Performances by some of the top country guitar heroes and powerhouse vocalists closed the 2017 CMA Music Festival with a Sunday night (June 11) concert featuring were Tracy Lawrence, Brothers Osborne, Darius Rucker, Little Big Town, Keith Urban and Brad Paisley.
As the sunset glowed pink against the Nashville skyline, Lawrence kicked off the show at Nissan Stadium with a set of his biggest hits, including “Paint Me a Birmingham.”
Next, the Brothers Osborne made their debut performance at the stadium. And out of all the guitarists that performed at the stadium throughout the four-day event, John Osborne had some of the most melodic guitar work.
Their performance included “Greener Pastures,” “Rum,” “Stay a Little Longer” and an extended version “It Ain’t My Fault.” They were filling in for Chris Stapleton, who canceled his performance to recover from a hand injury.
Then Rucker entertained with “Alright,” “Homegrown Honey,” “Wagon Wheel” and “If I Told You” with surprise guest Karen Fairchild.
Little Big Town then took the stage to perform “Day Drinking,” “Pontoon,” “Boondocks,” “Better Man” and “Girl Crush.”
Urban made the boldest move of the night during “Wasted Time” when he snaked his way through the audience on the field to a satellite stage that was at least 20 yards away from the main stage. A crew of bodyguards guided the way while Urban sang and played his way to the other mic. Once they figured out what was happening, fans on the field instantly orbited around Urban to capture the spontaneous concert moment with their camera phones.
Before he closed his set, he mixed a little of John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane” and Bob Marley’s”No Woman No Cry” into “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” and performed “The Fighter” with a digital appearance from Carrie Underwood. She was a little preoccupied cheering on her husband Mike Fisher and the Nashville Predators at the Bridgestone Arena in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final.
All around the stadium were fans rocking Preds gear to support the home team against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Earlier that evening across the Cumberland River, Luke Bryan showed his support for the Preds by staging a pop-up rooftop concert at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on Lower Broadway. Faith Hill sang the National Anthem before the puck drop.
Even the security guards who helped Urban to the satellite stage were dressed in Preds blue and gold. But the hometown pride wasn’t enough to see a victory in Smashville. Pittsburgh won the championship 2-0.
Sunday’s concert closed with a performance by Brad Paisley, who delivered hits including “Water,” “Riverbank,” “Last Time for Everything,” “Mud on the Tires” and “Today.”
A fireworks display lit up the night sky as thousands of fans emptied the stadium to make their way home.