Here at the Swift Agency, still a guy who’s got a party on his hotel room right now, we’re kinda cramming up on blogging before the end of CMA Fest – but it’s going to be close. June 7 was a big night with superstar country groups Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town taking the stage. Good, because I was feeling a little sad that the Sparkly Dressed was out of town.
Following the current trend of collaborating with artists from another genres, it was also a night of surprises. Hunter Hayes was the first to surprise the crowd when he brought out Jason Mraz for a couple of songs.
Lady Antebellum borrowed from all their albums, but for me Downtown from their album Golden and American Honey from their previous album Need You Know were personal highlights of mine.
I loved Little Big Town’s performance of their single Tornado. They also brought out their hits Boondocks and Pontoon. The real surprise of the night was bringing out Sheryl Crow who’s not a stranger to collaborating with country artists. They performed All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun. Sheryl then took the stage by herself to sing her new country flavored single Easy.
Here at the Swift Agency, still one guy who might have a blogging addiction, I often say that the moment that I step out of the Taylor Nation I get lost. But in the case of the fabulous trio of Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood and Hillary Scott, I’m glad to get lost in music.
This was the first time that Lady Antebellum makes a stop in Montreal. The show emphasizes music above all, with the lights show accentuating the effect. Three large screens follow Charles, Dave and Hillary or alternate between video clips or audience takes. The performance was amazing. There’s no doubt that they are seasoned professionals.
However, what won the crowd at Bell Centre on Thursday, June 14 was not how great Lady Antebellum has become, but how much passion and heart they pour into each of their songs. It helped that they picked some of the best acts opening for them too.
First up, was the award winning duo known as Thompson Square. Shawna and Keifer brought out the country and the rock in their set which included their hits I Got You, Glass and Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not. They also incorporated a rock medley of well known rock songs like Kiss’ Rock and Roll All Nite.
I’m always happy when the opener for the concert is well received, and Thompson Square is fit to be a headline act. I saw them win best Video Duo on the CMT Awards 2012 back in June 9 for I Got You. By the time they closed their set with Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not, everyone was singing along.
Darius Rucker took the stage to thundering applause. He played among others, Alright , It Won’t Be Like This For Long, Space Cowboy , Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It , Come Back Song and Southern State Of Mind.
He also didn’t forget his Hootie & The Blowfish years by singing his old hits Only Wanna Be With You and Hold My Hand. It was not his first time in Montreal, or Bell Centre. I saw Darius opening for Brad Paisley in January 29, 2011. Just like then, he closed with a cover of Prince’s Purple Rain that had the crowd applauding him for a long, long time.
Lady Antebellum has country and rock and roll roots. They themselves are fans of Tom Petty, and I like to call them the Fleetwood Mac of country music not only because they are influenced by them but because they have that same influence on their peers. At this point they are trendsetters themselves. They opened with their current anthem, We Owned The Night and they didn’t let up as they went through each of their hits: Stars Tonight, Our Kind Of Love, Love This Pain, Dancin’ Away With My Heart, Wanted You More, Perfect Day and Love Don’t Live Here Anymore. I will make a stop to say thank you as I finally heard Hello World live and it was one of the best of the night for me.
They brought their band to the forward stage for an acoustic version of American Honey and then brought back Thompson Square and Darius Rucker for a country medley jam. After a rousing performance of I Run To You and Just A Kiss, they took their leave. Then with the four piano keys everybody knows well, they came back for their encore with Need You Now.
July 22: The Teen Choice Awards 2012 air live (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. Taylor Swift is nominated for Choice Female Artist, Choice Single by a Female Artist for Eyes Open, Choice Female Country Artist and Choice Country Song for Sparks Fly. You can vote here.
Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott married fiancé Chris Tyrrell on Saturday, January 7, 2011 in upstate New York. The ceremony was very intimate. Hillary’s bandmates, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood were not able to attend. Only some close family and friends made it.
The bride wore a custom Vera Wang strapless mermaid dress with abstract all-over lace underlay, layered tulle skirt with horsehair banding and hand-cut corded lace appliqué with hand-applied crystal and pearl beading. She complemented the gown with a mantilla veil with hand-cut chantilly lace appliqué. The groom donned a gray Ermenegildo Zegna suit.
The Sparkly Dressed’s next appearance is this Wednesday, January 11! The Outspoken One should be attending People’s Choice Awards 2012 where she is nominated for Favorite Country Artist, Favorite Female Artist and Favorite Tour Headliner.
January 11: People’s Choice Awards 2012. Taylor is nominated for Favorite Country Artist, Favorite Female Artist and Favorite Tour Headliner.
February 12: The 54th Annual Grammy Awards will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Taylor Swift is nominated for Best Country Album for Speak Now, Best Country Song for Mean and Best Country Solo Performance for Mean. The show will be broadcast live on CBS from 8:00pm to 11:30pm ET/PT.
The show was actually taped at an earlier date and just aired today. Hosted by Rob Lowe, the show paid tribute to all the honorees with performances by Gavin DeGraw, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, the Avett Brothers, the All-American Rejects and Brad Paisley with Joe Walsh. The Queen of Sparks got to heard her song Mean played by the All-American Rejects with a mix of their own song Gives You Hell. Faith Hill was on hand to present the Enchantress with her award.
And what has the Outspoken One been up to? She’s been working on her fourth studio album. No big deal. Incidentally, that strong breeze of wind you just felt was caused by thirteen million Taylor fans taking a deep breath and almost passing out.
Katy Perry also said hello via a video message. Was there a cat reference at the end or did I just imagined that?
You can watch the full episode on CMT.com. I managed to see it from here in Canada, so I hope it works for everybody. Individual clips seem to still be region-locked so I can’t embed them in here.
The 45th Annual CMA Awards are coming tomorrow, November 9! I won’t get tired of saying it but the Blonde With The Sparkly Guitar is nominated for Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year for Speak Now, Female Vocalist of the Year, and both Song of the Year and Video of the Year for Mean.
The CMA Live Stream event will bring you three streaming feeds. You can catch the artist and celebrity CMA Awards arrivals to the red carpet, watch the pre-telecast with Laura Bell Bundy where early awards will be given out and catch the backstage press room where the media gets to interview the winners.
Here’s the Sparkly Dressed herself getting interviewed backstage for the Road to the CMA Awards:
Did you know that the American Music Awards voting ends this Friday? The Enchantress has been announced to perform at the awards ceremony on November 2o. Don’t forget to vote for Taylor Swift for Artist of the Year, Country Music Favorite Female Artist and Country Music Favorite Album.