CMAs Performance Review – Part 2

Carrie

This is part 2 of my CMAs performance review series. If you
missed part 1, you can read it here. Now let’s get down to business.

Luke Bryan was next to perform. There was notable effort put
into the staging, and neon ruled this Vegas theme, making it very different to
those that went before. The vocals were very close to that of the studio
version, but were clearly live, rendering his vocals some of the best of the
night, and I was impressed as sometimes he, like many country stars, can be a
little flat live. Musically, he kept it simple, but his showmanship was obvious
as he commanded the stage, remaining active and interactive with the audience
throughout. However, I can’t say it was a favorite since I’m not as keen on
that particular song, and his stupid hat just about ruined it for me. I’m
sorry, I just hate backwards baseball caps. How old are you, 8? Following this
Hunter Hayes produced what was an odd performance for me. His first at the
CMAs, his vocals were fairly weak and straining (nerves, that’s accepted, no
points deducted for that) and they needed to turn up his mike. However, the
backing was clearly either a backing track or a total instrumental reproduction
of the studio version, except that all you could see was Hunter at a piano,
seemingly playing it, although I don’t believe it was hooked up to any PA
system. It’s a shame because it’s a nice song and it would have been better to
either have seen the full band playing the song or to have done a totally
stripped down version live with just Hunter playing. Maybe they wanted the
stripped down artistic feel but didn’t feel that Hunter could pull it off all
by himself.

Faith Hill performed ‘American Heart’, and we were back to
the leather pants. The candle-like lights descending upon the stage were
pretty, but that didn’t detract from the fact that Faith was clearly not at her
best vocally that night. It’s unfortunate because I know she is a fantastic
singer, but particularly towards the end it was uncomfortable to listen to,
visibly straining to get the notes in the key change. Perhaps, and what I am
beginning to suspect, her age is playing a part. She is, after all, 45 years
old, and for most people the voice does tend to deteriorate as they get older,
and perhaps this is just the first sign of that. Otherwise the performance was
fine, although for such a ‘country’ themed song the outfit seemed a little ‘New
York’ for my liking, but hey, each to their own. Brantley Gilbert changed it up
a bit after that on the middle stage, interacting with the fans and dressed
almost identically to what I always see him in. This was a pretty predictable
performance for me, and I was disappointed he didn’t rock out a bit more,
although he did pace up and down a little and threw the horns once or twice.

Zac Brown returned to the stage to duet with Keith Urban,
for something I can only describe as ‘nice, but nothing special’. There was a
‘nice’ accompanying video, but the best thing about it was the guitar solo
battle, as it reminded me of Keith and Brad Paisley a few years back on their
performance of ‘Start a Band’. Zac and Keith have a fairly good chemistry and
it was pleasant but nothing more. Brad Paisley was next up and personally this
was when I sat up and took notice. He began the performance with a cover of Jay
Z’s ‘Empire State of Mind’ as a tribute to those affected by Hurricane Sandy,
which was a lovely last minute touch and was met with rapturous applause. This
also cleverly merged into Southern Comfort Zone with some great guitar work.
One thing I was really impressed with this time around with Brad was that his
vocals were really on point throughout the song, even on the high notes, which
historically he does have trouble with live (I’m remembering his performance of
‘Then’ a few years ago). In fact, he was much better vocally than many of the
singers that night, and although much of the performance was a bit same-y, his
vocals and command of the stage and electrifying guitar solo made it a
highlight for me. In addition, the huge choir that filled the many aisles of
the arena, filing through towards the stage, was an impressive sight and
slightly awe-inspiring, building the big sound that he ended with.

Brad’s fellow host, Carrie Underwood, was another I was
looking forward to as her performances are always strong. I felt the smoke
machine was a little cheesy (okay, a lot cheesy), but it didn’t detract from
her vocals which got better as the song progressed. I would almost argue that
she is one of country music’s best vocalists ever, but I imagine that would be
met with heated debate. I loved the dress she was wearing, it was a lovely
color that kind of matches the color of a storm, I guess, and had very
beautiful intricate details that almost distracted me from the performance
(particularly the cheeky leg she always has on show)! Confetti added more drama
at the end but I felt like with such a dramatic song more could have been done
to build the mood and atmosphere. It was a safe and solid performance however.

That’s it for part 2, but don’t worry, part 3 is on its way
soon, so don’t forget to look out for it.

Posted by Vickye (Guest Writer).
If you want to check out my own blog
it's For The Country
Record
, and you can follow me on
twitter @planmymistake. You can email me at vickye.countrymusic@gmail.com.

 

32 thoughts on “CMAs Performance Review – Part 2”

  1. I feel like she always has interesting performance outfits at the CMAs. Smile ACMs she has beautiful dresses and soft waves in her hair and then come the CMAs and she is back in 2005 setting the stage on fire.

  2. Ok, this is not being mean but I heard something recently about Faith and Tim that I wonder now if true. A friend, who knows people in the business, said everyone knows that Faith and Tim do marijuana. I thought no way..but then Faith looked so much older and so skinny. Her face looked part skelton bones. So it just made me wonder. Please don’t post this but somehow this made sense.

  3. I thought the haverst assembly was a great success and I hope we all enjoyed it. My favourite part was probably when Josh did his unique dance. I think we went a bit wrong on one of the songs (I can’t remember which one though)I also want to say a big thank you to all the teachers who helped to make the assembly an accomplishment to year 5 and a big thanks specifically to Mr Boyer and Miss Savage.(It wouldn’t have been possible without them)

  4. Taylor Swift only won the Entertainer award because Kenny Chesney who won toruing artist of the year from Pollstar wasn’t even nominated and he would have won, great album, great songs Taylor certainly isn’t the best of country heck she isn’t even country she and her label just campaign extremely extremely extremely (got that?) hard for her wins Jason Aldean should have won

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