18 Reasons to Rewatch CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock

If you missed seeing the CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock special that aired Tuesday (Aug. 5) on ABC, you can catch it again Friday at 11 p.m. ET/PT on CMT.

And if you already watched it, you should do so again. Because beyond all the great music — country and not-so-country — there were just so many little moments that made the special worthy of a few repeat viewings.

And so I give you this list of little things to watch for when you turn it on again and again.

1. Brantley Gilbert’s brass-knuckled microphone. I’ve seen plenty of embellished mics before, but none quite this bad-ass.

2. Blake Shelton telling Little Big Town, “This is why nobody likes you,” after they get fake lost escorting him to the stage.

3. The fans who were getting lovey dovey in the crowd.

4. The fans who were knew all the words to all the songs.

5. The fans who danced like no one was watching.

6. The ladies of Little Big Town measuring Tim McGraw’s bicep. And him being a very good sport about it.

7. John Jeansonne — Rascal Flatts’ longtime fiddler — beat-boxing on the band’s cover of Pharrell’s “Happy.”

8. The dancing drummers backing Little Big Town on “Day Drinking.” The choreography was simple, sure. But watching that many men with drums at their waist moving in unison was straight-up cool. Jimi Westbrook’s mandolin playing didn’t suck, either.

9. Luke Bryan autographing the People magazine issue declaring him one of country’s sexiest men for Westbrook. “You’ll get there,” Bryan told him.

10. McGraw and Faith Hill holding hands, then hugging, during “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s.” It might have been staged, but it was still adorable.

11. Keith Urban has never sounded better. Like, ever.

12. Hearing Florida Georgia Line sing the one lyric from their “This Is How We Roll” that says it all when it comes to the current controversy over what is and isn’t country: “It might not be for you, but it’s for me, though.”

13. Watching Bryan’s guitar player Michael Carter sing background vocals on “Roller Coaster,” the hit he wrote for Bryan.

14. Watching Eric Church scream out the lyrics to “That’s Damn Rock and Roll” — “It’s about doin’ it for nothin’, ’cause it lives in your soul” — and thinking to myself he would’ve done that performance for nothin’ ’cause it lives in his soul.

15. Miranda Lambert’s outfit on “Automatic.” Her top was half jewelry, half corset. And it was just as mesmerizing as her voice.

16. Dolly Parton boob jokes. Those never get old. The jokes … not the boobs.

17. Brad Paisley having enough dexterity to play his guitar with his right hand while he takes a GoPro video with his left hand. I’ll bet he can walk and chew gum at the same time, too.

18. Seeing Dierks Bentley in a T-shirt and jeans with a little bit of stubble on his face. That’s a much better look for him than being in that “Drunk on a Plane” pilot’s uniform and bushy moustache.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.