Much to the dismay of everyone in Nashville, the Predators sadly lost the Stanley Cup to the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-0, however despite the devastating lost day 2 of CMA Fest fans and artists did their best to not appear too phased and the day got off to a hot and steamy start. Launching the day from the Chevrolet Riverfront stage was Tyler Farr and he did a fantastic job of waking the crowd and getting everyone geared and ready for the day ahead. Fans are absolutely in love with the unique twang of Farr’s deep voice and they went crazy when he performed his hit singles “Guy Walks Into A Bar” and “Redneck Crazy”. Next up was some rocking out with the Eli Young Band. The band is super excited about the release of their new album “Fingerprints” and were as energized as ever during their slamming afternoon set. We are really digging their new single “Skin & Bones” and we definitely can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for these country rockers.
It was amazing to see artist Jake Owen joined on stage by several of his songwriters including Matt Alderman and Tommy Cecil on the CMA Close Up stage. Owen had a massive turnout at the stage and spent a ton of time joking and interacting with fans, which is so important. When fans feel like they are included as a part of the performance it is all the more memorable and will stick with them for years to come.
One of our favorite performances of the day came from Granger Smith who brought out the Yee Yee Nation in full force. There was even special appearance by his alter ego Earl Dibbles Jr when he closed out the set and the fans couldn’t get enough! Smith introduced his song “Backroad Song” which included the chorus of the hit Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers single “Free Fallin’”. Another amazing moment that occurred during Smith’s set was when the staff of BBR Music Group surprised Smith on stage presenting him with a Gold plaque for “Backroad Song”, officially revealing that it had gone gold. What a moment! He’s an example of the future of music” a member of the BBR Music Group stated as he handed the plaque to Granger. Smith continued his set with his latest single “Happens Like That” before ending the set as Earl Dibbles Jr, shotgunning a beer in overalls and a white tank top. It was a riot!
Next up was a packed house set from On The Rise artist Carter Winter on the Hard Rock Stage before heading over to catch Big Loud Mountain’s Chris Lane on the Riverfront Stage. Lane’s incredible set was filled with boy band covers, pop covers and several of Lane’s original songs as well. If you didn’t love Lane before you definitely feel in love with him after this incredible performance. We felt the need to go purchase his entire catalog once he exited the stage as we, and the rest of the crowd, just couldn’t get enough! The crowd went wild when he performed his latest single “For Her” which had everyone singing along and he was also sure to include his very first number one single “Fix!” in the set as well. Lane is a perform not to miss and definitely one you will not be forgetting about anytime soon.
Lauren Alaina is an artist who has been conquering country music with incredible amounts of success over the last several years and we were thrilled at the chance to see her perform at this year’s CMA Fest. She has continued to blow up this year winning several CMT Awards this year which were handed over to her by her idol the iconic Reba McIntire. It was also a big year for Alaina performance wise as well, as she played with Kane Brown on the Riverfront stage and also graced the very same stage as a headliner performer herself and she owned it! Make sure you keep Alaina on your radar, her success will only continue to climb the charts like her songs currently are doing! We were amazed to see that hundreds of fans showed up to the Hard Rock stage to check out the performance from Tyler Rich. Rich showed fans he is definitely “California Grown” and is definitely an artist to keep your eye on as he rises up the ranks in country music. Rich was a blast to see live, as his music immediately grasps your attention and hold tight from the beginning of his performance to the very end. Definitely an artist to keep on your radar.