Bobby Bones & Friends Raise $2 Million for St. Jude
The Ryman Auditorium was the place to be Monday night (Jan. 9) where Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots hosted their 2017 Million Dollar Show for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Every penny raised from the concert went directly to the hospital, which aims to end childhood cancer.
The sold-out show included performances by previously announced guests Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry, Sam Hunt and Caitlyn Smith while surprise sets from Garth Brooks, Thomas Rhett and Brothers Osborne had the already excited audience screaming in disbelief. Additional features by Craig Campbell, Lindsay Ell, Natalie Stovall, Brandon Ray and Nikita Karmen alongside the Raging Idiots kept the party going for well over two hours.
Radio host Bones acted as MC for the evening and despite being diagnosed with the flu earlier that morning, he was all energy and ever the showman as he raved about each of the acts who took the stage as well as proved a pleasing frontman launching into several songs off the Raging Idiots’ The Critics Give It Five Stars and their children’s album, Kiddy Up.
Early on, Bones promised several surprise guests and the radio man did not disappoint. “We’re here for one reason. It’s for the kids,” he added at the start of the show. While the surprises were plenty, so were the cover songs. After an impressive rendition of Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by the Raging Idiots with Stovall on fiddle, the group transitioned seamlessly into Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” where Ell shined on guitar.
Its @samhuntmusic! Its me! Last night at @theryman A photo posted by Mrbobbybones (@mrbobbybones) on
Later, The Band Perry would grace the stage for a lively nine-minute set that included a jaw-dropping mashup of the Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” and Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” where each sibling had his or her time in the spotlight. Meanwhile another sibling band, Brothers Osborne, surprised the Ryman audience when they walked out on the stage and played Alan Jackson’s “Chattahoochee” before segueing into their first No. 1 hit, “Stay A Little Longer.”
As it turns out, Bones previously asked each artist which cover song they’d like to play for his Million Dollar Show. Sam Hunt took the stage dressed from head to toe in black and told the crowd that his manager called him while he was celebrating his recent engagement over the holidays, letting him know that Bones had been wondering what cover song he’d be playing.
“I was sitting at the beach two weeks ago,” Hunt shares with the audience. “I just got engaged two months ago and I’m sitting at the beach thinking about how great life is.”
Without missing a beat he then fittingly launched into Travis Tritt’s “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” and was all smiles alone center stage with his acoustic guitar. As he finished his cover his band brought out several stools and joined him on his first hit, “Leave the Night On.”
Additional highlights included Thomas Rhett’s spirited falsetto cover of DNCE’s “Cake By the Ocean” and Rascal Flatts’ two-song set of an acoustic “I Like the Sound of That” where the trio’s harmonies were showcased as well as crowd pleaser “Life Is a Highway.” Caitlyn Smith hushed the rowdy audience with a spellbinding performance of “Tacoma,” a song she wrote that Garth Brooks previously recorded, while Craig Campbell also brought an audible quiet to the Mother Church with his powerful “Outskirts of Heaven.”
It was the legend himself, Garth Brooks, that had the entire crowd on their feet when he presented Bones a check for $2 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Bones couldn’t let him walk away without performing and Brooks closed the charitable night with “Friends In Low Places,” which had every concertgoer on his feet and singing along.