Posted on 7/27/2012
Sunday night June 10th was the closing night of the CMA Music Festival 2012. On this night the performers included; Martina McBride, Alan Jackson, Rascal Flatts, Dierks Benley, Scotty McCreery, and The Mavericks. Enjoy listening to our podcast coverage and reading Mike Arnold’s blog review.
Written by Mike Arnold
As Tom Thompson, Will Perry, and I entered the stadium, The Mavericks were on stage performing new and older material to warm this crowd up for a night of several arena headliners to close out the CMA Music Festival 2012. The Mavericks’ harmony and performing were tight, but not much for a show. Just fine playing and singing! Songs included “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down” and a few others.
After a couple acoustic songs from older country music favorite Bill Anderson, Scotty McCreery took the stage to get the girls in attendance to exercise their screaming skills as he started his set with “Walk In The Country”. Scotty said, “You guys got me here through voting for me on American Idol. Thank ya’ll for that. Here’s my first single, it was my American Idol finale song.” As Scotty and band performed, “I Love You This Big”. Scotty got the ladies in the crowd to speak up with screams when he asked, “How many ladies we got here tonight?” He dedicated the next song to them, “The Trouble With Girls”. Scotty continued his set with his brand new single, “Water Tower Town”. To close his portion of the show, the guitarist started the song with a rockin’ riff that led into the old Elvis Presley and Travis Tritt hit, “T-R-O-U-B-L-E”.
Dierks Bentley took the notch up another level as he took the stage performing “Country and Cold Cans”. Dierks got the crowd into the show by saying, “How we doing tonight? It’s the last night so, if it’s ok with you guys, we’re gonna get a little sideways tonight and a little 5150! In the morning we’ll be asking ourselves, What Was I Thinking!” As they went into the song, “Am I The Only One”. Dierks said, “CMA Music Fest! Let’s take this sucker to the next level, Come On!” They did take it to the next level as they performed “5-1-5-0”. Dierks followed up with expressing, “You never know who’s going to show up at the CMA Music Fest on any night. One of my good friends is here we sang a song together on this record.
There’s nobody I’d rather motorboat with than Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town!” Karen walked out to share the vocals in “When You Gonna Come Around”. Dierks asked, “Ya’ll been doing any motor boating while you’ve been in Music City? I know you guys been downtown, you probably been to every bar, but I wanna take you somewhere special with this song right here alright? Won’t you guys grab some moonshine, grab some friends, let’s go get high up on the ridge! Come On!” Which led into the song, “Up On The Ridge”. As Direks introduced his last song of the set he said, “Country Music! America’s music and beyond! I know we have people traveled from all over the world to be here tonight. I want you guys to think about a couple of things in this song here. I want you to think about brave, you gotta call brave to chase that dream across the sea. All of our ancestors that came here before us that left the old world, got in a boat to come over here looking for freedom and they signed their names to something they believed. The founding fathers on the bridge. Men and women that decided to make this country its own country. Then blood, they had blood that ran red. All the men and women in the military that sacrificed for us and kept this country free since the beginning…. This here song goes out to them. This is Home.” As the song “Home” faded out, Dierks Bentley thanked the crowd, got down on his knees bowing down to the enthusiastic country music fans and then stood back up to bow again with his band mates.
The introduction of the next act, Rascal Flatts, brought out the loudest cheers from the fans so far. The band started their set with “Why Wait”. The music continued as the fiddle kicked in to lead the song, “Me And My Gang”. Lead singer Gary LeVox greeted the extremely loud crowd, “How ya doing music fest? Ya’ll having a good time so far? This is our brand new single, it’s called ‘Come Wake Me Up’.” The ballad showed Gary’s ability to hold a note, but the next song showed the band’s ability to get the dancers going as they performed “Banjo”. It was time for another ballad as the band began the song, “What Hurts The Most”. Gary LeVox demanded everyone to get on their feet, with no opposition, as the country music dancers danced and the singers sang along to “Life Is A Highway” to close out their set.
Luke Bryan introduced Alan Jackson as the band started the beat to the big hit, “Chattahoochee”. Alan took very little time to speak as he thanked the fans and the band continued with the second song of the night, “Itty Bitty”. While the band plays the background music, Alan addresses the fans, “Thank ya’ll so much! Appreciate ya all coming to Nashville, being a part of the big CMA Festival. It means a lot to us and we’re glad to be here to play ya’ll some country music tonight. This little song I wrote quite a few years ago when I lost my daddy. Trying to write something. I didn’t want to write some ole sad kind of song. I started thinking about growing up and all I wanted to do is drive something.” Allen and band performed the song “Drive”. Alan then brought out his nephew, who happens to be a Nashville songwriter, to play guitar on the song he co-wrote that Alan recorded, “So You Don’t Have To Love Me Anymore”. Alan then said, “That’s kinda heavy, I’m about ready for some good time music. This is the last night of the CMA Fest!” He dedicated the song to his daughters as he performed “Good Time”. Alan continued by saying, “Speaking of time, it’s gotta be about 5 o’clock around here somewhere!” and they continued with “5 O’Clock Somewhere”. Alan and the band kept the dancers going as he closed his set with a new upbeat song called, “Dixie Highway”. Alan thanked the fans and left the stage. The fans loved him!
Martina McBride came on stage to close out the CMA Music Fest as the last act of the year. She took the stage playing the harmonica as she opened with “One Night”. Martina followed by saying, “ Well Hello, How Ya’ll Doing? I goota tell ya it’s a real honor for me to get to close out the CMA Music Festival. It’s good to see all ya’ll here!” She mentioned her new album called Eleven (due to her eleventh studio album). She performed one from the album called “Watcha Gonna Do”. Martina said the next song was one for all survivors as she continued with “I’m Gonna Love You Through It”. Martina then surprised the fans with snapping her fingers to a version of Roger Miller’s old hit, “King of the Road”. The hits kept coming as she performed, “This One’s For The Girls”. It was time for Martina to shine with her vocal ability as she belted the song, “A Broken Wing”. The crowd cheered so much, that Martina began to tear up so much that she couldn’t speak without crying. The cheers went on for a solid two or three minutes. Once she gained her composure, she surprised us again. This time it was with the Eurhythmics hit, “Sweet Dreams”. Martina thanked everyone as she closed her set with her most famous song, “Independence Day”. She thanked the fans once more, told us to take care of each other and travel safe.
I’ve said before and I’ll say again, the CMA Music Festival is the best music festival I’ve ever attended. Probably because of our credentials, the fans recognizing us, and the friendships we’ve created over the years. I would highly recommend every music fan to attend the CMA Music Festival. The best time and the friendliest fans. Don’t miss out. Get Your Tickets For Next Year!
Written by Mike Arnold
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Tags: Alan Jackson, blog, CMA Music Festival 2012, concert blast, concertblast, Country Music Stars Photos, Dierks Bentley, Martina McBride, Mike Arnold, Nashville, podcast, Rascal Flatts, reviews, Scotty McCreery, The Mavericks, TN, Tom Thompson, Will Perry