CMA Music Festival- Day 1

CMA Music Festival- Day 1

Day 1 of the CMA Music Festival is over- & what a day it was!

Fans began to line up at the Greased Lightening Exhibit Hall LATE Wednesday night for a chance to meet their favorite country music stars.

Among the many artists signing at the convention center that day were Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood- which, from what we hear, created a mad house!

reba-mcentire-fan-fair-hall-countrymusicislove

carrie-underwood-fan-fair-hall-countrymusicislove

(Photos Courtesy Of Country Music Association)

While some fans were inside waiting in line for a chance to get up close and personal with artists, others attended the Riverfront Stages to watch performances by artists such as Ashton Shepherd, Gretchen Wilson, Phil Vassar, and Heidi Newfield.

ashton-shepherd-countrymusicislove

heidi-newfield-riverfront-stage-countrymusicislove

gretchen-wilson-riverfront-stage-countrymusicislove

phil-vassar-riverfront-stage-countrymusicislove

(Photos Courtesy Of Country Music Association)

Aside from the many festival events during the long weekend, many artists host fan club parties. We attended Jake Owen’s fan appreciation party at LongHorn Steakhouse in Brentwood, TN. The place was PACKED! Jake was in a great mood and interacted with the fans very well. He took time between songs to let fans know how much he appreciated them and thanked them many, many times for their support.

100_4829

Fans were brought to tears when Jake called his mother and father up on stage to sing a song he wrote for them called “Somewhere In The Middle.” It was by far one of the sweetest things we have ever seen or heard. Just about everyone in the audience teared up.

100_4844

After the party, Jake stuck around to sign autographs for the many fans in a line that wrapped well around the building.

After Jake’s show, we headed back downtown to LP Field. The star-studded line up was supposed to include performances by Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, Julianne Hough, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, and Jimmy Wayne. Unfortunately, severe weather rolled through downtown Nashville and put a damper on the show.

Brooks & Dunn kicked off the night with a rockin’ set. They sang their hits, “Play Something Country,” “Hillbilly Deluxe,” “My Maria,” and more. When the duo sang “Only In America” a few active military members appeared on stage. The crowd went wild. No matter how many times we see B&D perform this song, it still gives us goosebumps… Reba McEntire surprised the audience when she joined the duo on stage to sing their hit collaboration, “Cowgirls Don’t Cry.”

Brooks & Dunn LP Field

brooks & dunn with-reba LP fieldBrooks & Dunn

(Photos Courtesy of Larry McCormack/ The Tennessean)

We were very excited for Reba’s set because it had been quite a while since either one of us had seen her live. She took the stage singing “Why Haven’t I Heard From You.” She sang a few others including her latest single, “Strange.”

reba mcentire

Reba McEntire

(Photos Courtesy of Larry McCormack/ The Tennessean)

Then came the bad news. The evening’s host, GAC’s Storme Warren, came on stage in the middle of Reba’s performance to inform the crowd that bad weather was on the way and that we had to CLEAR the stadium seats. The audience cleared the stadium within minutes. In hopes that the weather would pass, thousands of fans gathered near the concessions. After about an hour, we finally saw signs of the approaching storm. After a few hours, the show resumed, but Julianne Hough, Rascal Flatts, and Jimmy Wayne weren’t able to take the stage. Rascal Flatts hit the road to Oklahoma for the next stop on their “Unstoppable Tour.” Fans seemed to be disappointed about missing out on Rascal Flatts, but still make the best of the night…well, morning.

Fans were really excited to see Darius Rucker and were delighted to see him go out into the crowd during his set.

Darius Rucker LP Field

darius-rucker-lp-field-countrymusicislove1

(Photos Courtesy Of Country Music Association)

Next, the crowd went crazy for Dierks Bentley. He busted out hits such as “Lot Of Leavin’ Left To Do,” “Sideways,” “Feel That Fire,” and a few others. The moment fans realized Dierks was leaving the stage, they asked for more. They started chanting “One More Song, One More Song”, but due to time restraints, the set was shortened (it was already close to 1am!).

dierks-bentley-lp-field-countrymusicislove2

dierks-fans-countrymusicislove

(Photos Courtesy Of Country Music Association)

It was after 1am when the reigning CMA and ACM Male Vocalist of the Year took the stage. Brad Paisley opened his set with “Ticks” and gave the fans a taste of “American Saturday Night”, the title track of his upcoming album.

brad-paisley-lp-field-countrymusicislove

brad-paisley-lp-countrymusicislove

brad-pasiley-lp-field-countrymusicislove

(Photos Courtesy Of Country Music Association)

The most memorable moment of the night was when Brad dedicated his No. 1 hit “Then” to the fans. He told us that he wrote the song for a very special person in his life, but that tonight, it was for us. He told the story of how he first performed at the CMA Music Festival back in 1999 when no one knew who he was – how much things change in 10 years!. He laughed about how much has changed since the first time he appeared at the festival and said “I thought I loved you then…” He then belted out a stellar performance of “Then.”

Dierks Bentley joined Paisley in closing out the night at LP Field. They sang Brad’s hit “Alcohol” and just about everyone in the audience sang along as well. The crowd was ready for more, but it was time to go home.

brad-paisley-dierks-bentley-lp-field-countrymusicislove1

(Photos Courtesy Of Country Music Association)

Day two is ain full swing-stay tuned to CountryMusicIsLove for details and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter!

Click HERE for some more GREAT photos from last night.