For three hours next Monday night (Sept. 17), you get country, country and more country. Because that’s the night the CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock special airs on ABC. So if you went to the festival and want to relive it — or you didn’t go and want to feel like you did — this if your night to rock. And Luke Bryan and The Band Perry’s Kimberly Perry are hosting.
I asked Bryan what this gig was like after so many gigs where he was just the singer — not the master of ceremonies. He promised me he was “savvyish” as a host. And that the snippets of fun he had along the way — up-close-and-personal interviews with Faith Hill, Hunter Hayes and Lady Antebellum — were his favorite parts. “When you’re doing the interviewing, you want to have fun with the artists,” he said. “So when Faith came in, I asked her if she was wearing her own perfume. Stuff like that.”
Bryan, I think, is such a good fit for this show because he knows exactly what this festival is like for the fans. “I’d gone to these shows many, many times as a fan. I was out in the parking lot of LP Field, just tailgating and drinking beer. I loved to be all up in the mix,” Bryan told me. “And the longer I can still stay a fan in this deal, the better. I wanna hold onto that feeling as long as I can.”