5 Ways Zac Brown Band and Shawn Mendes Ruled the ‘Crossroads’ Stage
In mid-September, CMT gathered fans and media at a small venue in Franklin, Tenn., for a taping of their newest episode of Crossroads, the concert series that pairs country artists with out-of-genre collaborative partners. That night's installment, which premieres Wednesday (Oct. 24), brought together Zac Brown Band and Shawn Mendes.
This newest Crossroads pairing is one part country jam band and one part guitar-playing pop star -- and, yeah, it worked. Here are five of the night's best moments.
Shawn Jumped Right In
The evening's first song was a Zac Brown Band track -- "Homegrown," the lead single from their 2015 album Jekyll + Hyde -- but Mendes was the one to sing the first lines. There was nothin' holding him back as he and Brown traded off vocals throughout the show.
Both Mendes and Brown are clearly fans of each other, too: Compliments flowed from both sides during the set. Should we start a petition to make Mendes the newest ZBB member?
That Jam Session Though!
ZBB fiddler Jimmy De Martini's fiddlework on Mendes' song "Mercy" was, in a word, mind-blowing. The crew ended the song with an extended jam that left even Mendes himself shocked. After the performance, Mendes shared with the crowd that, during rehearsals, the band had told him, "We worked out this little thing for "Mercy" ...
" ... and then they played that!"
This Was Shawn's Crowd
The moment Mendes opened his mouth on the Zac Brown Band song "Keep Me in Mind," a shriek erupted from the crowd. By our estimation, this audience was largely made up of Mendes fans (overheard, in a completely serious tone: "Wait, which one's Zac Brown?"), and they loved hearing him sing, whether it was a ZBB song or one of his own.
"Zac Brown Taught Me How to Throw a Pick"
In between songs, Mendes and the Zac Brown Band waved to fans in the crowd and chatted briefly with a few of those in the front rows. At one point, Mendes and Brown were tossing guitar picks into the crowd, with Brown offering Mendes a pointer on his throwing form.
What You See Is What You Get ... Almost
The one and only retake of the night came at the very end. As an encore of sorts, Mendes and Brown and company crowded together onstage for a gorgeous cover of Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror." They asked for a re-do after the first take, as Mendes said he messed up a line.
"It's a good time for this song to come back into the world," Brown told the crowd.
Watch Zac Brown Band and Shawn Mendes Sing "In My Blood" During Crossroads
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