Brantley Gilbert brought the 2014 CMT Music Awards crowd to its feet Wednesday night (June 4) with a raucous rendition of his latest single, “Bottoms Up.” Introduced by pro wrestling hall of famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Gilbert took the stage in his trademark silver chains, black baseball cap and camo tank top to thunderous applause.
Flanked by flames on either side of the stage, Gilbert began his performance with a slow croon, and things only heated up from there. In case the crowd wasn’t rowdy enough already, though, Gilbert surprised the audience with a backflip off the drum riser during the song’s instrumental break that left viewers wondering if Austin had given the singer some lessons in stage acrobatics before introducing the performance.
Gilbert performed most of the song in the crowd as skulls flashed onstage and fans grabbed for handshakes and high-fives.
“Bottoms Up” was a massive hit for Gilbert, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard country digital songs chart in December and topping the trade publication’s hot country songs chart in mid-March. The video, directed by Shane Drake, features Gilbert in 1930s garb smuggling illegal moonshine into what had to be one hell of a party.
Gilbert recently wrapped up his From Athens to Arlington tour in support of his newly-released album, Just as I Am. He concluded the trip with a Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery for an emotional ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.