Tim and Faith Lead All-Star Nashville Rising Flood Benefit Concert; Sandra Bullock Makes Surprise Appearance
The Nashville Rising Benefit Concert for Flood Recovery rocked Music City Tuesday night at the Bridgestone Arena. After an opening montage of footage from the flood, TIM McGRAW and FAITH HILL got the night started, greeting the crowd along with Nashville Mayor KARL DEAN, Tennessee Governor PHIL BREDESEN, Titans coach JEFF FISHER and Titans player VINCE YOUNG. They gave an update on the damage from the flood, which is so far estimated to be two billion dollars in the Nashville area alone. Faith then told everyone, "We are all the same...We are just neighbors who care."
SANDRA BULLOCK made a surprise appearance towards the end of the night, introducing performances by Faith and her The Blind Side co-star Tim after a playful attempt at playing guitar herself. Faith was up first at the end of the night singing "Stronger" and a rocking take on "Piece of My Heart." Tim chose to sing "Southern Voice" and "Live Like You Were Dying" as the final numbers of the night.
CARRIE UNDERWOOD kicked the night off with her sassy single "Undo It" before going into a medley of "Jesus, Take the Wheel" and the gospel classic "How Great Thou Art." BLAKE SHELTON ran through "Some Beach" before introducing surprise guest TRACE ADKINS for "Hillbilly Bone."
TAYLOR SWIFT showed up in a very sparkly silver dress to sing "You Belong with Me" and "Love Story." She told the crowd, "It is so good to be back home in Nashville, Tennessee. I am so honored that Tim and Faith would invite me out to be a part of this night. You out there are my friends and my neighbors. This is the place that I love the most in the world."
MARTINA McBRIDE played harmonica on a medley of "Love's the Only House" and "Blessed" before launching into her inspirational hit "Anyway." MIRANDA LAMBERT filled her two-song set with a somber take on her four-week number-one hit "The House That Built Me" and "White Liar." JASON ALDEAN provided an up-tempo vibe to the night, performing "Big Green Tractor" and "She's Country," and TOBY KEITH followed suit with his rowdy hits "I Love This Bar" and "As Good as I Once Was."
LYNYRD SKYNYRD was on hand for performances of their classics "What's Your Name" and "Sweet Home Alabama," while MONTGOMERY GENTRY sang "Something to Be Proud Of" and "My Town" -- the latter of which took on new meaning given the purpose of Nashville Rising. ZZ TOP rocked the house with "Sharp Dressed Man" and a medley of "La Grange" and "Tush."
LUKE BRYAN led the crowd in a sing-a-long of "Country Man" before slowing things down with this chart-topper "Do I." LeANN RIMES flew in from Los Angeles and encouraged the audience to just enjoy themselves as she delivered "Swingin'" and "What I Cannot Change."
Nashville flood victim JULIE ROBERTS sang the inspirational song "Somebody Does," and a heavily tattooed BILLY RAY CYRUS revisited his early '90s hit "It Could've Been Me."
Nashville native REESE WITHERSPOON sent a video message from the set of her new movie, Water for Elephants, saying, "I so wish I could be there with you tonight...I am there with y'all in spirit." DOLLY PARTON also submitted a video message, saying, "Nashville Rising is just another way to say 'Love your neighbor.'" She also spoke to the amazing way Nashville has started rebuilding after the flood: "That water never did get high enough to dampen our spirits." MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY, JAMES OTTO and CRAIG FERGUSON also participated via video.
Over the course of the evening, hefty checks for flood relief were presented from the Nashville Predators Foundation, Jackson Financial, ACM Lifting Lives, Krupa-Forbes and BMI. Sharpie also pledged to donate supplies to a local Nashville school affected by the flood.