If you'd like to watch the whole show, here's the video, for individual performances and critiques, see further down.
Gavin DeGraw does Kenny Chesney's "Somewhere With You"
Gavin DeGraw is a very talented artist. His performance of Kenny Chesney's "Somewhere with You," however, leaves much to be desired. He seemed to be trying to make the song his own, but for anybody who already knows the song, it sounds all wrong. He adds in some stuff at the end to pop it up, and he has no gutteral grunts whatsoever. He's got a very 98 degrees sound to him. No question, though, Kenny's version is better.
Lady Antebellum - Dancin' Away With My Heart
Thank goodness Lady A didn't have anyone else performing their stuff. But really, who could?
They did this song acoustically, which is even better than the relatively quiet version on the radio. What a perfect blending of voices.
Jason Aldean - Tattoos on this Town
Jason decided to do his own this year, as well. Perhaps he wasn't contented with Darius' version of "Don't You Wanna Stay" from last year. Perhaps he loves what he does and doesn't need a night off to celebrate and watch other people try to sing his stuff. The only problem with this particular version was the lighting. Awful. Painful.
The Avett Brothers - Laundry Room
This is very interesting.
All American Rejects do Taylor Swift's "Mean/Gives You Hell"
I guess it just proves how close to rock and roll Taylor is when a rock band can so thoroughly outdo her on her own song. Wow. What a perfect cover, with a heavenly little piece of "Gives You Hell" at the end. Absolutely fabulous. And, like last year when we got to watch Maroon Five do Taylor's "Mine," (which was also fantastic) we get to watch Taylor singing and dancing to her own songs, having a blast with her band.
Brad Paisley, Joe Walsh, and William Shatner - Live's Been Good / Camouflage
Walsh rocks this song. I didn't like it until today. At one point, the camera shows Lady A enjoying the song, laughing as if it's the first time they've heard it. What are these artists doing if not listening to each other? Come on, y'all. Brad Paisley. I love how this song gets back to Part II stylistics. The cameo from William Shatner leaves me speechless.