Last June, CMA Fest wowed thousands of fans with an all-star lineup featuring 380 different artists. This Sunday, we’re going back to relive that incredible four-day concert with the return of Sunday Night Rocks! Travel back to Nashville and watch what is proudly proclaimed as the “Music Event of the Summer”! Before the big premiere this weekend, we’re counting down our top ten favorite performances from the fest! Take a look here, then watch them ALL this Sunday at 9/8c on AXS TV!
Hot off of winning their “Video of the Year” award, Dan + Shay hit the stage at the Nissan Stadium for one of their biggest performances of their career at the CMA Fest. In the words of one-half of the duo, Dan Smyers, “It was honestly one of the coolest moments of our entire lives. You could see it on our faces, we were freaking out. Especially when the crowd put their cellphone lights up during ‘From the Ground Up,’ I looked at Shay and it was like, ‘This is surreal.’”
Brett Eldredge started his day at the dog park with his chocolate lab Edgar and 300 of his biggest fans. Then, he finished it with a set at Nissan Stadium with tens of thousands more where he performed all of his biggest hits. On stage, Eldredge reminisced of the days where he once played the festival to a crowd of only 30 people. Now, being one of the headliners he says is “the best feeling in the world.”
Over 40,000 screaming fans flocked to the stage when 28-year-old Thomas Rhett due to perform. The entire crowd was singing along to “Marry Me”, “Die a Happy Man”, and his latest single, “Life Changes”. Rhett finished his performance by saying, “CMA Fest is my favorite time of the year,” and we completely agree.
Florida Georgia Line earned the title of “loudest band of the night” at last year’s festival. Why? Because they brought on an all-star lineup of guest stars to help them sing a few verses, including The Backstreet Boys, Bebe Rexha, and Morgan Wallen.
Jason Aldean was very busy during the few weeks leading up to the CMA Fest. Not only was he working on perfecting his set for thousands of people, he was putting the finishing touches on his own restaurant for his fans to enjoy after the fest. Aldean’s set included “Lights Come On”, “Any Ol’ Barstool”, “You Make It Easy”, and classic favorites “Dirt Road Anthem”, “She’s Country”, and his very first hit, “Hicktown”.
“Thank you guys so much for coming back year after year after year. Country music is the greatest. Thank you so much for keeping it that way,” said mega-star Blake Shelton when he hit the stage. After battling a few technical difficulties, Shelton was able to get the crowd up and dancing in the aisles to his own huge hits + a few throwbacks to the classic country songs nobody can resist.
Amazing guitar skills, a truly amazing voice, and some of the most perfect hair in country music… Keith Urban has it all! He captivated the entire crowd with his dance moves, smile, and a setlist of all of our favorites. From his new song, “Never Comin’ Down”, to his stunning duet with Carrie Underwood, everyone was singing along and was left wanting more.
We’re not 100% sure what was better; Carrie Underwood’s stunning sparkly green romper or her headlining performance. Her vocals soared over Nissan Stadium with her songs “Last Name”, “Undo It”, “Blown Away”, and “Before He Cheats”, as well as her new single, “Cry Pretty”. She easily takes home the prize for vocal highlight of the entire festival.
Dierks Bentley brought a shot of energy, passion, amazing songs, and even better special guests to complete his CMA Fest performance. After releasing his brand new album, The Mountain, the day before, Bentley celebrated the release by performing new songs + bringing out Dwight Yoakam and Brothers Osborne to help him on a few others.
What’s the perfect way to close an incredible weekend of music? With Luke Bryan. Bryan kicked off his show with “Country Girl (Shake It for Me)”, his current summertime single “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset”, and his latest No. 1, “Most People are Good”. He then finished the night with a few impromptu jam sessions, covers, and duets. It was well into Monday morning before Bryan left the stage with the entire crowd smiling from an amazing weekend.
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Tags: AXS TV, AXS TV Concerts, Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge, Carrie Underwood, CMA Fest, Country Music, Dan + Shay, Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, Jason aldean, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett
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