Keith Urban and “Rebel” Friends Rock for Country Music Hall of Fame
All-star lineup plays We’re All for the Hall benefit in Nashville.
Keith Urban stuck to the theme of “Rebels and Renegades, the Outlaws are IN” for his fourth annual We’re All for the Hall benefit concert for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Tuesday night (April 16), at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.
But he also made sure to give the sell-out crowd a variety of young and legendary acts, classic tunes and contemporary hits and a surprise or two during the three-hour show.
Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Eric Church, Brantley Gilbert, Montgomery Gentry, Trace Adkins and Kid Rock represented the new rebels, with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joe Shaver, Jessi Colter, Rosanne Cash and Hank Williams Jr. taking up the legends mantle.
The annual show raises funds for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville and its various educational programs.
Keith and his co-host, Vince Gill, who created All for the Hall, kicked off the night with an appropriate homage to rebel rockers The Rolling Stones by singing “Tumbling Dice.” Keith thanked the audience for "coming out to support the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum." Shortly after, Keith and Vince lit it up on Waylon Jennings’ No. 1 hit “I Ain’t Living Long like This.”
Remembering Waylon and Johnny
The presence of Waylon, who died in 2002, was deeply felt throughout the show, with Waylon’s widow, Jessi Colter, premiering a song that she wrote for him shortly after he passed away. Jessi also performed her classic “I’m Not Lisa.”
Two of Waylon's buddies from the supergroup the Highwaymen, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson, took the stage toward the end of the show. Kris lent his soulful voice to “Sunday Morning Coming Down” and “Me and Bobby McGee.” Willie had everyone clapping and singing along to “On the Road Again.”
The spirit of one of country's true renegades, Johnny Cash, was also in the minds of fans as Rosanne Cash, Johnny’s daughter, sang “Seven Year Ache.” Hank Williams Jr., who performed solo without the backing house band, included a spot-on imitation of Johnny on a rendition of “I Walk the Line” during his spellbinding set.
Hank Jr. provided additional highlights with “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound” and “All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down).”
Young Rebels Excite the Crowd
The act that got the crowd screaming and out of their seats, though, was master showman Kid Rock, who rolled through “Born Free” and “All Summer Long.”
Jason Aldean's two-song set featured a blistering guitar duo with Keith on “My Kinda Party.” Tim McGraw ventured out into the crowd and shook hands with several fans as he reprised his hits “How Bad Do You Want It” and “Real Good Man.”
Eric Church took a slightly different approach, paying tribute to the late Levon Helm with “Ophelia” rather than performing one of his own hits, but he was well-received just the same.
The previously announced Loretta Lynn was a last-minute cancellation. But Keith told the crowd that he was able to come up with a great substitute and the audience agreed as Sheryl Crow entered the stage to loud applause and a standing ovation.
We're All for the Hall always provides one of those magical “Nashville nights,” and this year’s show was certainly no exception. The evening closed with a rousing version of “Family Tradition,” sung by all of the night’s performers.