If the first of the four massive nightly concerts at LP Field are any sign of what kind of performances fans can look forward to all CMA Fest weekend, fans have a lot to be excited about.
The LP Field concert on Thursday (June 11), hosted by radio DJ Bobby Bones and longtime television and radio personalities Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase, was an incredible combination of legendary artists and relative newcomers that knew how to get a party started.
Alan Jackson kicked off the night’s festivities with a short but sweet set full of his classic hits. “It’s hotter than a hoochie coochie,” he joked as the blistering sun began to set behind the massive stadium.
Jackson kept things mostly upbeat with his party songs, “Good Time,” “5 O’Clock Somewhere,” and the classic “Chattahootchie.” He also shared a new song, “You Never Know,” which will be featured on his new album to be released in July.
Before leaving the stage, Jackson played the chorus of “Pop a Top,” in honor of Jim Ed Brown, who lost his fight with cancer earlier that day. “We’re gonna miss you,” Jackson said of the legendary Grand Ole Opry member before walking off-stage. “God bless you.”
Next up was Sam Hunt, who played to his largest audience ever. For such a young performer, Hunt did a great job owning the stage and engaging the massive crowd of 60,000 fans. The field quickly turned into a dance floor during his performances of “Leave The Night On” and “House Party.” Hunt’s youthful energy was the perfect match for the festival setting, and the night will likely be a milestone moment in his career as an artist.
Rascal Flatts supplied a somewhat predictable but still strong set, blasting through their tracks “Me and My Gang,” “Riot,” and “Rewind.”
“I think everyone in the world got married to this song,” Gary LeVox joked before playing “God Bless the Broken Road,” which incited a massive singalong from the crowd and gospel-inspired breakdown from the lead singer.
Dierks Bentley brought a lot of emotion to the stage during his set, stopping multiple times to thank his fans and to soak in the positive atmosphere. “We’ve got the best fans in the whole world,” Bentley said to the screaming crowd, “Thank you for giving me and the guys the chance to live our dreams.” He barreled through his first big hit, “What Was I Thinkin’,” along with “5150,” “I Hold On,” and “Drunk on a Plane,” which provided the most rowdy singalong moment of the night.
You can say what you want about Florida Georgia Line and their version of country, but if you saw their performance at LP Field, you couldn’t argue that they don’t know how to perform for a crowd. They channeled all of their energy back into the crowd as they sang their party anthems “This Is How We Roll” and their massive hit, “Cruise.”
“Thank you all for changing our lives,” Tyler Hubbard told fans before they slid into their latest number one, “Sippin’ On Fire.”
The seats of LP Field were still full as Jason Aldean closed out the night with a powerful set that made headlining a night after so many other big acts look like a cakewalk. Electric guitars screamed through the night sky as he effortlessly cranked out his best tracks, including “Burnin’ It Down,” “My Kinda Party,” and “Dirt Road Anthem.”
A massive fireworks show lit up the Nashville sky as fans filed out of the stadium, closing out an incredible night of performances that signaled only the beginning of a weekend packed with great performances to come in the Music City.