Music

Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum and Others Bring Energy to Day Two of CMA Fest

Lorie Liebig

Day two of CMA Fest’s nightly concerts at LP Field featured another stream of strong performances from some of country music’s best and brightest stars.

The Oak Ridge Boys kicked things off with performances of their classic songs, including “Bobbie Sue,” and “Y’all Come Back Saloon.” Group member Joe Bonsall took a moment to invite festival-goers to Jim Ed Brown‘s funeral on Monday to be held at the Ryman. He shared that they and Lady Antebellum would be on hand for a musical tribute to the Grand Ole Opry star who passed away June 11. After the somber pause, the group brought out Little Big Town to join them for a stellar super-sized, bluesy version of their hit, “Elvira.”

Next, The Band Perry brought their young and vibrant energy to the stage with their tracks, “Done,” “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely,” and a cover of Glen Campbell‘s “Gentle On My Mind.” The group even brought some pop to the festival with their sassy cover of Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.” They finished with “Better Dig Two,” which seemed to be the crowd’s favorite from the massive singalong moment that happened during the final chorus.

Lorie Liebig
Lorie Liebig

Newcomers Maddie and Tae played to their largest audience ever on Friday, but they didn’t let any nerves affect their performance. They had smiles across their faces as they played their latest single, “Fly,” before performing the song that started it all for the teens, “Girl in a Country Song.”

Lee Brice was quickly ushered out on stage next to belt out the country anthem, “Drinking Class.” Both “I Don’t Dance” and “I Drive Your Truck” brought out lots of swaying cell phones and even a few tears to Brice’s eyes at the end of his set. Brice also signed his guitar and gave it to a wheelchair-bound fan who was front and center in the crowd for his entire set.

Randy Houser displayed just how powerful of a performer he is by filling the stadium with mostly his voice and acoustic guitar. The crowd backed him up with “woah-oh-oh’s” through his hit, “Running Out of Moonlight,” and cheered him on through an electrifying rendition of “Like a Cowboy.”

Lorie Liebig
Lorie Liebig

Zac Brown Band are known for their consistently solid live performances, and this night was no exception. They led with their first massive hit, “Chicken Fried,” and move quickly through a list of recent tracks from their latest album, including “Beautiful Drug” and “Homegrown.” One of the most notable moment of the night was when they did their own epic rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” much to the crowd’s delight.

Lady Antebellum took the stage by storm, beginning their set with “Bartender,” which caused Hillary Scott to rock out so hard that she lost her bracelet somewhere on stage.

Lorie Liebig
Lorie Liebig

“I want to do something different,” Charles Kelley told the crowd. “I want to do this acoustic tonight.” Moments later, the entire field was echoing the words to their 2010 hit, “Need You Now.”

Finally, it was time for Luke Bryan to shimmy his way across the stage. His newest song, “Kick The Dust Up,” was the perfect song to turn up the energy in the packed house. Cell phones lit up the arena for “Drink a Beer,” while his hit “Play It Again” had almost every person in the house singing along.

Although fans aggressively chanted for an encore from Bryan, the lights went up on the stadium to signal the end of the first half of CMA Fest.

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Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum and Others Bring Energy to Day Two of CMA Fest