Nashville Concerts

CMA Fest: Brett Young, Jake Owen, Luke Combs, Blake Shelton, Old Dominion, Carrie Underwood

It’s the second night of the CMA Fest on the main stage: Nissan Stadium.

I’ve learned a thing or two from last night. Namely, that long hair and sweltering temperatures don’t mix. A pony-tail it is. Oh, and I feel like wearing all floral tonight.

Realizing that my friend Anna and I sat in the wrong seats last night and will miss the friends we made. We sneak back over to the wrong section and occupy seats there.

Brett Young

Wearing a Tennessee Titans jersey, it doesn’t take long for the crowd to acknowledge his good looks: striking eyes and tousled sandy locks.

His setlist is a rollercoaster of love lost and love gained. Beginning with “Like I Loved You” and “Mercy”: if you really believe that’s the truth, you never loved me like I love you \ if you ever loved me, have mercy. He doesn’t stay down for long, “Sleep Without You” and “In Case You Didn’t Know” follow.

Jake Owen

Even if it is only for one song, Jake Owen takes the stage for one dose of his latest single “I Was Jack (You Were Diane.” It’s like he brings the joy of summertime with him. I mean that smile, c’mon…

Luke Combs

He might be a new face of country music, but the crowd welcomes him like a seasoned vet. With a mic in one hand and a red solo cup in the other, he plays for 60,000 fans like it’s a dive bar.

“She Got the Best of Me,” “One Number Away” and “When It Rains It Pours” are his selection of songs to christen the CMA main stage with.

He thanks the crowd for changing his life forever with his first hit, “Hurricane.”

Blake Shelton

Due to technical difficulties, the first words from Blake Shelton’s mouth are “this is bull s***.” This doesn’t stop the country giant from winning over the crowd. His set is an ode to his past and present.

His choice to include his beloved 2001 song “Austin” rouses the crowd. His voice is barely audible over the crowd heartily singing p.s. if this is Austin I still love you in unison.

“Boys ‘Round Here” and “I’ll Name the Dogs” complete his main stage setlist.

Old Dominion

Without trying to slip new songs into the set, Old Dominion celebrates their success with a set full of hits: “Hotel Key,” “Written in the Sand,” “Song for Another Time,” “Break Up with Him,” “Snapback” and “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart.”

There set is made to be a sing-along.

Carrie Underwood

Adorned in green sequins and signature Cry Pretty sparkles around her eyes, the queen of current country music commands the stage. “Church Bells” and “Last Name” are the first expression of her wicked pipes and powerful stage presence.

It’s a strange thing. I know all of the words to her songs, but I’m mesmerized by her performance. I stand and observe rather than sing and dance along. 

“Cry Pretty” and “Wasted” are so believable, I am listening to the words. I trust what she is singing. These moments give way to her well-known stage persona that rocks the stadium with ex anthems like “Undo It” and “Dirty Laundry.”

How could the night end any other way than with her 2005 warning to all unfaithful men, “Before He Cheats” closes her set.

Two nights down, two more to go.

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