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2014 CMA Music Festival – Thursday Night (Podcast 261)

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    Posted on 7/4/2014

    2014 CMA Music Festival - Thursday

    2014 CMA Music Festival - Thursday

    The 2014 CMA Music Festival put another shot in the arm of the Nashville, TN economy and Mike Arnold, Tom Thompson, and Will Perry (substituting for Brian Hasbrook) of Concert Blast was there to cover as many events as they could. There were so many concerts and other events that no one person could attend, not even the three of us. This is the first of many podcasts from this festival. Enjoy the Thursday night stadium show coverage with plenty of live clips and fun with the attendees. Concerts covered were (in order); Alabama, Luke Bryan, Brantley Gilbert, Dierks Bentley, Rascal Flatts, and headliner Tim McGraw. Also interview fun with country music newcomer Jenny Casey and Concert Blast fans… Enjoy the listening or the reading of Mike Arnold’s blog… or both!

     

    2014 CMA Music Festival - Thursday

    2014 CMA Music Festival - Thursday

    Written by Mike Arnold
    Here we go again… It’s time once again for the CMA Music Festival.  We love attending festivals, especially the size of this one.  It’s amazing how organized these events are with the size of this festival.  There are concerts that start at 10:00am and go to the wee hours of the morning.  There are many fan club parties from major artists as well as those who have their music career beginning.  On this first day of the festivities, we all decided to wait to start our coverage at the nightly stadium shows (after all it will be a very busy and tiring four days).  The nightly stadium concerts began with legendary Alabama.

    2014 CMA Music Festival - Alabama

    2014 CMA Music Festival - Alabama

    ALABAMA
    We were excited to see Alabama again in concert.  They made an appearance with Brad Paisley a few years ago for a few songs, but this time they were selected to open the party at the stadium (which is an honor to be selected).  Alabama took the stage to the exited crowd with “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)”.  Which led into, “Dixieland Delight”.  The surprise to be was they pulled out an older cover song, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”.  With all the number one hits they have, why would they perform that one?  They ended in style with “I’m in a Hurry (and Don’t Know Why)” and closing with “Mountain Music”.  They were well received, but it was a short rushed set.

    2014 CMA Music Festival - Luke Bryan

    2014 CMA Music Festival - Luke Bryan

    LUKE BRYAN
    For the second year in a row, the most popular country music star on the scene today, Luke Bryan, performed on the first night and early in the night.  A few years ago Luke headlined the Saturday night stadium show and performed to a very enthusiastic crowd.  This year the crowd was even more enthusiastic as Luke showed us his dance moves, led his sing-alongs, and gave many of the fans down front “High-fives”.  Luke’s set list included; “That’s My Kind Of Night”, “Rain Is a Good Thing”, “Roller Coaster”, “Play It Again”, “Drink a Beer”, “I Don’t Want This Night to End” (including a clip of the cover song “Dynamite”), and closing with a fun crowd participation version of “Country Girl (Shake It for Me)”.

     

     

    JENNY CASEY
    In between acts, we ran into two of our favorite CMA Music Festival attendees, country music newcomer Jenny Casey and European radio personality Lexy from Luxembourg.  We discussed Jenny’s schedule during the CMA Music Fest week, her upcoming European tour, and her yet to be announced record signing deal!

    2014 CMA Music Festival - Brantley Gilbert

    2014 CMA Music Festival - Brantley Gilbert

    BRANTLEY GILBERT
    The songwriter who wrote the songs that put Jason Aldean on the map has made his second appearance to the CMA Music Festival.  This year his popularity has increased dramatically.  In fact there was an announcement from the stage that his current album was number one on the country charts.  Tom, Will, and I are not fans of his redneck style, especially with his wireless microphone with brass knuckles attached.  However, he is a popular artist whose fans were excited to see him.  He’s one of those artist that most fans either love or hate. Our thoughts is, “To each his own”.  Brantley Gilbert’s set list included; “Kick It in the Sticks”, “Small Town Throwdown” (with Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett joining him – the crowd loved this one!), “Country Must Be Country Wide”, “Dirt Road Anthem”, and closing with “Bottoms Up”.

    2014 CMA Music Festival - Dierks Bentley

    2014 CMA Music Festival - Dierks Bentley

    DIERKS BENTLEY
    Dierks Bentley is one artist whose popularity has grown tremendously each year.  He’s a fabulous live entertainer that is very friendly and humble.  The only issue I personally have with him is his many songs about drinking and getting drunk.  The first thing that he did when he walked out on stage was to walk straight to Will Perry to give him a “high-five” and the last thing he did while leaving the stage was walk over to Tom Thompson to while he was taking the video of him leaving the stage.  Very nice!  His selected songs for the night included, “5-1-5-0”, “Am I the Only One”, “Tip It on Back”, “Drunk on a Plane”, and ended with the anthem, “I Hold On”.

     

     

    2014 CMA Music Festival - Rascal Flatts

    2014 CMA Music Festival - Rascal Flatts


    RASCAL FLATTS

    Rascal Flatts took their energetic style to the CMA Music Fest stage as usual by starting off with “Life Is A Highway” followed by “Payback”, “Rewind” and then covered the front of the stage with microphones as we knew something special was about to happen.  They announced their band members were going to be singing some acapella songs with them.  They started with “Love You Out Loud” and expressed how that made them “Happy” as they went through a very good acapella version of covering the Pharrell Williams’ huge hit.  The band went back to their instruments as they continued with “Bless the Broken Road”, and “Summer Nights”. Great harmonies on every song!

    2014 CMA Music Festival - Tim McGraw

    2014 CMA Music Festival - Tim McGraw

    TIM McGRAW
    It was time for the headliner of the night as Tom and I were hoping to enjoy another fun time concert.  However, this concert was not as energetic as the last time he performed at the CMA Music Fest a few years ago.  Once they announced his name, scary sounding into music came through the speakers for about three minutes (enough time for another song).  He came out with an electric Fender guitar strapped on, but not playing it very much.  Tim knows how to work the crowd and the stage, so he doesn’t need to be playing guitar, unless he really decided to play lead.  He started with “Real Good Man”, before energizing the crowd with “I Like It, I Love It”.  He slowed down the tempo again to sing “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s”, as he was joined by his wife Faith Hill (who looked marvelous!).  After the song he hugged Faith, padded her rear, and joked, “I’m a lucky man! I see ya later!” (as he acted like he was going to follow her off the stage).    He continued his set with; “Mexicoma”, “Back When”, “Keep on Truckin”, “Truck Yeah”, and the best performance of the night (from the stage and the crowd), “Live Like You Were Dying”.  Tim waved goodbye and the first night of the 2014 CMA Music Festival stadium shows came to a close.

    RECAP
    Tom, Will, and I all agreed that the best set of the night belonged to Luke Bryan with the worst set belonging to Brantley Gilbert (but that’s just our taste in music and style – the crowd liked him).  The disappoints was the short set by Alabama and the song selection of Tim McGraw, although we all agreed that “Live Like You Were Dying” was the best performance of the night.  Dierks Bentley continued to impress us each time we see him perform and that’s why he was our second favorite.  Rascal Flatts harmony was outstanding!  It was another great night at the CMA Music Fest.
    Written by Mike Arnold


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