Country music once again brought out the best it has to offer for ABC's CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock special on Tuesday night. Everyone who is anyone in the country music game showed up, including Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Zac Brown Band and Miranda Lambert.
The night started off with a bang with the hottest collaboration of the year -- 'Somethin' Bad', performed by the equally hot and talented Carrie Underwood and Lambert. The music never stopped and it just kept getting better and better -- for the most part. Lambert came back out to perform her mega-hit single 'Automatic'. The moment we thought she was done, she busted into one of the corkiest, fun and so-Miranda performances we've seen from her in a while. She sang a possibly new single, 'Little Red Wagon' and had the time of her life on the stage. This is why, Lambert's performance comes in at number 5.
Other great performances included both of Luke Bryan's songs, 'Roller Coaster', and 'Play it Again'. Coming in as the 4th best performance, regardless if it's a ballad, mid-tempo or dance number, Bryan always shakes it for his fans when he's on the stage. Just one of the many things he is admired for.
Tim McGraw brought out his incredibly gorgeous wife Faith Hill to sing their collaboration song, 'Back at Mommas.' Usually, the audience wants to be a part of the performance, but these two love-bird's chemistry is so strong that it felt like they were the only ones in the room. At number 3, that kind of power is hard to come by on the stage, but these two only seem to get better at it.
Speaking of highlights, the Zac Brown Band blew everyone away with their cover of Bon Jovi's 'Wanted Dead or Alive.' Coming in at the number 2 spot, Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora accompanied ZBB for the number and it was music history in the making. ZBB first performed their new single, 'All Alright', but things got even better for the underrated band when Sambora hit the stage.
When Church left the stage after his first performance of 'Cold One', can't say it was too impressive. Having seen the edgy performer in the past, his style for that performance felt half-hearted. When he returned in the second hour of the show -- well, let's just say he left everything out on the stage. Church was joined by rocker Lzzy Hale (no, not Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale) as they performed 'That's Damn Rock & Roll' and boy was it exactly that. Coming in as the best, most rock and roll, country and all things music rolled into the top spot, Church dug deep for this number and Hale accompanied him perfectly with her stellar guitar skills and even crazier vocals. This was definitely the top performances of the night.
Many country music fans may listen to music released by Florida Georgia Line, but on Country's Night to Rock they were out-shined by the greats. It is TV specials like these that truly separate the best from the flash in the pans. It doesn't matter how many hit singles you may have from your debut album, if the music doesn't have a core or a deeper meaning than explaining how you 'Roll', you can't compete with the McGraws, Churchs, and Brown Bands.
Missing from the highly anticipated special, which took place in country music's home Nashville, were bigs like Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks who is making his comeback with a new tour. But we can't say that they were missed. CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock was one heck of a show. Although, the second hour was where the highlights were and the third hour could easily be forgotten. Just a thought, ABC.