CMA Fest 2013 Night 1: Taylor and Zac Brown Welcome Special Guests

photos courtesy CMA

Taylor Swift and Zac Brown Band brought the hits as Night 1 of CMA Music Festival got underway at LP Field in Nashville. But the superstars didn't just go it alone—they both brought along some special guests.

In Taylor's case, it was Tim McGraw and Keith Urban, who helped re-create the magic of Tim's current single, "Highway Don't Care," which features Taylor on backing vocals and Keith on guitar. Taylor, acting particularly coy and playful last night, sang a few lines from her breakout hit “Tim McGraw” before teasing her line—I can't live without you, I can't live without you, baby— from “Highway Don't Care” and welcoming Tim to the stage. Naturally, the crowd went bananas. And the energy went up yet another notch when it came time for the song's solo and Keith materialized from stage right, guitar in hand. It was a magical, and distinctly CMA Fest, moment.

Not to be outdone, Zac Brown Band also had some aces up their sleeves. As the band lit into Kenny Rogers‘ “The Gambler,” out came Kenny himself to duet with Zac on the 1978 classic. 

And then Kid Rock appeared (really, isn't any event more fun when he's around?). Together, he and Zac ripped through the Grand Funk Railroad hit “We’re an American Band,” making us all feel proud to be not only music fans, but American ones at that. 

Other highlights from last night:

Tracy Lawrence, rolling out hits like “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” and “Time Marches On,” to a warm ovation.

Eric Church roaring through a set that, while only containing two radio singles (“Homeboy” and “Smoke a Little Smoke”), had the fans singing along to every song. 

Miranda Lambert, sporting a painfully tight corset, opening her performance with a blistering “Fastest Girl in Town.”

 And Luke Bryan doing what he does best: shaking it to the delight of LP's female fans.

 

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