The last night of music at LP Field for CMA Fest wrapped up with great sets from some of country’s biggest names.
Neal McCoy started off the night with a quick set of his career hits as concertgoers began to take their seats. Good energy abound as McCoy bounced across the stage while performing “The Shake,” “No Doubt About It,” and a fun version of the Beverly Hillbillies theme song.
Next up was popular newcomer Cole Swindell, who has had one of the biggest years out of anyone in the genre. His set was full of singalongs and smiles as he performed his three number one hits, “Chillin’ It,” “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” and “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey.” You could tell he was happily soaking in every second of the experience. “Thank you all so much for giving me a chance,” Swindell said to the crowd before he performed his newest single, “Let Me See Ya Girl.”
Darius Rucker came next, starting off with one of his first big country hits, “Alright.” The audience seemed to embrace Rucker immediately as they sang and danced along to his recent single, “Homegrown Honey.”
After introducing his band, Rucker surprised the crowd with “Only Wanna Be with You,” his hit song from his days with Hootie & the Blowfish. “I love being a part of the country music family,” he told the crowd before a massive singalong erupted as he performed his rendition of “Wagon Wheel.”
There’s something about Eric Church that makes him one of the coolest musicians to watch onstage in any genre. His incredible talent and calm, collected stage presence make him almost hypnotizing to watch.
His nostalgic hit, “Talladega,” supplied one of the biggest sing-along songs of the night before things got steamy inside of LP Field with the slinky “Like a Wrecking Ball.” Before he walked offstage, he made sure the stadium became a true party as he gave epic performances of “Creepin'” and “Over When It’s Over,” which Church rarely performs.
It was then Keith Urban‘s turn to tear up the stage and display his guitar-playing chops to the crowd of 50,000 fans. He started the night off with “Somewhere in My Car,” and his charisma and energy immediately lit up the stage. As the first few beats of “Raise Em’ Up” came through the speakers, the audience erupted in anticipation of Church joining in on the current hit. Indeed, Church came back onstage to perform with Urban, much to the crowd’s delight.
Next, Urban strapped on his bass for his latest single, “John Deere, John Cougar, John 3:16,” which was one of the most publicly promoted singles during the festival. Billboards and chalk messages with the title phrase were plastered all over downtown, but the song stands on its own as one of the most fresh and cleverly-written tracks on country radio today.
Technical issues with his microphone and guitar caused headliner Brad Paisley to have a bit of a rough start to his set. He wasn’t able to gain the audience’s full attention until about half-way through his second song, “Water,” but he didn’t let it discourage him.”Welcome to my nightmare,” Paisley told the crowd. “Now it’s going to go perfect.”
It can be easy to forget just how many hits Paisley has under his belt. Every single song, from “River Bank,” to “Mud On The Tires,” to his latest, “Crushin’ It,” drew huge singalongs and screams as crowd members savored the last few moments of music at the festival. After dedicating his hit, “Alcohol,” to those who had their share during the last four days, the music drew to a close with an epic guitar solo from Paisley.
Like the first night of the festival, the skies were lit up by a huge fireworks display to mark the end of the festival. Overall, LP Field supplied four nights of incredible sets that concertgoers will likely remember for years to come.