Underwood, Rascal Flatts headline special Opry show

For the second straight year, the Grand Ole Opry brought a special edition of the show to Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, Wednesday night which our own Win Patton is attending. Opry members Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts headlined the show, which featured performances from Chris Young, recent Opry inductee Old Crow Medicine Show, Thompson Square and others.

The special show took on the feel and excitement of a regular weekend Opry performance, with multiple acts playing several tunes. The duo Love and Theft kicked off the evening with their No. 1 hit “Angel Eyes,” followed by Eric Paslay, who played his recent chart-topper, “Friday Night,” along with his new single.

Chris Young began his three-song set with “Aw Naw,” which he followed with “You” and new single “Who I Am With You.”

The packed house eagerly responded to rising star Brandy Clark and her whimsical song “Stripes” and enthusiastically cheered as Thompson Square closed their three-number set with their first major hit, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not.”

The crowd also rocked along to Charles “Chip” Esten, co-star of the hit TV series Nashville, who proved that he’s thoroughly capable of belting out tunes and holding a crowd. “I’m not a country star but I play one on TV,” he joked. Charles brought out Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts to play bass on his set.

Old Crow Medicine Show, the latest act to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, was also a fan favorite, particularly on the irresistible singalong “Wagon Wheel.”

Jay returned with his Rascal Flatts mates, Gary LeVox and Joe Don Rooney, for a three-song crowd-pleaser that concluded with the trio’s new single, “Rewind.”

The show came to a rousing close when Carrie Underwood took the stage. She opened her set with a slightly speeded-up version of “Blown Away” and hit some unbelievably high notes, drawing shouts from the crowd. “Thank you for having us,” Carrie remarked as she lit into “I Told You So,” which she described as “one of my favorites ever.”

Carrie’s final number, “Before He Cheats,” sent the crowd home on an exciting note and left many hoping the Opry will return for a third year at CRS in 2015.