born, Messina also related that her husband, Chris Deffenbaugh, slept through every-two-hours feedings. “A Woman’s Rant” includes the lyrics “I plan to have a little come-to-Jesus moment with Eve” when Messina goes through the Pearly Gates. Women in the audience stood, nodded and applauded throughout the song. Saying she was ready to begin touring again, Messina related that her booking agent had proceeded to give her all the reasons why she should hold off returning to the circuit. That prompted Messina to write a sharp rebuke in the form of “I’m Not Dead Yet.” More