Though an approaching thunderstorm led to an abbreviated set list for Sunday night's (June 9) stadium concert, the weather couldn't put a damper on fan energy as Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Gary Allan, The Band Perry, Jake Owen and Lee Greenwood closed out the final show at the 2013 CMA Music Festival.
Photo Credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images
Kicking off the festivities at LP Field, Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis shared the spotlight on the national anthem. The two are currently on the road together for their Grits and Glamour tour and plan to release their duets album, Dos Divas, this summer. If their take on "The Star-Spangled Banner" is any indication, their album will be a must-listen. After getting chills during their performance, I wished they had a set of their own.
Greenwood then made his way to the stage. Performing "Love Will Find Its Way to You," "We've Got It Made," "Ain't No Trick (It Takes Magic)," and "Holdin' a Good Hand," the singer closed his set with his timeless hit, "God Bless the U.S.A." Dedicating the patriotic tune to his wife and their two sons, Greenwood's performance brought the stadium to its feet and even included a fist pump from fans every time he sang, "I gladly stand up."
Keeping the patriotism going, Kix Brooks followed Greenwood's set. Instead of performing, Brooks talked about Operation Finally Home -- an initiative which provides custom-made homes to wounded and disabled veterans. Two military families were then brought onstage and surprised with the news that they'll soon be moving into new homes of their very own.
As Allan made his way to the stage, the skies over Nashville began to darken, and it became more and more evident we wouldn't outlast the rain. Allan's intro included thunder and rain sound effects, which added a little extra emphasis for what was blowing in to Music City.
Beginning his set with "Watching Airplanes," Allan promised, "It's going to be a magic night," before telling the crowd, "Think positive thoughts about the rain." His reminder served as a perfect segue into his uplifting single, "Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)." He concluded his performance with "It Ain't the Whiskey" and his brand new single, "Pieces."
Paisley then arrived to perform "Karate" from his latest album, Wheelhouse. Because the track features Charlie Daniels, in true festival fashion and to the delight of fans, Daniels popped out onstage to lend his vocals and a sampling from "Devil Went Down to Georgia." Then with the help of his Brad Paisley Light Show app, fans were able to become part of the singer's performance. By simply downloading the app and holding their cell phones in the air, the stadium was filled with a light show that went along with Paisley's current release, "Beat This Summer." Unfortunately, the pending storms cut the rest of his performance short.
Before introducing The Band Perry, Nashville stars and real-life sisters Lennon and Maisy Stella sang an acoustic version of the Lumineers' "Ho Hey." The sibling duo belted out a beautiful take on the well-known single, and the crowd seemed to love every second.
Though their set was shortened to only two songs, The Band Perry packed a punch with "Done" and "Better Dig Two." Kimberly Perry showed in a matter of minutes that her vocal prowess and onstage energy is a force to be reckoned with and no doubt left the crowd wanting more.
Owen soon followed the trio to perform his current single, "Anywhere With You." As the looming thunderstorm crept towards downtown, Owen was forced to cut his performance short, too. Though festival planners were obviously looking out for the safety of the audience and performers, a chorus of boos filled the stadium from fans disappointed they couldn't hear more from Owen.
As the show closer, Underwood took centerstage and promised, "We're going to play as many songs as we possibly can." She then belted out her bittersweet tune "See You Again," followed by an impressive take on Guns N' Roses' "Paradise City" that would give Axl Rose a run for his money. Paisley then returned to share the spotlight on "Remind Me," and Underwood was able to get in one final feisty song, performing "Before He Cheats."
The crowd quickly exited LP Field, knowing any minute the storms would hit. Though the concert was condensed, ending about an hour early, fans were entertained from beginning to end and, most importantly, kept safe from severe weather.
View photos from the LP Field concert and complete coverage of the 2013 CMA Music Festival.