CMA Fest 2013 was arguably filled with the greatest group of performers in country music right now. From international super stars headlining LP Field to the new faces making their CMA Fest debut, there was undeniable talent all around music city.
We were fortunate enough to see the remarkably talented Brett Eldredge several times over the course of CMA Fest. His single “Don’t Ya” had already caught my attention and I went into it excited to have the opportunity to watch him live, but after the first performance, I was so impressed that I was hooked.
On Wednesday evening, we stopped by the Warner Music CMT Fan After Party and got our first taste of Brett when he closed out the evening with a lively set.
Brett kicked it into gear with his own undeniably catchy rendition of 2Pac’s “California Love.” The intro was surprising to say the least, but he pumped up the crowd and had everyone singing along “Music City, knows how to party…” before transitioning into his own irresistible track “Tell Me Where To Park.” The audience got a taste of what to expect from the new album with songs such as “One Mississippi,” “Bring You Back” and of course, “Don’t Ya.” In the small venue, his charming and fun demeanor resonated loudly and it quickly became apparent that we had a star in the room.
While most artists exited the stage and hurried backstage that evening, Brett hung out after the show and stayed for an impromptu meet and greet with his fans. One of the things I found to be most impressive was that he happily took his time to meet each and every fan who approached him and not only did he pose for photos, but he engaged in personal and in depth conversation with everyone. As an emerging artist, Brett separates himself from the rest by creating this individualized personal approach to connect with fans. Anyone who knows anything about CMA Fest knows it’s all about the fans, and Brett took that to heart
On Friday morning, we made a stop at the HGTV stage Downtown to watch Brett’s acoustic show. He showcased his talents again, this time in an much more intimate set where he added in his new irresistibly catchy tune “On and On” and the emotional and heartfelt “Raymond.” He captivated the tiny space so naturally and had the crowd laughing as he made jokes in between songs. He’s charming, down to earth and relatable. By the time he closed out the set with “Don’t Ya” he had everybody in the room dancing, old women and men included.
Later that day, we finally caught Brett on a big stage as he was the final performance on the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage. As the rain started to make its way in, I wondered whether or not the sudden change in weather would effect his performance. Ironically, the rain stopped right before Brett took the stage. This time around, he delivered an outrageously energetic performance that had the audience dancing, singing and hollering the entire time.
I noticed his charismatic stage presence grew exponentially from the previous performances on smaller stages. Something else that stood out was the interaction he had with everyone in the crowd. From making eye contact with those in the front row, to purposely stopping and holding a pose in front of a camera it was clear that Brett knows exactly what he’s doing. What stands out the most is how each performance is flawless, yet seemingly effortless. Brett has the grace and confidence of a natural performer and we walked out of there knowing that it won’t be long before we see him making his LP Field debut.
On Saturday evening, we once again saw Brett – this time as he delivered the National Anthem to kick off the festivities at LP Field that evening. True to form, his performance was spot on.
CMA Fest made a fan out of me. If you don’t already follow Brett on every social media platform – you should. His Instagram, Twitter and Vine accounts give you a glimpse into the comedic, humble and regular guy he really is. And if we’re being honest, it doesn’t hurt that he’s tall, good looking and a sharp dresser. I know we’re anxiously awaiting the release of his album, due out on August 6th. In the meantime, be sure to check him out on iTunes and give him a listen.
Recommended tracks: “Don’t Ya”, “Bring You Back” and “Tell Me Where To Park.”