5 More Moments We Loved From CMA Fest 2022

Country’s biggest festival returned to downtown Nashville this weekend (June 9-12), bringing a stacked line-up of genre heavyweights and stars on the rise. The return of the CMA fest was welcomed by thousands of fans, ready to see all their favorite artists all in one place. As the festival continued, we were right there alongside the eager crowds, soaking up all of the country-fied action.

With more than five star-studded stages and exclusive fan experiences around every corner, there are too many can’t-miss moments to count – but we’ll try our best. Here are five moments we loved from this year’s CMA Fest.

1. Chris Lane Debuts A New Summer Staple With Lauren Alaina

During his midday set at the Chevy Riverfront Stage, Chris Lane served many a memorable moment. From his performance of “Big, Big Plans,” which featured an appearance from his wife, to his equally rousing “I Don’t know About You,” the reaction from the audience clearly marked Lane as a fan favorite at the festival. When his wife, Lauren Bushnell, joined him on stage, he pulled her in for a kiss and said “this lady right here…I couldn’t do it without her.” Several attendees joined in on the touching moment, holding their partner close and singing she don’t know I got some big, big plans back to the North Carolina native.

The highlight of the set was the debut of his brand new collaboration with fellow country mainstay Lauren Alaina. The song, which borrows its melody from King Harvest’s 1973 track of the same name, paints a quintessential summer night, complete with tailgating and bonfire flames. Lane introduced the new track to great excitement from the crowd which only grew once Alaina joined him on stage.

2. Rising Stars Heat Up The Spotify House at Ole Red

To celebrate their “Hot Country” playlist, which features today’s hottest country stars and newcomers alike, Spotify hosted an intimate performance series at Blake Shelton’s Ole Red in Downtown Nashville. Spotify House featured a stacked line-up all four days of CMA, but Friday brought out the best of the country’s rising stars.

We first caught Corey Kent’s set, where he sang his chart-topping single “Wild As Her.” The breezy track fits perfectly in the cozy venue, changing gears from the pumped-up country that was being played outside. He thanked the audience for helping him chart in the country scene before moving into his Kolby Cooper-assisted track “Aint My Day.” The crowd helped Kent out by joining in on the chorus, chanting it back to him.

Later Carter Faith took the stage, bringing her soaring vocals with her. A host of critics have labeled her the steward of the “next 10 years in Nashville.” Her performance on Friday surely defended that title. She began with her brooding, outlaw country track “Lasso.” Immediately, her unique voice and the instant ear-worm song captured the crowd. Later in her set, she brought out the chiding “Buzzkilla” and her Yellowstone-inspired number “Cowboys and Dreamers” both to equal appeal. In the middle of her set, some technical difficulties caused her to have to stall while the crew got things in order. She took the setback in her stride, completely winning over the audience with an easy-going charm.

3. Russell Dickerson Electrifies Ole Red

Russell Dickerson closed out the night at Spotify House with a pulsing performance, chock full of hits and a surprise appearance from friend and fellow country singer Jake Scott. The duo played their 2021 collaboration track “She Likes It,” trading verses and dancing around each other, upping the energy on the Ole Red stage. His trademark “RD Party” was in full swing as he brought the crowd higher and higher throughout his seven songs.

Elsewhere in the night were “Home Sweet,” “Every Little Thing,” and his lulling break-out song “Yours.” Before he played the latter track, he thanked the country music fans for their continued support before raising up his glass for the first of many toasts during the electric night.

4. Country Three-Piece Restless Road Upped the Ante on the Chevy Vibes Stage

Restless Road played a midday set at the Chevy Vibes Stage bringing their unique space in the country scene to downtown Nashville. Across their set, the country three-piece played a host of their top songs including “Hometown Tonight.” The pulsing track opened its setup with a bang, drawing the crowd in for more.

Their classic three-part harmonies upped the ante in Walk of Fame Park as they sang “Took One Look At Her Momma.” Together they joined in on the chorus singing I took one look at her momma / I took one look at the woman that raised her up right. After opening for the likes of Kane Brown and playing the main stage at CMA, Restless Road definitely marked themselves as one to watch in the country scene.

5. Earnest Ended The Night On A High Note

The last to play the Chevy Riverfront stage was Nashville’s own, Ernest, as he made his CMA debut. While the crowd waited for him to take the stage with batted breath, an emcee walked out to introduce him acknowledging his wide array of influences from Eminem to George Strait. Those influences were well on display throughout his performance featuring songs like “Sucker For Small Towns” and “Tennessee Queen.”

Before becoming a solo artist, Ernest made his name writing for other country artists – the likes of Morgan Wallen, Sam Hunt, and fellow CMA performer Chris Lane. He got the crowd extra hyped when he took on Wallen’s hit single “Wasted On You.” The mass of people gathered around the bank of the Cumberland river all joined in with the singer like the fest had just begun, singing I’ve wasted on you / all of this time and all of this money.

Photo by Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images


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