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2014 CMA Music Festival – Saturday (Podcast 263)

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    Posted on 8/5/2014

    Riverfront Park - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    Riverfront Park - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    It was officially day three of the 2014 CMA Music Festival in Nashville, TN. Mike Arnold, Tom Thompson, and Will Perry continued with the concert coverage.  Day three lasted about 15 hours and this was after two prior long days!  Yes, we were tired but excited to cover more concerts.  On this day we started at the packed Riverfront Park to cover LoCash Cowboys, went to the Bridgestone Arena plaza for Chuck Wicks, strolled over to the HGTV sponsored barn to see an invitation only solo performance of Sugarland’s Kristian Bush, and then completed the daytime shows back at Riverfront Park to see one of our favorite up and coming artists, Maggie Rose. After a dinner and a hour rain delay, we headed over to the stadium to catch Sara Evans, Little Big Town, Darius Rucker, Florida Georgia Line, and closed the night with Keith Urban.  Enjoy the podcast and written blog review by Mike Arnold.

    LoCash Cowboys - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    LoCash Cowboys - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    Written by Mike Arnold
    LOCASH COWBOYS
    Tom Thompson and I arrived downtown Nashville, TN in time to catch the opening act at the Riverfront Park, the LoCash Cowboys.  Their name may have meant what they were like in the beginning of their career, but these days founders Preston Brust and Chris Lucas have persevered to fill up Riverfront Park with their fans, not to mention the hit songs they have written for Tim McGraw (“Truck Yeah”) and Keith Urban (“You Gonna Fly”).  Their high energy band and performance went through these hits and many other tunes that thrilled their CMA Music Fest audience.

    Chuck Wicks - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    Chuck Wicks - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    CHUCK WICKS
    We then headed over to the Bridgestone Arena Plaza to catch Chuck Wicks in concert.  We’ve seen many acts at this stage, but never a crowd as large as this one.  There were maybe 3,000 Chuck fans thrilled to see him in concert.  Chuck went through several sing along songs, both ballads and up-tempo numbers.  His set included, “Stealing Cinderella”, “Us Again”, “Let’s Do A Shot”, and others.  After his set, most of the fans in the front stayed to get a cell phone “selfie” and an autograph from Chuck.

    Kristian Bush - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    Kristian Bush - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    KRISTIAN BUSH
    Our next stop was to head to the HGTV barn were the male half of Sugarland was performing to a selected group of fans and media as he introduced us to his new solo material, answer personal questions, and encouraged us to chase a dream.  His set included; “Southern Gravity” (the title track to his upcoming album), “Trailer Hitch” (the first single from the new album), even a Sugarland tune that was actually a true story of how they called home and asked for some money so they can make it as a successful artist, “Baby Girl”.  His set lasted about thirty minutes, which also included several questions from audience members and a lot of talk.

    Maggie Rose - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    Maggie Rose - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    MAGGIE ROSE
    Our last concert for the daytime performances which led us up to time for dinner, was one of our favorite up and coming artists, Maggie Rose.  We were introduced to Maggie last year as we were approached to interview her by her publicist.  No only was she was fun to chat with, she is a terrific entertainer with an excellent voice range and an excellent band (especially her female drummer!).  Maggie performed to a packed Riverfront Park with an audience that was thrilled to be there!  Maggie performed several originals, “Better”, “I’m Not Your Momma”, and others.  She also performed a couple of covers, “Don’t Let Me Down” (Electric Light Orchestra) and “Renegade” (Styx).  Excellent performance.  Our favorite from the daytime hours!

    Sara Evans - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    Sara Evans - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    SARA EVANS
    As we sit in our booth eating dinner at the Spaghetti Factory, we watched the rain come down hard and now we were dreading what was in store for us later.  On our CMA Fest App, we received a message that the festival was going to be delayed an hour due to the rain.  We also got news earlier in the day that Chris Young had to cancel his performance due to an accidental cut on his hand.  We extended our stay at the restaurant and then headed over to see our friends at the Wildhorse Saloon while we waited.  By the time we got to the stadium the rain was not as hard as it was, but it was steady which made it very uncomfortable.  The rain continued throughout Sara Evans’ performance, but the crowd continued to dance and sing along wearing their ponchos… and so did we!  Sara looked and sounded better than ever.  Her set included; “A Real Fine Place To Start”, “A Little Bit Stronger”, “Slow Me Down”, and others.  Sara was very well received by the rain soaked crowd.

    Little Big Town - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    Little Big Town - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    LITTLE BIG TOWN
    LBT, as they are known as, is one of my favorite acts to see at the CMA Music Festival.  They fill their set with their sing along hits that their fans want to hear and participate in.  Little Big Town started their set with their superb harmonies of “Little White Church” and the crowd of approximately 70,000 joined in.  The set continued with “Tornado”, “Day Drinking”, and “Quit Breaking Up With Me” (which Karen Fairchild dedicated to all the girls).  Loud screams of approval came next during the opening line of “Boondocks”, followed by another crowd pleaser and the closing number of the set, “Pontoon”.  Another excellent performance by Little Big Town!

    Darius Rucker - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    Darius Rucker - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    DARIUS RUCKER
    Darius Rucker took the stage with his large grin to excited screams from the fans as he introduced his set with “Alright”.  His set included all hits (like it should be) as he continued with “Radio”, and “Come Back Song”.  Darius also reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out a Hootie and the Blowfish tune, “Only Wanna Be With You” which everyone loved!  By this time the rain had stopped for the night and most everyone was singing and dancing… especially during his closing number, “Wagon Wheel”.  This was the most excited we had seen this crowd all weekend.  Darius did a great job… even I couldn’t have made suggestions to improve the set!

    Florida-Georgia Line - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    Florida-Georgia Line - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    FLORIDA-GEORGIA LINE
    Before announcing Florida-Georgia Line, the night’s host informed us that this group has the longest running number one single in the entire Billboard Charts sixty-nine years of recorded history.  Once the host announced the band, the specifically created intro music played for about a minute until you heard Tyler Hubbard yell, “What’s Up Nashville?” as the band kicked into “It’z Just What We Do”.  Each song had a small talk intro to each song.  Before the second song, Tyler dedicated the song to those who traveled to CMA Week from all over the country and the world as well as the military who keep us all safe so we can have this type of fun and the show continued with “Round Here”.  The talking continued with introducing each song.  This time they asked those in attendance to get out your cell phones, lights, or anything that you have that lights up as they introduced “Get Your Shine On”.  The talking continued to thank everyone for changing their life as they cranked out, “This Is How We Roll”.  The talking continued… Again!  This time they thanked the Nashville crowd for being a part of changing country music for what it is today (personally I’m definitely glad it has changed) as they completed their set with their biggest hit, “Cruise”.  The stadium crowd LOVED this set.  I appreciated their set list, but not all the talking between each song.  It seemed they started their talking each time, “I tell you what Nashville”.  I will admit they seemed very appreciative and humble.

    Keith Urban with Florida-Georgia Line - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    Keith Urban with Florida-Georgia Line - 2014 CMA Music Festival

    KEITH URBAN
    I was looking forward to seeing Keith Urban again.  I’ve seen him when he had a great set list and when he had a mediocre one.  This time was the latter.  Keith started off with lots of energy during, “Long Hot Summer”.  Keith mentioned that we were all troopers for staying all night long and putting up with the rain.  Keith got the crowd to make noise in each section of the stadium before continuing with “Good Thing”.  For the next number Keith brought out Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild to share the vocals on “We Were Us”.  Another upbeat song followed, “Somewhere In My Car”.  Keith slowed down the music on his next number, “Cop Car”.  Mr. Urban announced that he had time for one more as he brought out another surprise guest, Tyler and Brian from Florida-Georgia Line as they all three shared the vocals on “You Gonna Fly”.  This was an excellent way to close the set and close night number three of the CMA Music Fest stadium show.

    RECAP
    It was another terrific day of fun entertainment during the daytime and nighttime hours.  Covering all these shows is very tiring, but well worth it!  Our favorite during the day was Maggie Rose followed by LoCash Cowboys.  Our night-time favorites were Little Big Town followed by Darius Rucker, and Florida-Georgia Line. Darius Rucker wins the performance of the night with “Wagon Wheel”.  The audience were dancing and singing at the top of their lungs! One of my personal pet-peeves that we heard throughout the evening was all of the artists kept addressing the crowd as “Nashville”.  There are very few people from Nashville attending these shows, so when the artists addresses the CMA Fest crowd as Nashville, it sounds very strange to me.  They should address the crowd for what they are, the CMA Fest crowd.
    Written by Mike Arnold


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