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My Favorite Country Concerts of All Time – Todd’s Top Five

Luke Bryan 2013 CMA Awards
Todd Harding, TSM

I have been one of the Good Morning Guys on K99 for nearly 26 years. In that time I have attended hundreds of concerts.  My wife and I tried to count once and we lost count at around 500. So, imagine how hard it was to come up with my five favorite concerts of all time, but I did it.

5.  Vince Gill at UCCC in Greeley

Jenny & Todd backstage with Vince Gill at the UCCC in Greeley
Todd’s iPhone, TSM

You may be surprised that Vince Gill made my list, but he put on a show at the Union Colony Civic Center in Greeley that I will never forget.  It was an acoustic show that was along the lines of VH-1 Storytellers.  He would tell a story and then sing a song.  He told the story of the first time he ever saw Amy Grant in person and ended the story with, “Face of an angel; pretty eyes that shine”. Chills ran up and down my spine. I’ll never forget it.

4. Garth Brooks & Chris Ledoux at the University of Wyoming

Garth Brooks
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

I saw Garth Brooks with special guest Chris LeDoux when Garth was just starting to sell out arenas across the country.  The show was in Laramie at the University of Wyoming’s Arena Auditorium.  No one had ever seen an entertainer like Garth Brooks in country music before or since. His unbridled enthusiasm and pure love for the stage and the audience was undeniable and infectious. We were up in the nose bleeds, but Garth made us all feel like we were in the front row.

3. Reba McEntire at McNichols Arena in Denver

Jenny and Todd Harding with Reba at McNichols Arena in Denver
Todd’s camera, TSM

In her heyday nobody put on a bigger show than Reba McEntire. It was quite a spectacle with her amazing dancers and 7 or 8 or 9 costume changes.  My wife and I saw her at McNichols Sports Arena 3 different times during the 90s. The last time we saw her, Reba had a jet land on stage…A JET!!!! One of my favorites was Reba and Linda Davis flying over the audience in a hot-air balloon while they sang, “Does He Love You”.  Even Reba doesn’t do shows like that anymore.

2.  Nitty Gritty Dirt Band & Friends at Red Rocks

Will The Circle Be Unbroken - Volume Two
Todd Harding, TSM

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band brought 25 of their closest friends to Red Rocks for their “Will The Circle Be Unbroken – Volume II” tour. It was one of the classic concerts of all time.  To have the entire audience sing and sway as one to “Mr. Bojangles” was an unbelievable experience.  Hillman & McGuinn were there. Rosanne Cash was there.  Bruce Hornsby was on piano. The were so many great moments, but nothing beat John Denver singing “Rocky Mountain High” at Red Rocks with 10,000 lighters raised high in the air. It still makes me smile when I think about it.

1.  2013 CMA Awards in Nashville

Jason Aldean 2013 CMA Awards
Todd Harding, TSM

Brian and I have had the honor and privilege of attending two CMA Awards shows in the years that we won the awards. (2008 and 2013) Without a doubt, both were the best concerts I have ever seen. There is not even a close second.  Either show could be at the top of my list, but I will put this last year’s show as my top concert ever because it is freshest in my mind. Look at the lineup below and you will understand why it tops my list.

  •  Alan Jackson and George Strait, ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’
  • The Band Perry, ‘Don’t Let Me Be Lonely’
  • Blake Shelton, ‘Mine Would Be You’
  • Brad Paisley, ‘The Mona Lisa’
  • Carrie Underwood, ‘Good Girl,’ ‘Blown Away,’ ‘Two Black Cadillacs,’ ‘See You Again’
  • Eric Chruch, ‘The Outsiders’
  • Florida Georgia Line, ”Round Here’
  • Hunter Hayes (Feat. Jason Mraz), ‘Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me’
  • Jason Aldean, ‘Night Train’
  • Jennifer Nettles, Darius Rucker + More Sing a Kenny Rogers Medley
  • Kacey Musgraves, ‘Follow Your Arrow’
  • Lady Antebellum, ‘Compass’
  • Little Big Town, ‘Sober’
  • Luke Bryan, ‘Drink a Beer’
  • Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line, ‘That’s My Kind of Night’ and ‘Cruise
  • Miranda Lambert (Feat. Keith Urban), ‘We Were Us’
  • Taylor Swift (Feat. Vince GIll, Alison Kruass and more), ‘Red’
  • Tim McGraw, ‘Southern Girl’
  • Zac Brown Band (Feat. Dave Grohl), ‘Day for the Dead’

See Pictures From Brian & Todd's Trip to the CMAs

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