Rodney Atkins Gives Back to Music City With an All-Star Party
What better way to kick off CMA Music Fest than with a big ol' party with some of country's hottest stars in downtown Nashville on a warm summer night?
"After the first year and we had maybe half of Broadway blocked, and now five years later, it goes back as far as you can see," Atkins says. "The way that this grows and grows, and sponsors step up to be a part of this... it's perfect. It just makes my year to get to be a part of this."
W.O. Smith Music School assists in putting music in the lives of children from low-income families who may not be able to afford music instruction. Being a musician himself, Atkins understands how important music education is for the future of the industry.
"I got to visit W.O. Smith Music School and see these kids and how hard they work and how much they learn and how much they love it, and I love to see how much they’re learning," he explains. "That’s where the next phase of musicians and songwriters are going to be coming from. It’s just an incredible place."
DeeJay Silver got the show started, and hyped up fans for the night ahead of them. He filled the streets of Nashville with a variety of mixed country songs, all while getting the stage warmed up for Maddie & Tae.
The female duo rocked on their guitars just as the sun started going down. They had the crowd swaying as they performed their current single, "Fly," then had them dancing in the streets and singing along as they played their debut smash hit, "Girl in a Country Song."
Farr kept the party going as the crowd continued to grow. Clad in gray camo pants, he played all of his hits, including his recent No.1, "A Guy Walks Into a Bar." He was making way for the evening’s host, Atkins.
Though he was not the headliner, Atkins sure knew how to keep the fans going. He played all of his hits, including “It’s America,” “Take a Back Road” and “If You’re Going Through Hell,” while the crowd sang the words back to him faithfully. He even brought his wife, Rose Falcon, on stage for some help.
Kip Moore kept the ball rolling on the picture-perfect Music City night. In his signature cut-off shirt and backward baseball cap, Moore sang to an energetic crowd that seemed to be loving every minute of it. He diverged from the country tunes for a minute to do a cover of Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle,” while fans jumped up and down to the beat.
Lee Brice was this year’s headliner, and despite not taking the stage until around 11PM, the streets were still full and equally enjoying his set. It may have not been a “Parking Lot Party,” per se, but Brice still knew how to have a good time.
This was the event’s fifth year of success. There’s no exact number of attendees available, but the crowd went blocks down Lower Broadway in Nashville.
Rodney said it best when he commented, “The energy out here is out of control, just unbelievable.”