Keith Urban Hosts a Who’s-Who of Stars in Magical Benefit Show
Before Tuesday's star-studded All for the Hall concert was even over, host Keith Urban announced they're doing it again next year.
"We had so many artists who wanted to be on the show, we could have had a three night show," Keith told the audience at the sold-out concert benefiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. "Instead, we're just gonna do it again next year on October 5!"
The first of what looks to now be an annual event started off with a high-energy performance by Keith, whose set included 'Days Gone By,' 'Who Wouldn't Want to Be Me,' 'Sweet Thing,' 'Kiss a Girl,' 'Better Life' and a cover of Dolly Parton's 'Coat of Many Colors,' which the Australia native told the crowd was one of the songs "that influenced me to go to this country."
The first guest to accompany Keith on stage was Brad Paisley, who joined his buddy for their CMA-nominated hit duet, 'Start a Band.' The two made their way up into the stands toward the end of the song, in a dueling-guitars jam session from about 100 yards away from one another.
Next up was the country icon who inspired the night's festivities, Vince Gill. Keith says he planned the fundraiser after hearing the Country Music Hall of Fame member suggest that each country artist donate the proceeds of one concert a year to the Hall. "This evening would not be possible without the graciousness and kind heart of my friend from down under," Vince said of Keith, joking, "We're working on a new project together called 'Over Yonder and Down Under' ... Guess which one I am?"
Vince, sporting a Nashville Predators jersey, then wowed the crowd with his hit song 'Liza Jane,' joined by Keith on guitar. It was the start of the night's "house band," which consisted of Vince, Keith and Vince's own band, who all stayed on stage throughout the show, avoiding set changes and upping the star-power factor throughout the night.
Stars could also be found in the audience, as the "house" guitar players' wives attended the concert. Keith's better half, actress Nicole Kidman, and Vince's bride, singer Amy Grant, were spotted enjoying the show. Vince dedicated 'Whenever You Come Around' to Amy, saying "I wrote this song for my wife, who I haven't seen in almost two weeks ... so I would love to get lucky later on!"
Little Big Town, who've been a frequent opening act on Keith's Escape Together World Tour, were up next after a flattering introduction by Vince, who called them "four of the best singers I've ever heard in my life." The quartet dazzled the crowd with their hits, 'Fine Line' and 'Boondocks.'
Lady Antebellum were up next, starting with their first No. 1 hit, 'Run to You,' and then dazzling the audience with delectable harmonies on their latest song, 'Need You Now.' Jason Aldean followed with his own No. 1, 'Big Green Tractor,' and the crowd-pleasing 'She's Country.' "Keith called and wanted to know if we were interested in doing this show, and I think we were one of the first ones to jump onboard," Jason told The Boot backstage. "I think it is important for us as new artists, especially in this town which is built on the music business, to remember those who have gone before us. It's easy to forget when you're out and you get wrapped up in your own world. It's important to remember that if it wasn't for those guys (in the Hall of Fame) we wouldn't be here."
Faith Hill then took the stage and took advantage of Vince's presence, performing a song the two recorded together more than a decade ago, 'Let Me Let Go.' "Vince and I sang that song years ago," Faith said, turning to Vince and joking, "when you looked a lot younger." Then, warning the audience she was going to do something crazy, she launched into the Janis Joplin classic, 'Piece of My Heart.'
The last star to grace the stage was the youngest performer of the evening, though she certainly has one big thing in common with her eldest co-star. "We've both been dissed by Kanye West," Vince joked, as he introduced Taylor Swift to a deafening roar from the audience.
Taylor, dressed in a silver-sequined dress, introduced her current single, 'Fifteen,' by saying, "My favorite thing about country music is we're all allowed to tell our stories. This next song is my story from when I was 15." She then sang her crossover smash 'Love Story,' as Keith and Vince sang along.
Rounding out the magical night, Keith invited all of the night's performers back on stage for a rousing rendition of Eric Clapton's 'Lay Down Sally.' Keith joined Little Big Town on the mic, while Jason, Faith, Taylor, Vince and Lady A took to stage left, with Faith and Lady A's Charles Kelley sharing lead vocals.
The majority of proceeds from the show will go to help the expansion of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. The facility plans to double its size within the next few years.