Bobby Karl Works ‘We’re All For The Hall’

AFTH Keith and Vince111

Vince Gill and Keith Urban perform at ‘We’re All For The Hall’

The proverbial good time was had by all.

The 13,000-strong, completely sold-out audience at Bridgestone Arena was in high spirits throughout the all-star “We’re All for the Hall” concert on Tuesday (April 16). They yelled, whooped, cheered and sang along for four hours as one celeb after another took the stage. The mood of merriment was palpable.

This was the fourth annual such fundraiser for the Country Music Hall of Fame. I’d never been to one before. Here’s how it works: Co-hosts Vince Gill and Keith Urban lead a house band that backs all the guests, who are presented, Grand Ole Opry style, via two-song sets with no breaks between.

Music Row fabulons enjoying the music and the crowd enthusiasm included Troy Tomlinson, Brian Mansfield, Gillie Crowder, Rob Simbeck, Bob Paxman, Scott Borchetta, Sherod Robertson, Ronna Rubin & Fred Pierson, Chris Horsnell, Cindy Watts, Willie Diehl, Jimmy Carter, Barry Mazur, Nicole Kidman, Jessica Nicholson and Kyle Young.

CMT producer and 2012 CMA Media Achievement Award winner Jennifer Meyer is a newly-wed of two weeks. As she introduced the jovial, good-natured Jim DeVault, she realized, “That’s the first time I’ve said, ‘my husband.’” How cute is that?

Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson

Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson

As we entered the arena, the sound system was warming up the folks buying beers and taking their seats by playing all your country favorites – Hall & Oates, Beyonce, Aerosmith and the like. The show got underway at 7:45 when Keith launched into a Ronstadt-style version of the Stones’ “Tumbling Dice.”

“Welcome to the fourth annual ‘All for the Hall,’” he shouted to the crowd. “I love doing this. I couldn’t do this without my brother, my soul brother, Mr. Vince Gill.”

Vinny turned up the heat even more with a rocking “I Ain’t Living Long Like This.” He and Keith exchanged blistering guitar solos. It was awesome. I’d put the musicianship of those two up against anybody on the planet, regardless of genre.

“Our theme tonight is ‘Outlaws and Renegades,’” said Vince. “We’ve got a helluva lineup tonight,” added Keith.

Stompin’ Montgomery Gentry (“There’s One in Every Crowd”), raspy voiced Brantley Gilbert (David Allan Coe’s “Long Haired Redneck”) and swivel hipped Trace Adkins (“Ladies Love Country Boys”) appeared in rapid succession. I have to say, the organizers kept things moving right along, all night long.

“It’s an honor to be here to support one of the greatest American institutions,” said Rosanne Cash, who sang “Long Black Veil” and “Seven Year Ache,” backed by her former band member Vince.

Billy Joe Shaver came out to the strains of “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal.” His car broke down en route to Nashville, but he made it to the show just the same.

Pictured (L-R): Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill, Jessi Colter, CM HOF Executive Director Kyle Young, Sheryl Crow.

Pictured (L-R): Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill, Jessi Colter, CM HOF Executive Director Kyle Young, Sheryl Crow.

Tim McGraw (“Real Good Man”), Eric Church (The Band’s “Ophelia”) and Jason Aldean (“My Kinda Party”) kept the party going. Kris Kristofferson, Jessi Colter and Sheryl Crow were also on the bill. Loretta Lynn was booked, but cancelled.

By 10:15 Hank Williams Jr. was wailing away on acoustic guitar, with Willie Nelson and Kid Rock still to come.

The first three “We’re All for the Hall” fiestas raised $1.5 million for the Hall of Fame. The fourth was expected to add $500,000 to that tally.

 

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