Best Nostalgia: Alabama
Gray hair and mom jeans be damned, Alabama — appearing as one of the festival's few heritage acts — handily captivated the crowd like rock stars when opening LP Field festivities Thursday night. As the clouds cleared and the sun set, Randy Owen had, on command, tens of thousands clapping hands, stomping feet and singing along to charging, timeless, age-defying versions of "I'm in a Hurry," "Dixieland Delight" and "Mountain Music." The sounds were sweet (later inspiring Luke Bryan to declare Alabama "The greatest band to ever walk the face of the Earth!"), and the fashion-bereft visual was, well… just as endearing. Especially Jeff Cook, who rocked a black golf shirt marked with multi-colored fractal patterns and plucked away on a matching green guitar and fiddle that looked like hand-me-downs from Poison's C.C. DeVille.