Special guests and sing-a-longs helped enhance the Country Music Association Music Festival fan experience at LP Field.
Taylor Swift closed out the fourth and final night of concerts Sunday with an energetic set that included career-spanning hits such as “Our Song”, “Love Story” and “Story Of Us”.
“The cool thing about being on this stage is you get a really good view,” said Swift pausing to gaze at the cheering audience before launching into her bluegrass infused single “Mean”.
Swift had her signature “13” painted on her right hand and Sugarland lyrics painted down her left arm that said: “Remember me in ribbons and curls, love your baby girl.” She thrilled the in-field by running through the crowd to a second, roof top stage, where she played the ukulele andsang “Fearless”.
Newlyweds Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert both acknowledged their recent nuptials during their CMA Fest performances.
Lambert thanked fans for giving her the best wedding present: her third No. 1 hit for “Heart Like Mine.” She said she found out on her wedding day four weeks ago.
At one point, Lambert brought out her newly-formed girl band, Pistol Annies, to play their new single, “Hell on Heels.” Backstage, Lambert said the band, with friends Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley, is “everything but a goofy side project” for her.
During her set, the crowd found out how she feels about beach balls being thrown while she’s singing. One landed on stage, and she stomped the air out of it with her high heel, saying: “Is it just me or do those beach balls irritate the hell out of y’all?” She then asked everyone to hold onto them while she sang the emotional “The House That Built Me.”
Surprise guest Trace Adkins got one of the biggest reactions of the night when he joined Shelton on “Hillbilly Bone.” The stadium reverberated each time fans yelled “Yee haw” on cue.
Other full band performers Sunday night included The JaneDear Girls, Darius Rucker and The Band Perry.
Rucker got the crowd on its feet and answering back with a rousing version of “Family Tradition.” The Band Perry had tens of thousands of backup singers during their performance of “If I Die Young.” The single has sold more than 2 million copies.
The CMA Music Festival TV special featuring performances from LP Field will air later this summer on ABC.
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