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For country artist and actress Mackenzie Porter, there’s really nothing like performing a diverse set of of tracks — ranging from a cover of TLC’s “No Scrubs” to her own standouts including “Pickup” and “These Days,” to playing new songs off of her forthcoming sophomore album — to a crowd of Southern California fans.

Porter put on an early set during the first day of the two-day Coastal Country Jam, which made its return after a four-year hiatus to a new location at Marina Green Park in Long Beach on Saturday, Sept. 16.

“If I was going to play any pop or R&B classics to a crowd, it sure as hell was going to be here in the West Coast,” Porter said with a laugh backstage just after her 40-minute turn. “It’s one of the best crowds to kind of tweak your set, just have fun and go for it. I feel like I’m able to just play what I want and that’s what I wanted to do today.”

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Though she hails from Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, she found a sense of belonging and comfort in California, giving her lots of excitement to work with while playing to the crowd on Saturday. She said that this Coastal Country Jam set marked one of the first opportunities to showcase tracks from the upcoming album. Judging by the new songs she played, the fans seemed to embrace it as they cheered and screamed along to Porter’s infectious country-pop tunes.

“This new record has so many levels to it, with pop-country as being the influence,” she said. “But it’s deeper than that. It also has the singer-songwriter part of me which I haven’t done in a while. I think this time I was able to write more freely and from the heart. It’s seriously the best collection of songs I’ve done. This record is holding a collection of 20 songs that I wrote throughout last year and it just feels like the right timing to put this out now.”

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Coastal Country Jam, an event that began in 2016 at Huntington State Beach, ventured into new territory this year by relocating and expanding as a two-day festival format in Long Beach. The change proved successful, as the spacious grounds allowed attendees to relax in lawn chairs, grab a drink or two, and explore the blocked-off streets on Shoreline Drive which were filled with vendors, cornhole competitions and a dance Honky Tonk area.

Here are some highlights from day one of Coastal Country Jam. Day two will continue on Sunday, Sept. 17 with Tim McGraw Maren Morris, Scotty McCreery and others.

Blake and Gwen

Though country singer-songwriter and coach on NBC’s “The Voice,” Blake Shelton was the star atop day one of Coastal Country Jam, the real big moment in his set came when he was joined by his wife, pop star and former No Doubt frontwoman Gwen Stefani.

Shelton started the magic by strumming a few chords to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” before transitioning to No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak.” The crowd curiously looked around as Stefani walked out on stage to join her husband.

“You know I had to bring out the queen, Gwen Stefani, for this night,” Shelton said right before she took the mic to belt out the entirety of the rock ballad.

Though Shelton was absent during Stefani’s headlining hometown set on Sept. 9 at Honda Center in Anaheim, fans were excited to see the pair on stage together. They screamed along to the chorus as Stefani worked the entirety of the stage, putting in some face-to-face time with the lucky ones in the front rows. When that song ended, Shelton hollered at her to stay on stage and the duo performed their popular country hits “Nobody But You” and “Happy Anywhere.”

The two definitely have chemistry on stage and delivered a sweet moment as they gazed into each other’s eyes while singing.

“Everybody, Gwen Shelton, my wife,” Shelton said after planting some smooches on his bride and she ran off stage.

Shelton carried on the show with hits “Sangria,” “Honey Bee,” “Ol’ Red,” “God’s Country,” “God Gave Me You” and “I’ll Name The Dogs.”

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