Country music artists sell out Lexington Opera House in charity concert

By Cheyenne Abrams

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Twelve country music artists sold out The Lexington Opera House at Acoustic Jam on Tuesday to raise money for Kentucky Children’s Hospital.

Craig Campbell opened up the night by thanking 98.1 The Bull for “throwing us all a party,” followed by one of his hit songs “Keep Them Kisses Comin,’” and telling the crowd a story about his hometown that he described as having “one dollar general and a Mexican restaurant.”

“If you look up country music in a dictionary, his face is right there,” said Chase Bryant, who also performed.

Bryant sang a few love songs during his act after telling stories about how he is single and looking. Bryant closed his night with a song he claimed to have written in five seconds, “Take it on Back.”

The stage was set with four artists to a stage at one time, performing one song at a time with their back up musicians sitting catty-corner to them. Each “act” had a break in between, where artists would come to the stage to visit with spectators as the next set of artists began to take the stage.

“It was amazing,” said Kelsey Mullins, a spectator of the show. “I love seeing John Michael Montgomery, it’s always a pleasure seeing someone from our home state.”

Recently engaged RaeLynn made comments about her new fiancé in the song, “For a Boy”, then closed her show off with, “God Made Girls,” while giving a special shout out to all of the Kentucky girls in the crowd.

The second act opened with Diane Stevens, who hosted the event. Stevens gave some history of each artist and let the crowd know that this would be Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina’s first performance together since their 2011 Idol tour. Stevens said McCreery came into the building wearing a North Carolina State sweatshirt. McCreery grabbed the audience’s attention after taking the microphone and saying, “Hey, it’s better than Duke or Carolina for sure!”

John Michael Montgomery began the second act with one of his numerous hit songs, “Life’s a Dance,” when he surprised the audience with his son Walker, who finished off the song for him. Montgomery ended his performance with a dedication to the U.S Military with the song, “Letters from Home.”

Scotty McCreery took center stage afterward with his 2013 single, “See You Tonight,” followed by his new single “Southern Belle.”

Keifer Thompson of Thompson Square was the comedian of the show as joked about his wife Shawna being out for her “case of pregnancy” and how he was “drinking for three.” Thompson then continued to sing his wife’s parts during his performance of “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?”

Lauren Alaina stole the show when bringing up Hunter, a young boy, to the stage, to dance alongside her as she performed “Next Boyfriend,” leaving Hunter’s mom in tears, and Alaina with a kiss on the cheek and a standing ovation.

Between acts two and three, Stevens entered the stage again with previous children’s patient Savannah, and KY Children’s Hospital Physician in Chief, Dr. Wallace, to present them with a $100,000 check to showcase the amount of money raised at the event.

The final act included Charles Kelley, Easton Corbin, Jerrod Niemann and Brandy Clark.

All 12 artists thanked the audience numerous times for coming to the event to support the hospital.