September 9, 2008
I just sat down to
enjoy experience “Country’s Night to Rock” and take notes for Country Universe fans. I know there will be a discussion topic or two in here somewhere! Honestly, could CMA Fest have picked three better representatives of today’s country music community than Taylor Swift, Kellie Pickler and Julianne Hough to host? No seriously, three blondes – one a MySpace guru, one a former American Idol contestant, and the other a pop (okay, dance) crossover star. I’ll keep a tally of how many fit into these categories tonight. Okay, here goes…
In a surprising sparkly mini dress and cowboy boots, Taylor Swift kicked off the evening with her recent hit “Picture to Burn.” The young ladies in the audience went crazy and I have to admit that if you ignore “the voice” and the lyrics, it is an infectious song. (Blonde: √) (MySpace guru: √)
Taylor is followed by Rascal Flatts and the plaid-clad Gary Le Vox
singing rapping “Bob That Head.” I would love to get Eminem’s take on this performance. Just look what he started—he’s inspired a whole generation of white rappers.
Side note: Taylor Swift’s song “Change” is playing over an Ugly Betty/Grey’s Anatomy commercial.
Bucky Covington, wow! At first, from a distance, I thought it was Jennifer Nettles, the human jumping bean. Poor guy, they offered him an infomercial on CMA Fest. Actually, it was probably a wise choice, because this song won’t sell him a single album. (Former Reality Show Contestant: √)
Taylor Swift is now introducing the “innovative, genius, creative”….Sugarland! This duo is a lot of fun, but I’m not crazy about the human hamster cages. Oh no, they’re singing the obnoxious “All I Want To Do.” I forgot that this concert was filmed months ago. Too bad they’re not singing something else off their new album. Every other song on that album is better than this one. Anyone have a favorite? (Blonde: √)
Another side note: For all you Jessica Simpson fans out there, she will be on Good Morning America’s Fall Concert Series tomorrow (Tuesday).
Lady Antebellum is up next. This must be quite a thrill for them. They’re still newbies, and they’re getting the opportunity to play for a huge stadium full of people. Lady A’s songs do nothing for me (very borderline country in my opinion), but I will admit that Charles Kelley has a great voice and all three have a nice stage presence. (MySpace gurus: √)
Keith, Keith, KEITH URBAN! He always comes off as the nicest bloke. I’m alone in that I’m not a huge fan of his music, but I’ve seen him in concert, and he is an awesome performer. He’s singing “Better Life” and wielding that guitar like a weapon. It’s too bad that Keith wasn’t around in rock n roll’s heyday. He was meant to play arenas. The Australian Bon Jovi.
Julianne Hough is following in Bucky Covington’s footsteps and doing the CMA Fest infomercial. Actually, it seems more like her own personal commercial. Has anyone had more free exposure than this girl? (Blonde: √) (Crossover Star: √)
Ah, Miranda Lambert’s here to kick a little tail with “Gunpowder and Lead.” She’s such a nice antidote to the perky Julianne. You keep hearing that country is the new rock or classic rock. It has never been more evident. She’s making Metallica look wimpy. (Blonde: √) (Former Reality Show Contestant: √)
Kellie Pickler has borrowed Taylor Swift’s sparkly microphone to sing her latest single “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful.” I’m enjoying the flowery background on the video screens. Anyone else? (Blonde: √) (Former Reality Show Contestant: √)
Billy Ray Cyrus is singing __________ (fill in the blank). I’m speechless. (Former Reality Show Host: √)
Oh, it’s so nice to see Carrie Underwood after BRC’s performance. You have to admire Carrie for always being able to sound the same live as she does on her albums. Hmm…she’s definitely got some of the most unusual dance moves and walks I’ve ever seen on stage, but you have to give her props. She’s improved dramatically in this area. Watch out, this girl has pipes and she’s not afraid to use them! (Blonde: √) (Former Reality Show Contestant: √)
John Rich is introducing Gretchen Wilson, who is performing … in a bar? The self-proclaimed “Hick Chick” (it’s on her t-shirt) is singing her new single “Don’t Do Me No Good.” I think this setting is benefiting her, but I’m not crazy about the song.
The Rascal Flatts boys are back with “Every Day.” This show is starting to feel long.
Up next, Faith Hill singing “Mississippi Girl.” Whether or not you’re a Faith Hill fan, it’s really nice to see a little maturity on stage. I was starting to feel really old. It sounds like her voice has deepened over the years—anyone else notice? (Blonde: √)
Rodney Atkins in his trusty ball cap is on stage singing “These Are My People.” What’s up with the spotlight?
Massive props to Taylor Swift for signing a million autographs and being so fan friendly. She has the poise of someone decades older. Oh no…the outdoor performance may have been Taylor’s worst live performance ever. I believe she’s singing the recently reviewed “Love Story.” (Check out Kevin’s review.)
AH! I adore Dwight Yoakam. He’s singing one of his classics, “Fast as You.” I don’t know what to say. I love the jean jacket, the cowboy hat (the first tonight?), the whole Dwight persona. The man can still rock.
Jewel is getting her turn to shine. Thankfully, she just slowed down the evening with her second single “I Do.” Has anyone heard that song on the radio? Am I allowed to say that Jewel is coming off as a little too classy for the evening? (Blonde: √) (Crossover Star: √)
Josh Turner is adding to the classy segment of the evening. He’s singing his hit “Firecracker.” I hope he sticks around awhile. He reminds me of a young J_____y C___h. (Am I allowed to say that or is it sacrilegious?)
The new “big man” in country, Trace Adkins, is performing his hit “You’re Gonna Miss This.” With his voice, Trace just has to get up there and sing. He doesn’t need any fancy screens or dance moves. This is really where country just demolishes other genres.
Alan Jackson is closing out the evening with “Good Time.” It’s my bedtime. Comment away!
Former Reality Show Contestants/Hosts: 4
MySpace Gurus: 2
Crossover Stars: 2