(contributed by Lisa Hendin)
The code has been cracked! After days of clues like “It’s between a rock and a hard place” and “It has some ugly neighbors,” fans finally uncovered the location of this year’s CMT Music Festival Fan Social.
The Wildhorse Saloon was filled to capacity on Saturday, June 12 as hundreds poured in to watch performances from their favorite artists.
With all three levels of the venue completely full, employees had to block the entrance doors, leaving a line full of hopefuls that wrapped around the block.
Those who made it inside rushed to the dance floor, inching as close to the main stage as the gates would allow. Some lucky attendees received a color-coded ticket at the door, their voucher to meet certain artists performing at the event.
CMT’s “Top 20 Countdown” host Evan Farmer introduced each artist to the stage and conducted a Q&A session with them at the end of each set. He started things off with Chris Janson, a young man who almost didn’t make it to the show.
Janson had passed out from the heat earlier in the day, but when the hospital told him the minimum stay for dehydration was two hours, he chose to spend the time with his fans instead. The Missouri native sang some solid original songs, but the crowd was equally blown away by his fine-tuned harmonica skills.
Next up was Randy Houser, who walked onstage with only one question: “Who came out with their boots on?” With his brother accompanying him on piano, Houser sang the recent hit, along with several others and shed light on the “Boots On” music video.
Rodney Atkins kicked off the second hour of the show with a toast to the audience, proclaiming “Here’s to the greatest music fans in the entire world!”He performed a number of his hits, as well as his newest single, “Farmer’s Daughter.”
Bringing some girl power to the show, Laura Bell Bundy rocked the crowd. Applause filled the building and the Broadway star even teared up as she thanked the fans for being supportive.
Bundy eventually swapped her boots for clogs and finished the set with a choreographed version of her most recent hit “Giddy On Up,” bringing those still seated to their feet.
The big surprise of the night came from newcomer Jaron and the Long Road to Love, when Jaron Lowenstein slipped onto the stage during a set change and began belting out his single, “Pray for You.” The crowd took over the chorus, thrilled about the unexpected appearance.
Country Music’s favorite redneck woman, Gretchen Wilson, followed by “Getting You Home” singer Chris Young, closed the show, leaving yet another CMT Fan Social a success.