Things are slowly returning to the current version of normal. Doctor appointments, motorcycle rides, service appointments, motorcycle rides, haircuts, motorcycle rides, chores, shopping and oh yeah, did I say....motorcycle rides?
I finally got all the photos from CMA Fest uploaded to SmugMug and thought I should post a recap of the nightly music at LP Field. [Each name is linked to the photo album for that person]
The first night was Thursday and after the National Anthem, Glen Campbell came out and gave an amazing performance. When done, it was a standing ovation from all. Miranda Lambert came next followed by Kellie Pickler, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band, Lauren Alaina, and Brad Paisley closed the night along with surprise guest, Hank Williams Jr.
On Friday The Oakridge Boys performed the National Anthem and a few verses of "Elvira" to warm up the crowd. The opening classic star was Ronnie Milsap. He's got a new album and his voice is as good as ever!. Brantley Gilbert, Jake Owen, Gwen Sebastian, The Band Perry, Blake Shelton, Randy Houser followed with Carrie Underwood as the closer. What a performance she put on!!
Saturday Julie Roberts opened with the National Anthem. The classic star was Kenny Rogers. If you follow country music, you know his plastic surgery has been a more recent claim to fame. His voice might have faded a little but he showcased many old favorites, all to the delight of the crowd.
The gee-whiz kid of country music was next, Hunter Hayes. He's been performing since age 2, plays almost any instrument, write songs and has a voice to die for. After doing several songs on stage he proceeded to the middle of the audience and played piano. All the lights were dimmed during one of his songs and the field was lit by thousands of mini-LED flashlights that were handed out, or in our case (and others that didn't get one), by our cell phones. The effect was amazing....a starry, starry night.
The rest of the evening's performers were Love and Theft, Rodney Adkins, Little Big Town, Eric Church, Faith Hill, Kip Moore and was closed with a rousing performance by ace showman, Luke Bryan.
Sunday, Sarah Darling was the performer of The National Anthem and the first classic star performance was to herald the return to country music, The Mavericks. The second classic star was "Whispering" Bill Anderson...what a velvet voice! Scotty McCreery was next, proving his country roots. Dierks Bentley was next and near the end he did a duo with Karen Fairchild from Little Big Town.
Rascall Flatts came out and soared, doing new and old songs and everyone joined in for "Life is a Highway". They were followed by Alan Jackson who wowed the crowd with every tune. Steel Magnolia, winner of the reality show "Can you Duet" were next, followed by Martina McBride. Her closing act was the highlight of the event, perfect for the last performance on the last night. When she finished “Broken Wing,” the long and adoring applause had its effect on McBride, who surrendered to tears. “All I’ve ever wanted to do since I was 4 years old was sing,” she said, emotionally. “Thank you for making my dreams come true.” [quote source]
We had a wonderful time, enjoying our first and last nights eating out with friends from Knoxville area who ended up being camped about six sites away. We originally had planned to leave on Monday but opted to stay the extra day and rest. The weather was perfect, no severe storms and even the heat wasn't bad on the worst day; in addition we were treated to gorgeous sunsets several nights.
Stu enjoyed the campground pool during the day, we rode our bicycles several times, made a trip to both Camping World (stayed under $100) and Bass Pro (spent nothing). We really liked the Two Rivers Campground, so well that we reserved a week for 2013 CMA Music Fest and bought our tickets. The past two times we've paid for a parking pass at LP Field, but the campground is on the Gray Line route so we plan to buy a 4 day pass. (Will make it easier to run in/out of town during the day.) So, anyone wanna join in the fun with us? Sites go fast as do the tickets!