Friday at AmericanaFest hit a new level of intensity.
Venues across Nashville, Tenn. were packed as concertgoers hopped across the city to see their favorite artists and get a glimpse of buzz-worthy newcomers.
Cale Tyson performed a strong set filled with honky-tonk-ready tracks to a packed crowd at the High Watt. A few people were even driven to two-step within the masses of glazed-over industry types; though, chatter was silenced as soon as he began to croon his solemn tune, "Somebody Save Me". Tyson continues to be one of the most inspired and authentic traditional country acts in town where pop-country still rules supreme.
Irish singer-songwriter Glen Hansard drew a sizable crowd at the Cannery Ballroom for his unofficial album release party. Although sound issues plagued his performance, it supplied somewhat of a silver lining. He chose to go unplugged for a few tracks, including the powerful "Leave". The room, which was filled with chatter just moments before, went silent as Hansard poured all of his emotions into the performance.
Alt-country band American Aquarium closed out the night inside of Mercy Lounge with an impressive performance. Although they've been performing as a band for 10 years, the band had only started getting recognition from the industry within the last few years. B.J. Barham's gritty vocals cut deep during the performance of their standout track, "Wolves".
Other notable sets from Friday included Nashville's own Caroline Spence, whose light, yet incredibly soulful, voice shined during her early set. Established Americana singer Josh Ritter also gave a subdued, but strong, performance at Cannery Ballroom, as he drove through some of his career hits.
Overall, Friday night was packed full of incredible sets from all aspects of Americana. Saturday marks the last full day of showcases for AmericanaFest and we'll be there to check out the best that Nashville has to offer.
Keep checking Wide Open Country and follow @wideopencountry on Instagram to see live updates from AmericanaFest.