PHOTOS: Florida Georgia Line Closes CMA Fest Day One with Hardy, Morgan Wallen

Brandi Carlile, Midland, The Chainsmokers, Brooks & Dunn and Ashley McBryde Surprise Nissan Stadium Crowd

“You can’t keep a bunch of hard-headed rednecks from standing in the rain.”

So true, TJ Osborne. So true. That was the observation he made live on night one of the CMA Fest’s nightly concerts at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium Thursday (June 6) as he took in the packed crowd rocking out to live country music while it rained for most of the night.

Brothers Osborne was the fifth act to play on opening night, which featured an exorbitant amount of surprise guests.

Brandi Carlile, Midland, The Chainsmokers, Brooks & Dunn, Ashley McBryde, Hardy and Morgan Wallen each took a turn in the spotlight with a few of evening’s main attractions. Each headliner had 30 minutes to play a hit-heavy set for a future ABC television special airing Aug. 4 with hosts Kelsea Ballerini and Thomas Rhett.

Tanya Tucker was the first headliner to grace the stage and bring out Carlile. Kane Brown’s performance showed the unifying power of music because no matter how hard it rained on the crowd, that didn’t stop them from missing a minute of his performance.

Lil Nas X was spotted in the crowd to catch Midland’s abbreviated set before heading over to Blake Shelton’s Ole Red Nashville for more concerts. Ballerini and The Chainsmokers turned the stadium into a club with a performance of “This Feeling.”

Then Brothers Osborne spoiled everyone rotten with TJ’s Freddie Mercury performance style, John’s masterful guitar playing, and surprise appearances by Brooks & Dunn and Ashley McBryde.

During Rascal Flatts’ concert, fans showed they couldn’t get enough of this household trio. They were positively rabid over “Life Is a Highway,” “I Like the Sound of That” and “Back to Life.”

Then Florida Georgia Line poured on the country boy charm well into Friday morning with “Y’all Boys” featuring Hardy, “Cruise,” “This Is How We Roll,” “Talk You Out Of It,” “Meant to Be” and “Up Down” featuring Wallen.

The stadium concerts continue Friday (June 7) with performances by Jo Dee Messina, Little Big Town, Dan + Shay, Thomas Rhett, Eric Church and Carrie Underwood.

Enjoy scenes from night one of CMA Fest 2019:

  • Tanya Tucker

    Jason Kempin/Getty Images
    Jason Kempin/Getty Images
    Jason Kempin/Getty Images

  • Kane Brown

    Jason Kempin/Getty Images
    Jason Kempin/Getty Images
    Jason Kempin/Getty Images
    John Shearer/Getty Images
    John Shearer/Getty Images

  • Kelsea Ballerini

    Jason Kempin/Getty Images
    Jason Kempin/Getty Images
    Jason Kempin/Getty Images

  • Brothers Osborne

    Jason Kempin/Getty Images
    Jason Kempin/Getty Images
    Jason Kempin/Getty Images
    Jason Kempin/Getty Images
    Jason Kempin/Getty Images
    Jason Kempin/Getty Images
    John Shearer/Getty Images

  • Rascal Flatts

    Jason Kempin/Getty Images
  • Florida Georgia Line

    Jason Kempin/Getty Images
    Jason Kempin/Getty Images
    Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.