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2017 CMA Festival Day One

By • Jun 8th, 2017 • Category: Festivals, Live Show Reviews

Article by William Simpson

Middle Tennessee is expecting a boom of humanity this weekend in the form of half a million people coming in the area.  With the CMA Music Festival, Bonnaroo, and the Nashville Predators playing for hockey’s most coveted prize, Lord Stanley’s Cup, Nashville is expected to be a fun and busy place to be.

Downtown Nashville kicked off the 2017 edition of the CMA Music Festival with a sea of people wanting to see their favorite country music stars and listen to a lot of good music.  The main daytime attractive is Fan Fair X in the Music City Center.  Fan Fair X has many booths and artists meeting the fans and signing autographs.  Many new artists have booths so they can get their names out to the public.  The Music City Center is also home to the air conditioned stages The Durango Music Spot and the CMA Close Up stage.  The Durango Music Spot had a full day of music that included artists such as Stella Parton, T. G. Sheppard, Wade Hayes, and T. Graham Brown.  The CMA Close Up stage has conversations with Martina McBride, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, and Ricky Skaggs.

The fan favorite Chevrolet Riverfront Stage was back again with a great lineup of artists.  It may be time to look into a new way to get the fans into Riverfront.  There was a sea of people that eventually got in but it took a long and what looked like a painful time.  But the fans patience was rewarded with a lineup that included the band Old Dominion, Jon Pardi, and LOCASH.  Next up was Michael Ray who is making noise with his single “Think a Little Less”.  Fan favorite Kane Brown hit the stage next to a combined squeal from all the girls in the audience.  Following Brown was 20 year veteran of the music industry Joe Nichols who made his name with hits “Brokenheartsville” and “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off”.  The stage ended with Chris Janson and Chase Rice.  The Chevrolet Park Stage also returned right outside of the Music City Center and has a nice lineup of artists which included Sundance Head, Runaway June, Kristian Bush, and Casey Donahew.  The Hard Rock Café at the bottom of Broadway presents the Gildan Broadway Stage at Hard Rock Café.  Kicking off the day on that stage was season 7 winner of The Voice, Craig Wayne Boyd.  Some of the other artists performing was Levon, Alex Williams, Alyssa Micaela, Brandon Ray, and Jordan Rager.

A new stage this year is the Budweiser Forever Country Stage that was placed in the field behind the Ascend Amphitheater.  Halfway to Hazard open the day on that stage with the excitement of a new album being released tomorrow.  Next up was Confederate Railroad who ended their set to a standing ovations after this hit “Trashy Women”.  Then it was time for Honky Tonkin’ with Tracy Lawrence and Friends.  Tracy invited some of his friends to perform including Joe Diffie, Deana Carter, Gretchen Wilson, and ending the set with Lee Greenwood singing “God Bless the USA”.  The Budweiser Forever Country Stage also saw the likes of Rhonda Vincent & Daryle Singletary, Mark Wills, the Bellamy Brothers, and Lonestar.

Another new feature this year is the Cracker Barrel Country Roads Stage at the Ascend Amphitheater.  This stage played at night for those fans that didn’t have tickets to get into the night show at Nissan Stadium.  Big and Rich closed the party of this stage with only a party they can host.  Before Big and Rich was the Oak Ridge Boys, Deana Carter, and Billy Ray Cyrus.

The show that everyone anticipates all day is the night shows Nissan Stadium with the biggest country stars of yesterday and today.  The amazing show kickoff this year with the line up of Kenny Rogers, Brett Eldredge, Cole Swindell, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, and closing out the night was Luke Bryan shaking his derriere for all the females in the crowd.

With a lot of people and nearly perfect weather the first day was a long and fun party for all in attendance.  Time for a quick rest and get read for the same tomorrow.

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