Keith Urban’s All for the Hall concert, benefiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, is one of Nashville’s most beloved homegrown traditions. After a brief hiatus, the fundraiser returned to Bridgestone Arena on Monday night with Urban as host (his frequent co-host Vince Gill was on tour with the Eagles) and a gender-balanced A-list lineup: Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton, Brothers Osborne, Morgan Wallen, and Blake Shelton shared the stage with Tanya Tucker, Carly Pearce, Ingrid Andress, Tenille Townes, and Lauren Daigle.
The theme of the 2020 installment: “Under the Influence,” which found the featured artists pairing one of their hits with a song that affected them. “I thought about ‘Under the Influence’ because it’s a chance for the audience to maybe learn something more about an artist or a song,” Urban told Rolling Stone Country prior to the show. “It helps connect some dots.”
Here are five of the best moments from All for the Hall 2020.
John Osborne’s Guitar Showdown With Keith Urban
As part of the evening’s theme, Brothers Osborne delivered a faithful version of Merle Haggard’s “The Bottle Let Me Down” that was appropriately full of twang and regret. But after keeping a mainly low profile of late working on their next album, what the sibling duo really wanted to do was rock. Brothers TJ and John scratched that itch with an intense version of “It Ain’t My Fault” that was distinguished by a shit-hot guitar face-off between John and Keith Urban. We’ll call it a draw.
Tanya Tucker’s Riveting Medley
The divine Miss T has been riding high since her two Grammy wins — or maybe it’s all the tequila she’s been pouring out onstage during her concerts. Either way, Tucker was in peak form on Monday night, singing not just one classic that influenced her, but a medley of four: George Jones’ “The Grand Tour,” Loretta Lynn’s “Blue Kentucky Girl,” Merle Haggard’s “Workin’ Man Blues,” and Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man.” For the Haggard portion, she hoisted herself onto the riser during Paul Franklin’s steel solo, lied down on her back, and playfully kicked her heels toward the sky, a 61-year-old country legend fully confident in who she is.
Ingrid Andress’ Effortless Cool
In a pink suit, the Colorado songwriter Andress was hard to miss onstage, even when seated behind her piano. But it was the “More Hearts Than Mine” singer’s pristine vocals that commanded attention. Her version of her breakout hit was gorgeous in its stark sadness (Andress joked about bringing down the mood in the arena — she didn’t), while her cover choice nodded to her Rocky Mountain roots: a piano version of honorary Coloradan John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” that gave new vibrancy to a song that’s become part of the American fabric.
Keith Urban’s Linda Ronstadt Tribute
The host of All for the Hall kicked things off with an arena-rattling performance of his own “Wasted Time,” but it was his subdued version of “Blue Bayou” that captured Urban, one of country’s most emotional singers, at his best. With its sighing guitar melody and yearning lyrics, the ballad was a faithful tribute to Linda Ronstadt, the artist who recorded the definitive version of the song in 1977 (even if her name was misspelled on the screen above the stage).
Carly Pearce’s Shania Salute
When the opening notes of “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” sound, you can’t help but sing along. Which is something that Pearce, a magnetic performer who is about to release her new self-titled album, knows well. She played up the gender-inclusivity of Shania Twain’s 1999 smash and took clear joy in watching guys in the audience shout the chorus. The exclamation points in the title were never more fitting.