CMA Music Festival 2017: 26 Best Things We Saw

From Miranda Lambert's fiery main-stage return to Luke Combs' star-making turn

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Eric Church
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Erika Goldring/WireImage6/26

Eric Church

The stylistic range of contemporary country music was on full display at Nissan Stadium Friday night, with Eric Church falling in the lineup directly after pop-leaning sets from Sam Hunt and Kelsea Ballerini. Whoever the crowd had originally come to see, they were converted to Church faithful after the Chief's master class in performance. With expert pacing and a fluency in arena rock moves, Church took the crowd wherever he pleased, from rowdy odes to vices ("Jack Daniels," "Smoke a Little Smoke") to the epic, thrilling sprawl of "Chattanooga Lucy" and the sweet, sad "Give Me Back My Hometown." Can we just name the guy Entertainer of the Year already? J.F.

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