Day Three of the 2014 CMA Music FestivalBy William Simpson • Jun 8th, 2014 • Category: Festivals, Live Show Reviews
Article by Lori SimpsonWilliam Simpson
Photos by William Simpson
With the weekend officially here and nice weather, the crowd looked even larger than the last two days. Country music lovers were being entertained from one end of Broadway to the other with outstanding musicians.
Day three of the CMA Music Festival began with Billy Ray Cyrus on the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage and what a great way to start a Saturday morning. Cyrus has let his hair grow out; he looked the part of a struggling rock star, but put on an outstanding show. He is definitely one of my favorites after seeing that show. After Cyrus the packed house at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage saw performances from Frankie Ballard, Tyler Farr and LoCash Cowboys before one of the staples of country music took the stage, Daryl Worley. He is a great guy with great songs that comes from the heart. With all of the great young acts it is nice to see someone who influenced some of those young artists. The Swon Brother put a great show. It was the first time I had seen their show but it won’t be the last. Next up was an artist that I think is one of the best voices in all of country music, Jason Michael Carroll. Not only does he write great songs but what a voice, and he has new music coming out in July. Carroll played a few of his new songs and I will defiantly be picking up a copy of his new album. The Chevrolet Riverfront Stage ended with The Cadillac Three and the beautiful Maggie Rose.
Further up Broadway the fans got to experience such as Old Southern Moonshine Revival, Brian Milson, Cowboy Troy, and more on the Samsung Galaxy Stage. Across the street at the Bud Light Stage Striking Matches opened the day. Other artists included Mark Collie, Chuck Wicks, Leah Turner, and half of the duo Steel Magnolias, Meghan Linsey.
If there was a day where the fans wanted to stay in the air conditioning and still be entertained, this was the day to enjoy Fan Fair X. Craig Morgan was the artist of the day answering questions and playing a few songs for an intimate crowd at the CMA Close Up Stage. If that was not enough, Kix Brooks hosted the American Country Countdown live on the radio from Fan Fair X. Millions of people listen to that countdown every week but those lucky one in the Fan Fair X building today go to see it live. At the other side of the building on the Durango Music Spot Stage an array of artists displayed their talents. Lulu Roman from Hee Haw fame opened the stage. She is a very accomplished Gospel singer. Mark Wills, Lynn Anderson, Teea Goans and country funny man Ray Stevens also performed. He is one of the funniest men you will ever meet.
The CMA Music Festival is a family event and don’t forget to bring the children when you come. The can meet new country music artists in their booths and get their autographs, jump in the inflatables, and create at the crafts section.
Once again what everyone is waiting for is the night shows at LP Field and the biggest country music stars of today. Unfortunately the night started with heavy rains and the fear that the show will be cancelled but as they say, the show must go on… and it did, although a little late. The show opened with Sara Evens as the crowd was trying to find their rain soaked seats. She played several of her hits including her latest, “Slow Me Down”. After Evens it was Little Big Towns turn to turn on the energy. The quartet played hits such as “Tornado”, “Little White Church”, and with audience participation, “Pontoon”. Darius Rucker entertained the fans next with “Alright”, “My Bad Come Back Song”. The crowd went wild when Rucker kicked into “Only Want To Be With You” and they had a full participation sing a long with “Wagon Wheel”. Florida Georgia Line was next to the stage as beach balls took over the night skies. The Duo kicked off the set with “It’z Just What We Do”. They also played “Here’s to the Good Times”, “Cruise”, and to a sea of lighters/cell phones held in the air “Get You Shine On”. Headlining the nights show was the amazing Australian Keith Urban. He is an outstanding guitar player and showed his skills as the crowd wanted more. Urban invited Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town back to the stage to sing “We Were Us” with him. Urban also played “Sweet Thing” and “Long Hot Summer”.
Three days down and one to go. I’m sure tomorrow will start bitter sweet with a day filled with great acts but it will be the last day.