CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock is now an annual tradition for the ABC network, distilling four days and nights of live performances and fan-artist interaction into a splashy three-hour special.
This year’s jam-packed edition, which aired Wednesday night, was hosted by former tour mates Brett Eldredge and Thomas Rhett and highlighted many of the special collaborative performances between artists, including Little Big Town and Pharrell Williams and Dierks Bentley with Elle King.
Carrie Underwood created her own special pairing, however, during her Nissan Stadium set on day two of CMA Fest, delivering blistering performances of “Church Bells” and “Choctaw County Affair,” two of the steamy Southern Gothic tales from her Storyteller LP. For the latter tune, Underwood played a brief round of “dueling harmonicas” with longtime band member Chad Jeffers while introducing the trippy Mississippi tale of a love triangle that may or may not cast Underwood as a cold-blooded murderer. Whatever the real story may be, it’s safe to say Underwood killed it.