The 2012 CMA Awards got off to a rousing start tonight (Nov. 1) with a very special performance from Jason Aldean, and he brought along a couple of friends -- rising stars Luke Bryan and Eric Church, who joined him for a high energy performance of 'The Only Way I Know.'

Aldean came out first, launching into the gritty blue collar track to huge applause. After the first verse, he shouted, "Y'all make some noise for Mr. Luke Bryan!" Bryan came out on guitar for the second verse as the song built to an even bigger crescendo, but it was when Church walked onstage for the third verse that the crowd reached fever pitch, and the impressive pyro -- not to mention the American flag draped from the rafters -- had the audience going crazy.

The 'Night Train' superstar can look forward to a lot more screaming audiences this year and next, as he is mounting his first stadium tour. Aldean recently added a second night at Fenway Park.