Deacon Claybourne never had the opportunity to play on a stage as big Nissan Stadium on Nashville.
But Charles Esten did when he and a few cast members kicked off the 2018 CMA Fest’s nightly concerts at the stadium on Thursday (June 7).
“This is a big deal,” Esten told CMT backstage before his performance. “We shot scenes right here on the field. So, I’ve been in here shooting, but I’ve never stood out there [as me]. The trick is to calm yourself and bring it.
“There are so many opportunities in this town that have come from Nashville. One of them is the Grand Ole Opry, and to stand in that circle, that will knock your knees every time. There are nerves, but I guess part of it is as an actor you act like they’re not there in the audience and then hopefully they go away a little bit. But that’s your goal out here is to not only to do it but enjoy the moment.”
Back in December, Esten confirmed he has decided to make the city of Nashville his forever home to continue his music career. Onstage at CMA Fest, he was joined by fellow castmates Chris Carmack, Jonathan Jackson and Lennon and Maisy Stella. The farewell season continues Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.
Enjoy scenes from Thursday’s shows:
Charles Esten and FriendsJason Kempin/Getty ImagesJason Kempin/Getty Images
Jason AldeanJason Kempin/Getty Images
Brothers OsborneJason Kempin/Getty Images
Dan + ShayJason Kempin/Getty Images
Kane Brown and Lauren AlainaJason Kempin/Getty Images
The Oak Ridge BoysJason Kempin/Getty Images
Darius RuckerJason Kempin/Getty Images