Jackson, Rogers, Atkins and More Serve Up Hits to Music Fest Fans
It seemed like Boys Night Out at the CMA Music Festival Saturday night, as Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins, Craig Morgan, Rodney Atkins and Kenny Rogers were among the performers on the male-dominated line up at Nashville's LP Field.
Craig Morgan delivered a rousing set that got the crowd pumped up early in the evening, as he sang such audience favorites as 'International Havester' and 'Little Bit of Life.' Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman beautifully represented the fairer sex during the extravaganza, taking the stage with fellow LBT members Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet to preview their upcoming single, 'Fine Line.' The foursome also served up a blast from the past when they performed the Fleetwood Mac classic 'Go Your Own Way.' Jamey Johnson, Jason Michael Carroll and Darryl Worley shared special acoustic performances during the evening. Worley provided one of the night's emotional highlights with a riveting performance of his 9/11 inspired song, 'Have You Forgotten?'
In between Johnson and Worley's acoustic sets, Rodney Atkins delighted the crowd by performing the four No. 1 hits from his current album: 'These Are My People,' 'Watching You,' 'Cleaning this Gun' and 'If You're Going Through Hell.' Towering Trace Adkins turned in a high energy set that included such crowd pleasing hits as 'Ladies Love Country Boys' and 'Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,' only slowing the tempo to perform his recent No. 1 single, 'You're Gonna Miss This.'
"I hope y'all enjoy your stay here," said Alan Jackson, welcoming Music Fest attendees during a lengthy set that spotlighted such hits as 'Gone Country,' 'Little Bitty,' 'Don't Rock the Jukebox,' 'Chattahoochee,' 'Remember When' and 'Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).' "I've been doing this a lot of years," he said. "Country fans are so loyal. I always try to say thanks when I can."
Fans had definitely had their endurance put to the test on Saturday, as temperatures in Nashville soared to the upper 90s. Even after the sun went down at LP Field, it was still a balmy evening -- and the shape of the stadium, combined with the body heat of the enthusiastic crowd almost made you feel like you were simmering in a wok. Yet fans refused to have their spirits dampened by heat and humidity. When iconic performer Kenny Rogers took the stage for the evening's final performance, singing hit after hit, the event turned into a mass singalong. Rogers began his set by dipping way back into his reptertoire for one of his early classics and had the crowd singing "I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in."
"FIfty percent of you weren't even born when that song was a hit," quipped Rogers, who continued to take a musical stroll down memory lane with performances of 'Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town,' 'Coward of the County,' 'Daytime Friends and Nightime Lovers,' 'Lucille' and 'The Gambler' -- after which he paused to note, "I've had an incredibly successful career singing about dysfunctional families."
As the evening wound to a close, Rogers serenaded the crowd with the hit ballad 'Lady' and then concluded with 'Islands in the Stream.' Saturday nights in Music City rarely get any better.