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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Lady Antebellum
Erika Goldring/WireImage10/26

Lady Antebellum

Lady Antebellum's new album Heart Break came out smack in the middle of CMA Fest, and Charles Kelly, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood were working hard to promote it with a series of pop-up shows at smaller stages around downtown. Their year-long hiatus preceding the album seems to have reinvigorated the trio, as their Saturday night performance at Nissan Stadium showed a group that clearly has its groove back. With the addition of a couple horn players to their live band, Lady A's new songs like "You Look Good" and "Good Time to Be Alive" have more bite than anything on their last two albums, while older hits like "Downtown" sound fresh. Most surprising, "We Owned the Night" transformed from sweet nostalgia to the kind of massive, urgent plea for connection that makes critics lose their shit when Arcade Fire does the same thing. Maybe we could all benefit from a little time off every now and then. J.F.

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