Keith City Wows, Jimmie Allen Energizes in CMA Fest Day 1’s Greatest Moments

CMA Fest was a rousing success this previous weekend in Nashville, with 4 days of nation music megastars and up-and-comers taking up the downtown space. Day 1 was a spotlight reel of itself, beginning with a festival-opening set from Jimmie Allen and ending with Keith City performing for tens of 1000’s at Nissan Stadium. However there have been loads of huge moments and experiences in between.

The 2022 CMA Fest was really this’s editor’s first CMA Fest. (That is proper, regardless of residing in Tennessee my complete life, I’ve by no means bothered with the large nation music competition. I am often extra of a Bonnaroo or Beale Road Music Pageant man, sue me.) I attempted to benefit from it, trying out daytime units, visiting a number of the varied experiences and trying out the stadium reveals every evening. (I even ate complimentary mashed potatoes that have been being handed out for some motive?) For Day 1, the music was our essential focus; listed here are the excessive factors we beloved:

Jimmie Allen Kicks off the Weekend

(Photograph: John Connor Coulston /

Jimmie Allen kicked off CMA Fest with a burst of vitality and loads of particular company. The nation star gave keen followers — who all received up early to see the free live performance and battled some blistering sunshine — precisely what they wished out of CMA Fest. He performed loads of his fan-favorite songs like “Make Me Need To” and “Large in a Small City” but additionally supplied a little bit of spectacle with a fleet of particular company.

American Idol Season 20 winner Noah Thompson and runner-up Huntergirl have been amongst them. Thompson, 20, appeared a bit nervous, however Huntergirl shined, even laughing off being given a way-too-tall mic stand with allure. Elsewhere within the set, Allen introduced out Camille Parker, Neon Union, Chuck Adams and Lindsay Ell for collaborations. (Ell would additionally go on to play a roaring set on the identical stage later within the day.)


Marcus King Stands Out

(Photograph: John Connor Coulston /

There have been loads of memorable visitor appearances all through the weekend at CMA Fest, however Marcus King was among the finest. King, the 26-year-old singer/guitarist, is not somebody you’d count on to see on the mainstream-country-centric CMA Fest, regardless of being considered one of Americana’s most enjoyable artists. Nevertheless, Zac Brown Band helped bridge the hole between the 2 sides of the nation music world by inviting King out to carry out their collaboration “Cussed Pleasure” throughout their Thursday evening Nissan Stadium set. King was completely stellar, delivering soulful vocals and an outstanding guitar solo. He discovered undoubtedly some new followers that would not have heard him in any other case.


Priscilla Block’s Large Second

(Photograph: John Connor Coulston /

Priscilla Block is a rising younger nation star, a part of a current batch of performers which have blown up on social media. She has 1.3 million followers on TikTok, and whereas it isn’t as simple as one would suppose to show that stat into huge nation success, Block is effectively on her approach. Her abbreviated efficiency Thursday evening at Nissan Stadium’s Platform Stage (a really small stage situated within the elevated VIP part in the direction of one finish of the sector) was the most recent step on her journey to superstardom. Block’s vocals and persona have been completely showcased within the two-song set, with the 26-year-old star even crying a bit whereas reminiscing on her humble beginnings. (She lately informed NASHtoday that she beforehand carried out on Nashville sidewalks throughout previous CMA Fests, going so far as enhancing competition logos onto her photographs to make it appear extra official.)


Keith City Is on One other Degree

(Photograph: John Connor Coulston /

Keith City wrapped up the primary evening of CMA Fest 2022 with Nissan Stadium set that proved he’s on one other degree. City has been one of many faces of pop nation for many years, and he simply retains getting higher. He is carved out a particular place aside from his friends, even giving off a younger vibe than many different a lot youthful performers. He made probably the most of his seven-song set, delivering stadium-ready hits like “Days Go By” and “Wild Hearts.” City additionally supplied magical live performance moments, heading in the course of the gang (utilizing a really small extra flooring stage) and having the gang mild up your complete stadium utilizing solely the lights from their telephones. It is touches like these that may elevate a stay efficiency, even one which must be crammed into CMA Fest’s typical 45-minute set window.


Random Takeaways From Day 1

(Photograph: John Connor Coulston /
  • The Riverfront Stage was unbearably scorching and annoying to discover a spot in. We did not return after catching Allen and Ell’s Thursday performances.
  • Ell completely shreds, as soon as once more making us really feel silly for not entering into her music sooner.
  • Tom Hanks was watching his spouse Rita Wilson’s set on the remarkably low-key Chevy Vibes stage, and we later noticed the couple casually watching City’s set from the stands.
  • Darius Rucker places on a hell of a enjoyable present, even when we simply watched him stay a couple of days beforehand. Shoutout to Hootie!
  • I am actually no fan of Jason Aldean, however I’ve to confess, the person has main star energy. His Nissan Stadium efficiency had followers completely enamored and he commanded the stage with ease.
  • The stroll again from Nissan Stadium to the workplace after the present made me remorse each single choice I had made that day.


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