Monday, June 24, 2024

CMA Fest 2024, Friday Night: Top Moments

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Shortly into his set at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium on Friday night (June 7), two-time CMA Award winner Cody Johnson laid down a challenge for the crowd with one simple question: “Are you ready for some country music tonight?”

For more than three hours, approximately 70,000 fans filling the stadium answered that question with a resounding ‘Yes.’ As the four-day country music extravaganza CMA Fest reached its halfway mark, the Friday night lineup at Nissan Stadium offered a triple shot of Texas country, thanks to a lineup that included Johnson, Parker McCollum and Jon Pardi.

Women artists also made a strong showing Friday night, with the lineup featuring the “Redneck Woman” herself, Gretchen Wilson, as well as “Austin” hitmaker Dasha, singer-songwriter K. Michelle’s soulful set on the platform stage, and Kelsea Ballerini, who just announced her added gig as a coach on The Voice.

In the process of the cavalcade of artists taking the stage, night two at Nissan Stadium showcased the country music industry’s continued economic power and international draw, with die-hard country music fans attending from all 50 states and numerous countries. Night two also highlighted the power of songs that break through to the core of deep-seated emotions — whether heartbreak, remorse, love or celebration — to fuel fan-connecting, headliner-status careers.

Throughout the evening, the songs that poured from the two stages highlighted enduring country classics, some of the biggest hits of the moment, party-ready fare and moments of self-reflection and heartbreak — with those spectrum-spanning emotions sometimes wrapped into a single song.

As the clock reached midnight, two-time CMA entertainer of the year winner Luke Bryan launched his show, asking the crowd, “Ready to take this into the next morning?” He then proceeded to fill his midnight set with a string of hits he’s piled up over the past decade-plus, including “My Kind of Night” and “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Everyday.” The bulk of the concertgoers stayed, ready to continue an already hours-long, music-filled day in downtown Nashville into the wee hours of the morning at Nissan Stadium.

Here, we look at five top moments from night two of CMA Fest.

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