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Chris Young was next, and revved up the crowd with a little "Beer and Gasoline." Switching modes, he sang one of the only ballads from his self-titled debut, "Flowers." I love that song. It's so sad, though, being about a man that used to drink too much, and he made his wife get into the car with him when he was too drunk to drive. He ended up getting into an accident, where the wife died, and the line in the song goes, "look at what it took, for me to finally bring you flowers." The final song Chris performed was "You're Gonna Love Me," which is his current single.
Wonderful, as usual.
The Wreckers were the final act that I had never seen live, and I really enjoyed their set. Michelle and Jessica have a great bond, and their harmonies rival that of siblings. They sound great together. They started with my favorite track off their Stand Still, Look Pretty album, called "My, Oh My." Next, they sang their current single, "Tennessee," closing with their first single and No. 1 song, "Leave the Pieces." I have definitely got to make a point to see one of their shows when they come out my way.
Miranda Lambert performed next, starting with "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend." I just LOVE that guitar riff in this song. Unfortunately, starting with Taylor Swift's set, the vocal audio really started to deteriorate. The artists could barely be heard, and the music seemed too loud because of it. Speakers crackled and hissed and just made listening unpleasant. Miranda followed up "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" with her current single, "Famous in a Small Town," showing that she does not always have to be all "in your face," and rowdy.
But, then she revved it back up again, ending with "Kerosene." If you haven't picked up her album, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, do yourself a favor, and go grab a copy. Awesome music on there.
Rodney Atkins was the final act of the night, and he got things started with "These Are My People," which is his current single, and I think, gonna be his third No. 1 song from the recently certified Platinum If You're Going Through Hell album. The autobiographical song, "Watching You" followed, before leading the crowd into a frenzy with "If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)" to close out his set. Rodney, like Heartland was all over the stage, putting on his normal awesome show. Fantastic!
As mentioned before, there were several auctions throughout the night. The one earning the most money was a trip to any Faith and Tim Soul 2 Soul 2007 show with VIP seats, meet & greet, and the winner got to go backstage at the ACM Awards too, and meet Tim McGraw. They also threw in two upgraded seats at the award show to sit in the front area where the stars sit. They ended up with a bidding war, and actually doubled this package, selling them each for $40k. Wow! The only other package that went for nearly that high was Kenny Chesney tour package, where you could pick the place, you got to meet Kenny backstage, and they threw in a meet and greet with Kenny at the ACMs backstage as well. This went for $31k. Most of the other packages went for anywhere from $2,200 for a Dierks Bentley tour package with VIP seats and meet and greet, to $13,500 to see Rascal Flatts on tour anywhere in the Continental U.S., with backstage passes, and I believe they would fly you there too.
A wonderful night was had by all, and everyone got to see our sparkling new talent. Country music is in good hands with this new crop of stars.