It was night number two of the CMA Music Festival stadium concerts and Concert Blast was on hand to cover this fun event. This podcast is the review/coverage on the second of four nights of the stadium concerts with Mike Arnold, special guest host Will Perry (Tom was absent that night), a short recap from photographer Brian Hasbrook (who was losing his voice), and lots of Concert Blast friends in attendance. Here are the artists that performed that night, (in order of appearance) Randy Travis, Kip Moore, Hunter Hayes, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town (with special surprise guest Sheryl Crow), and Blake Shelton… ENJOY!
Thanks to our CMA Music Festival sponsor, The Old Spaghetti Factory. Please visit them and tell them Concert Blast sent you!
Written by Mike Arnold
As the CMA Music Festival 2013 continues, so does the celebrations all over downtown Nashville, TN. Earlier on this night of the second day of the stadium concerts, a rainstorm entered Nashville, TN, which caused Jo Dee Messina, the headliner on the Riverfront stage, to cut her set to about three songs. Lucky for us and about 70,000 other music fans, the rain stopped and the skies cleared before the stadium shows began. Before heading over to the stadium we decided to take advantage of our sponsor’s offer to feed us dinner – The Old Spaghetti Factory! With our appetites taken care of, we were off to the stadium shows (hoping the rain has finally left the area).
Before we got inside the stadium and ready to cover the concerts, Randy Travis had already began his show with his starting number, “Diggin’ Up Bones” and followed up with his spiritual side as he performed, “Three Wooden Crosses”.
Randy continued his portion of the show with a tribute to George Jones that he recently recorded, “Tonight I’m Playing Possum”. This song is a well written about someone who is missing George Jones and decided to play his records all night (while drinking and smoking). Randy continued with another one of his hits, “Deeper Than The Holler”.
Randy performed a short segment of another one of his hits, “On The Other Hand”, for a couple of friends who happen to be there and requested it. When Randy completed this short version he said, “I told you Tammy and Mike that I would only do a piece of it, but it’s for you.”
Randy Travis closed his set with another one of his classics, “Forever and Ever Amen”. Randy sounded as good as he’s ever sounded (just like the recordings) with not much entertaining (but he never was an entertainer, just a performer) and he seemed a little nervous.
Upon the announcement of Kip Moore, the large crowd screamed with approval as he strutted out on stage wearing his cap backwards and an old looking Rolling Stones t-shirt with the arms ripped off, walking straight to his guitar amp, turning knobs, as he seemed to be cranking up the volume. He slowly walked up to his mic stand and said, “Whadaya say, are you ready to get loose up in here?”
As the crowd yelled, he said, “Well then let’s get loose!” and he began strumming his guitar to the intro of his opening number, “Crazy One More Time”.
Kip continued with a favorite as the drums kicked in with Kip yelling, “Whatcha say, did ya’ll bring your beer money to the party tonight? Come on baby!”
Kip counted off a 1-2-3-4 and the band followed him with the crowd sing-along, “Beer Money”. I don’t know if Kip Moore realized it from the stage, but from where we stood, the fans in the crowd where dancing and singing along.
Kip addressed the CMA Fest crowd by saying, “How ya feeling out there tonight?… Ya’ll ready to get a little reckless out here on a Friday night?” as the drummer counting off to start the song, “Reckless”.
Kip wanted to send a message to a certain popular record producer by telling the fans a story in the middle of the song (with the band continuing to lightly play the beat to the song).
The story goes, “Roughly about seven or eight years ago, I met with this big wig producer. He let me play him a few songs in his office. And when I got done, he said, ‘Well you’re alright, but this is what you’re up against.’ He played me some stuff he was working on. He said, ‘My advice to you is to pack on up and head back to south Georgia.’ So I was polite I stood up and thanked that man for his time, but I said ‘Brother I ain’t going nowhere!’ And now I’m playing for you fine people on a Friday night at the CMA Fest!”
The fans loved the story as they cheered with approval. Kip said he wanted to dedicate the last verse to that producer, as he sang about the story.
Kip introduced the next song to the crowd by saying, “Before we finish this night up, we have been going about this for a very, very long time, and we are so grateful and humbled to be here with ya’ll. Thank ya’ll so, so much for your support.” Kip then introduced the song, “Hey Pretty Girl”.
For Kip Moore’s last song of his set, he and the band performed the fun song, “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck” while running out through the crowd to shake hands, take photos, and thank the fans with high fives. Kip’s sincerity was noticed and appreciated by the fans.
Hunter Hayes did not play as many songs as the rest of the acts, but due to him stretching out songs to display his lead guitar skills, he performed just as long. The very young and talented artist brought out the screams from the younger females in attendance, but they weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the show. People of all ages were singing and dancing along to his music. Hunter began his set with “Somebody’s Heartbreak”.
To introduce the second song of his set, Hunter said, “I wanna do this a little bit different. I wanna sing this with you guys if you guys know this song.” Hunter sat down at a grand piano and began playing and saying, “I wanna sing it just you and I for a minute, ok LP Field? Let’s do this together, here we go.” His piano playing switched gears with the crowd recognizing the tune as they screamed with approval while he began playing the into to his popular hit, “Wanted”. And yes they did sing along!
Hunter talked about writing this next song with a friend of his and introduced him to the CMA Music Fest crowd as Jason Mraz walked out to share the vocals on,
“Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me”. The crowd approved with loud cheers. The song actually sounded like a Jason song instead of a Hunter song.
Hunter Hayes got everyone clapping along and asked the crowd, “Can we get crazy right now?” and the place went crazy as they danced and sang along to, “I Want Crazy”.
One particular fan from Huntsville, AL, a thirteen year-old girl by the name of Trinity, actually did go crazy as she cried and screamed throughout the entire Hunter Hayes set. She is actually in love with him and wanted a photo with him. There are times I wished we had the power to introduce fans with the artists. This is one fan I would have definitely introduced to Hunter… I’m sure a medic would need to stand close by because I’m sure she would have fainted from the excitement… Oh to be young!
To me when I first think of Lady Antebellum, I think of sweet harmonies and ballads. If you were thinking the same thing, then go see them in concert and you will see a party band with great harmonies and a lot of fun. This trio know how to get a party started and keep you active throughout their show. I’ve always enjoyed their live performances, but they’ve improved over the years to become one of my favorite country acts.
Hillary, Charles, and Dave (also known as Lady A) walked out on the huge stage with loud cheers that went even louder when Charles demanded, “Let me see some hands CMA Fest” and the band started their set with “We Own The Night”… and they did!
Without hesitation, the band kicked in with their latest hit, “Downtown”. The screams of approval continued throughout their set as they began each song. The fans sang along with every song and when Charles Kelley asked the crowd to sing along, the fans turned it up another notch. It was this tune when the fans in the section on the right side of the stadium decided to throw out the blown up plastic beach balls onto the fans below on the ground. To witness the beach balls flying all around made the party very festive… and lots of fun! Unfortunately, the security had a team of beach ball retrievers.
Charles asked the CMA Festers, “Are you having a good time so far?” and the Lady A acapella harmonies began to start the sing-along, “I Run to You”. The show continued with the slower song, “Goodbye Town”.
Hillary Scott spoke to the crowd to introduce the next number, “So this next song we’re going to do for ya’all is the second single off our second record.”
The beat of the drums kicked in as she continued to speak, “ This is just about a beautiful, innocent place in time… This reminds me of being a little girl growing up right her in Nashville, TN. This stadium is full of American Honeys tonight. So we need you to sing this with us. Are You Ready?”
The fans were ready as they sang along to “American Honey”.
To begin the next one, Charles Kelley said, “Ladies and Gentelmen, Mr. Dave Haywood”.
Dave had switched over to the piano and began playing softly, which led into the famous intro of “Need You Now”. Once Dave hit the famous piano notes, the place screamed with emotion. By the time the chorus had began, the 70,000 or so fans in attendance became singers. To close the set, Lady Antebellum selected the upbeat tune, “Lookin’ For A Good Time”. A good time was definitely had by all in attendance with Brian Hasbrook and I deciding that was our favorite set of the night… Excellent Entertainers!
LITTLE BIG TOWN
(With Surprise Guest Sheryl Crow)
Little Big Town (also known as LBT) began their set on the small stage in the middle crowd (probably for the ABC TV special coming in August) with the slow emotional, along with their dramatic acting while performing their song, “Your Side Of The Bed”. The show took a positive turn as sounds of thunder and synthesizer sounds blasted through the PA speakers while LBT made their way to the main stage. To get the crowd into the show Karen Fairchild yelled, “Some girls are storms. Some girls are tornadoes”. Little Big Town then woke this crowd up with the hit, “Tornado”.
The fun (and singing along) continued with an acapella start of “Boondocks”. By this time LBT had the crowd in their pocket, especially during the sing-along section of “You get a line, I get a pole, we’ll go fishing in the crawfish hole, five card poker on a Saturday night, church on Sunday morning”.
Right when you think they hit their peak, the very familiar and popular sound of last year’s hit began as the crowd exploded with approval as LBT performed, “Pontoon”… while the dancing and singing continued!
I thought this was going to be their last song of the night and we were going to get ready for Blake Shelton… but we had a huge surprise coming. There was an announcment, “Ladies and Gentlemen, give it up for Sheryl Crow!” Again everyone’s emotion was over the top as Sheryl Crow walked out on stage and yelled, “CMA Fest!”
Without stopping or slowing down, Sheryl performed, with Little Big Town, and about 70,000 others singing along to “Soak Up The Sun”. LBT left the stage as Sheryl continued with her new song, “Easy” before saying thank you and goodnight. What a performance from both artists! There was a slow start from Little Big Town, but they quickly made up for it.
The announcers said, “All the way from Oklahoma, Blake Shelton!” The fans came alive as Blake walked out to the screaming fans with the band playing the intro to the Kenny Loggin’s hit as his opening number, “Footloose”.
Blake continued his set by saying he thought a lot of the crowd would be gone by now (due to being so late). Blake then told the crowd to sing along… loud, as he performed the tune, “Sure Be Cool If You Did” (along with Gwen Sebastian, a contestant from the TV show, The Voice).
Blake Shelton again told the fans to sing with him as he sang the song, describing boys from the south, “Boys ‘Round Here”.
Blake said, “You know I hate to be too selfish in a time like this, but I would be a complete idiot if I didn’t play ya’ll something off my brand new album that maybe you haven’t heard yet. Is that alright?” They continued with “Mine Would Be You”.
The set continued with another fan favorite, “Drink On It”.
Blake expressed his thoughts on the CMA Music Fest crowd by saying, “It takes a special breed of human being to stand out here this late at night after you’ve been hanging out, drinking, partying, listening to country music all day and your still here!”
He continued with, “Wait a minute, you guys, you’re just not country music fans, you’re not just hard-core country music fans at all man. You guys must be.. a bunch of.. freaking… hillbillies man, that’s what ya’ll are!” The fans screamed in agreement, and knowing what song was coming, while Blake and company began the tune, “Hillbilly Bone”… and the crowd yelled in time during the song, “Yee Haw!”
Blake Shelton closed out his set with his popular sing along hit, “Honey Bee”. Blake seemed very appreciative and sincere for the fans staying for his entire set and joining in on the songs. He did a good job with his performance, but I would have definitely started the set with something other than “Footloose”. There were fans in the crowd asking me why he was playing that song, so it’s not just me.
Night two of the CMA Music Festival stadium shows was my favorite of the four nights. Having Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, and Sheryl Crow back to back was a great way to get the crowd into the party mood and ready for Blake Shelton. Brian Hasbrook and I both agreed that Lady A was our favorite, while guest host Will Perry chose the music skills of Hunter Hayes as his favorite. We all were impressed with the lasting vocal ability of Randy Travis and the popularity of the energetic Kip Moore.
Written by Mike Arnold
Special Thanks to the Old Spaghetti Factory for being the CMA Music Festival sponsor for Concert Blast this year.
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Tags: 6/7/2013, Blake Shelton, blog, Brian Hasbrook, CMA Music Festival 2013, concert blast, concertblast, Friday, Hunter Hayes, Jason Mraz, Jason Mraz with Hunter Hayes, Kip Moore, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Little Big Town with Sheryl Crow, Mike Arnold, podcast, Randy Travis, reviews, Sheryl Crow, Stadium Concert Review, Will Perry