The CMAs were this past Wednesday (November 5th) and there were some incredibly noteworthy performances. Seeing as there were only 13 awards to be handed out and the event was three hours long, it's just as much about the live performances as it is about the awards. Here are my personal top five.
5. George Strait and Eric Church, "Cowboys Like Us"
This was actually my least favorite of all of them when I first saw them. It came across as absolutely incompatible and I was questioning why anyone allowed them to perform together. You can see their differences before they even start playing; Eric Church is wearing aviators indoors, for God's sake! But after a second watch, it's actually a pretty adorable arrangement. While it's not perfect vocally, it does sound like two old buddies singing around a campfire having a good old time. And the contrast of styles actually helps make it all that more endearing.
4. Keith Urban, "Somewhere In My Car"
I loved this performance because Keith Urban's raw talent is shown off. First of all, his voice is wonderful and fun to listen to (both speaking and singing). The song is so much fun and you can tell how much fun he is having on stage. His guitar skills are also showcased when he just starts shredding in the middle of the song. It's no wonder he's such a credible judge for a singing competition after a performance like that!
3. Carrie Underwood, "Something In The Water"
Carrie Underwood's performance of her new single is extremely heartfelt and clearly shows off her immense talent. I personally believe Underwood to be the most successful American Idol winner ever (sorry, Kelly) mostly because people forget she was even on the show. She finds the energy to belt every note of every song, even as a pregnant MC at the CMAs! The simple waterfall effect in the background and the brief church choir accompaniment were some nice touches to her passionate vocal performance.
2. The Band Perry, "Gentle On My Mind"
This new single is a cover of Glen Campbell, and The Band Perry's version will appear on the soundtrack of a new documentary about Glen Campbell's life. Their rendition is just absolutely gorgeous. The harmonies and chords are wonderful to the ears. These three siblings are amazingly talented and perfectly tweaked the original song just enough to make it their own. You can tell how much fun they're having judged solely on the number of times Kimberly Perry yells "here we go!" Although Little Big Town was definitely deserving of Vocal Group of the Year, The Band Perry is a very close second.
1. Little Big Town and Ariana Grande, "Day Drinking/Bang Bang"
I have watched this multiple times, by choice, in the past week. While I'm sure many others disagree, this performance was my absolute favorite of the night. The 20-man snare drum line in the background was impactful and played some surprisingly clean beats. The light show was off the chain. Little Big Town absolutely nailed their song "Day Drinking," and then introduced Ariana Grande and it became even more fun. Although this was less of a collaboration and more of a guest appearance, Little Big Town did a great job and clearly had tons of fun singing the backup vocals for Grande. And, of course, Ariana Grande hit every single note, no matter how high. It was absolutely incredible.
Check out those performances from the 2014 CMAs! Below are a couple of noteworthy moments from the awards ceremony that were not live performances.
Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley Monologue
Kacey Musgraves accepting Song of the Year
(For some background on this one, the song includes passionate lines about smoking marijuana and being homosexual, and considering country music fans as a typically conservative group this was an incredible win. It is also the lowest chart peak at #43 to win Song of the Year.)
Luke Bryan accepting Entertainer of the Year
BEX of Music 2 My Eyes, on air every Thursday at 5