Talk about wishing we were there–take a look at the artists on the roster at Tuesday night’s We’re All For The Hall benefit concert in Nashville, and see if you don’t agree it was nothing short of impressive.
Along with host Keith Urban and Hall of Fame member (and Museum Board President) Vince Gill, the roster included Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Tim McGraw, Brantley Gilbert, Billy Joe Shaver, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Trace Adkins, Rosanne Cash, Kid Rock, Hank Williams Jr., Jessi Colter and Sheryl Crow. (Loretta Lynn was scheduled to perform but withdrew at the last minute due to the illness of a close associate.)
The artists came from across multiple generations but were united under the night’s theme “Rebels and Renegades, the Outlaws are IN.” Urban described that theme in a statement on his website: “The purity in making music on your own terms – to create art in your own way – for me, is at the heart of the outlaw spirit,” he wrote. “It’s those outlaws that we celebrate this year, who not only made it possible for a guy like me to do what I love, but who play a pivotal role in the strength of country music’s diversity.” Urban co-founded the benefit concert with Vince Gill in 2009, and this was the fourth annual event. Proceeds support the Country Music Hall of Fame andn Museum, and the three previous concerts have so far raised $1.5 million.
According to a review in the Nashville Tennessean, the show was sold out with a crowd of more than 13,600. Urban and Gill kicked off the show, with Urban dedicating his song “Without You” to his wife (Nicole Kidman) and daughter, who were in the audience. The Tennessean writes that Gill included a cover of “Can’t You See” by the Marshall Tucker Band, “explaining he played with ‘those guys’ 35 years ago and ‘loved every minute of it.'”
There were quite a few highlights during the show, among them Rosanne Cash singing “Seven Year Ache,” Eric Church pulling two obscure covers out of the woodwork, The Band’s “Ophelia” and Jim Ford’s awesome “Big Mouth USA”; Kid Rock firing up his hits “All Summer Long” and “Picture,” the latter with Sheryl Crow; Jason Aldean performing “Take a Little Ride” and “My Kinda Party”; and legendary ‘outlaw’ artist Billy Joe Shaver doing his classic “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday).”
Toward the end of the evening, Kris Kristofferson played his classic “Me and Bobby McGee,” while Willie Nelson did “On the Road Again.” The show then wound down with the whole roster on stage singing along on Hank Williams, Jr.’s “Family Tradition.”
“I’m already thinking about a theme for next year,” Urban told theTennesseean before the show. “It’s important to me what kind of theme is going to allow us to bring in older artists and new ones and have them fused together in an organic way.”