Saving Country Music Official 2015 ACM Awards LIVE Blog

acm-awards-50thWelcome ladies and gentlemen to Saving Country Music’s LIVE blog of the 50th Annual ACM Awards being held at Cowboys (AT&T) Stadium in Arlington, TX. To celebrate its 50th year in business, the ACM Awards are going all out and offering an extended telecast, and Saving Country Music will there to offer blow by blow commentary on the night’s festivities for the sane minded and true country listener. Check your high-mindedness at the door because this is the opportunity to get small, let the snark fly, but also be willing to acknowledge the positives, if in fact there are any.

If you want to know what to expect tonight, here’s a complete preview, as well as Saving Country Music’s predictions and prognostications.

All times will be Central time. Please feel free to pipe up in the comment section below, and get them refresh fingers ready.

Pot right? Let’s wheel ’em around!

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  • Entertainer of the Year: Luke Bryan
  • Single of the Year: Lee Brice, “I Don’t Dance”
  • Male Vocalist of the Year: Jason Aldean
  • Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
  • Album of the Year: Miranda Lambert, “Platinum”
  • Vocal Group of the Year: Little Big Town
  • Vocal Duo of the Year: Florida Georgia Line
  • Song of the Year: Miranda Lambert, “Automatic”
  • Video of the Year: Dierks Bentley, “Drunk on a Plane”
  • New Artist of the Year: Cole Swindell
  • Vocal Event of the Year: Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan, “This is How We Roll”
  • Milestone Awards: George Strait, Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn and Kenny Chesney

SAVING COUNTRY MUSIC’S PREDCTIONS?  6 for 8. Hit on all the major awards. Completely fanned on Song of the Year and Single of the Year.

11:05 – Some swearing Garth was lip syncing. We’ll have to review the video evidence, see what the big man says, and re-assess.

10:46 Seriously, I think this was the worst ACM Awards ever. The venue was WAY too boomy, making for bad sound, the entertainers couldn’t compose themselves with the allure of the stadium crowd and it was just a bunch of shouting and grandstanding. The production was TERRIBLE. Despite spending a bunch of money on technological doo dads, it didn’t really make any difference. It all got gobbled up in the enormity of the building. The crowd was talking over everything. The camera cues were a complete mess. Nobody knew where they were supposed to be looking. The camera producer/director should be fired. Most of the performances were daisy-chained medleys with just one chorus and then on to the next hit. There was never a moment for a soaring performances. There was a lot of off-key stuff, but I don’t know if I should blame the performers seeing that the sound was terrible. There were a few decent performances but overall it was just a muddy mess.

All of the winners were excruciatingly predictable except for the song awards, and those seemed to be dictated by label politics and backroom payoffs.

But what sucks the most is the ACM’s could have made this an history event to celebrate their 50th, and instead just made it a jarring, busy, and forgettable night. There were no real cool collaborations. Taylor Swift of all people had one of the few classy moments, George Strait and Alan Jackson were good, but the crowd was talking over them, the Merle Haggard “tribute” was a joke. Garth was decent.

Yeah, pretty terrible.

10:35 – Alright folks, I’m going to compose some final thoughts, recap the winners and the results of my predictions, and then I’ll be out of here. THANK YOU for following along, commenting, tweeting, sharing, liking, etc. etc. I really appreciate it!

10:32 – And why is Darius Rucker singing “Let The Good Times Roll”? The tie in is WHAT?

10:30 – Oh my gosh, what just happened? I was traumatized by a big eyeball on Steven Tyler’s super-tight glued-on pants clinging to his 67-year-old legs, and then Luke Bryan won the biggest award of the night. I want to fall into a fetal position and suck my thumb. WORST ACM AWARDS EVER!!!

10:29 – Steven Tyler’s pants. What the fuck?

10:28 – Boooooooooo!!!!!! Luke Bryan wins the ACM Entertainer of the Year.

10:26 – Oh Gosh, all of a sudden Steven Tyler is on my TV screen.

10:23– Shout out to everyone commenting below! If I had my way, I’d give you all ACM Milestone awards, and there’s probably enough to go around!

10:20 – A Kacey Musgraves sighting! Get that girl up on stage and bump Pitbull or whatever hell on earth they have coming up next.

10:18 – Ronnie Dunn looks like your divorced singles club uncle that perpetually smells like Pall Malls, but I have to say, after the other madness tonight, a simple Brooks & Dunn classic is incredibly refreshing.

10:16 – Dan + Shay told Dr. Phil McGraw backstage that he was one of their greatest influences & they grew up on “Indian Outlaw” and “Don’t Take The Girl.”

10:15 – Thank goodness Dr. Phil is here because I need a shrink about now. This presentation has traumatized me more than Saddam Hussein when his uncle touched his butt hole.

10:12 – Gee, I don’t recognize Brad Paisley without camouflage or him complaining how “Accidental Racist” ruined his career because we’re all morons and didn’t understand the song.

10:10 – And to think, we’ve come all this way just to eventually witness Luke Bryan win Entertainer of the Year, and really have our noses shoved into our own feces.

10:04 – Great performance by Alan Jackson. I understand the detractors of this song who say it’s opportunist, but it’s hard to not feel that it comes straight from Alan Jackson’s heart. THIS is what I’m talking about when I say a “moment.”

10:01 – Alan Jackson comes out to sing “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning.”

10:00 – Ah! Troy Aikman announces the date of the Oklahoma City bombing, and everyone lets out a long applause. THEN Troy Aikmen says what the date is for. So awkward.

9:58 – The ACM Male Vocalist of the Year goes to Jason Aldean.

9:57 – If you missed it, during the commercial break, the ACM’s gave out seven more Milestone Awards.

9:55 – They got 30 more minutes of the madness since it’s the 50th, but I’m starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

9:52 -And speaking of forced stardom, is there any other act that they’ve tried to get to stick harder and failed at than Dan + Shay? Only Joey + Rory are Saving Country Music approved to use mathematical signs in their name.

9:50 – Oh my God that Dan + Shay guy (don’t know which one) looks like he should sitting on the shoulder of an Arabian Knight and wearing a fez. Never wear white pants unless your fiance is making you take engagement photos.

9:49 – Doesn’t Nick Jonas have a Nickelodeon special to star in right now? Oh, he’s Disney? Well screw it, he doesn’t belong on this stage either way.

9:46 – This is the deal with Lee Brice folks. Curb Records still has enough political power to be guaranteed at least one win per awards show, and Lee Brice is the label’s last cash cow. That’s all that award is. No disrespect to Lee, but that’s the reality.

9:46 – Lee Brice wins the ACM for “Single of the Year” for “I Don’t Dance.

9:45 – Wait huh? I thought we were getting a tribute to an old great?

9:44 – Oh great, the “Two Broke Girls” chick is singing. She’ll be signed to Big Machine before she leaves tonight.

9:43 – All of these performances have so much nothing. Just noise and flashing lights.

9:42 – That’s a mandolin. Play it like one, or get off the stage.

9:41 – Ugh. Lady Antebellum.

9:34 – Hunter Hayes talking about battling child hunger. Something he knows about since he’s still a child. Then Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten swallows Hunter in one gulp on stage.

But seriously, give to charity or something. Though I’m not sure I can support anything ConAgra is part of.

9:30 This is supposed to be Chesney’s “female empowering” song. Still don’t hear it.

9:28 – Yawn, Kenny.

9:25 – There’s worse country performers that could be winning all the awards than Miranda Lambert. But Miranda winning everything is worse for country music than Jimmie Johnson winning every NASCAR season.

9:24 – The ACM Female Vocalist of the Year is Miranda Lambert.

9:21 – And what was Cole Swindell wearing? A faux leather PVC grey searsucker? Screw this show.

9:19 – At least it wasn’t Sam Hunt, I guess. And not to belittle merch people out there slagging it out on the road. Some of those dudes and gals are the reason some of your favorite artists can make a living playing music and are a really important part of the system. But that’s where Cole belongs, not holding ACM Awards up over his head in victory. Worst nominees I’ve ever seen in an awards category.

9:17 – Merch boy Cole Swindell wins the ACM for New Artist of the Year.

9:16 – Dwight Yoakam comes out with a roll of duct tape and a fake Outlaw Justin Moore. Apparently Justin Moore ripped his bloomers. Let your imagination wonder how.

9:14 – The performance looked live to me, and frankly showed flashes of vintage, and good Garth. As easy as he is to hate, it is hard to hate that performance and presentation.

9:13 – Various service members come to the front of the stage to be serenaded by Garth and saluted by the crowd.

9:12 – The Telecaster Garth is playing was given to him by Buck at the Crystal Palace in Bakersfield on the day he proposed to Trisha Yearwood in 2005.

9:11 – Garth Brooks comes out singing “All-American Kid” after Tayla Kyle’s introduction.

9:10 – Taya Kyle has bigger balls than the scrunched & sweaty acorns growing yeast infections in the skinny jeans of all the bros combined.

9:08 – Not that there couldn’t have been worse winners, but Miranda Lambert winning Album of the Year is so achingly predictable and boring.

9:07 – Miranda Lambert’s “Platinum” wins the ACM for Album of the Year.

9:06 – Wait, an award? I totally forgot this was an award show. And I thought Clint Black was dead.

9:06 – Oh my God I want to projectile vomit on that dude from Rascal Flatts and his little gesticulations.

9:03 – Christina Aguilera backstage: “So I’ll wear this little denim coat. That’s country, right? Denim?”

9:01 – No! Not the Imagine Dragons drummers!

8:59 – Christina Aguliera? Still more country than Sam Hunt.

8:54 – Wouldn’t it be awesomely terrible if Garth Brooks re-enacted his moment from 1993 at the old Cowboys Stadium and flew over the crowd suspended on wires like Sandy Duncan?

8:53 –  I need to chug an entire box of Franzia to make it through this Blake Shelton performance of “Sangria.”

8:52 – All the bros want to be Mr. Sexy now. So creepy, calculated, and transparent.

8:51 – And nothing drains my life force more than the untied bowtie.

8:50 – A 3-year study commissioned by Cornell University in Ithica, New York determined conclusively that Thomas Rhett is the whitest dancer in the world.

8:47 – I love how 2nd-tier’s star’s ACM “exposure” is to stand beside a brand new truck an talk for 7 1/2 seconds. This presentation is the antithesis of taking time in life to smell the roses.

8:46 – Say what you want about Taylor Swift, to thank country music, and to do what Sam Hunt and SO many other country music performers SHOULD do and call a spade a spade and say they’re pop instead of country, she took a difficult and awkward situation and made me not hate her.

8:42 – This was the classy way for Taylor Swift to accept the award. She still needs to eat a cheeseburger, right Unknown Hinson?

8:39 – Taylor Swift’s mother Andrea comes out to accept Taylor Swift’s Milestone award. It was just announced she has been diagnosed with Cancer. Very classy move by Taylor and The ACM’s.

8:38 – Of course, Taylor Swift gets a full video montage for her “Milestone” award when everyone else got shoved an award when they were still out of breath after a performance.

8:36 – Basically Cole Swindell’s performance was two choruses, and the out. No wonder people don’t pay attention to lyrics anymore.

8:35 – Security! There’s a merch boy loose on the stage! #coleswindell

8:34 – Cowboys Stadium is filled with every single one of the assholes who spend $20 on concert tickets and then talk over the music the whole damn time.

8:32 – Huh. For some reason I always envisioned a performance of “Girl Crush” involving a bunch of lesbians making out. Oh well.

8:29 – A mole on the ass of Skrillex injected with Molly and twirling glo-sticks in a club on New York’s upper east side is still more country than Sam Hunt.

8:27 – Plus, Kelly Clarkson is still more country than Sam Hunt.

8:26 – No jokes about Kelly Clarkson’s weight. Girl can sing unlike most of the country talent being showcased tonight.

8:24 – One of the things about these television shows is if it’s done right, you can really have a serious “moment.” But it will never happen when you never give songs more than 45 seconds to develop. This is just basically audio and video stimulation for the iPhone generation. What a waste.

8:23 – Hell is country music artists singing 10 second snippets of their songs in montage form for eternity.

8:21 – Gee, Reba doesn’t look like she’s aged a bit ……..

8:20 – Totally awesome story Kelly! 🙁

8:19 – This Jason Aldean performance is so busy and misguided, it’s like 15 seconds per shitty song. It’s not just bad, I feel like I’m getting punched in the face.

8:16 – All the cues with camera angles and such are so screwy with this presentation. What’s the point of spending so much on the presentation if you can’t get the little things right?

8:15 – Well, if Jason Aldean is on the stage, at least we know he’s not cheating on his wife at the moment.

8:09 – Little Big Town continues their roll of being gerrymandered back to relevancy by label politics.

8:08 – The ACM for Vocal Group of the Year goes to Little Big Town.

8:05 – Just like Florida Georgia Line, Alabama can’t find where they’re supposed to look. Maybe there’s something to them being the Godfathers of Bro-Country.

8:04 – Okay. Miranda was hot, but that song is an ass whip. Oh and here come the alligator tears.

8:03 – Told you Taylor Swift would get an inordinate amount of face time. She’s still more country than Sam Hunt.

8:02 – “Tony LAMA” not “LamaS.” Oh, nevermind.

8:01 – Hey that steel guitar player for Miranda Lambert is Spencer Cullum Jr.  of Steelism, who used to play with Caitlin Rose and Jonny Fritz.

8:00 – This Amazon presenter chick has no idea what a country music is.

7:58 – Welp, that sucked.

7:58 – Have no idea what that spinning laser of death is supposed to do, but it just gave the 8-year-old Asian Pokemon fanboy inside of me a seizure.

7:56 – Goodness, I haven’t seen this type of horror at the Dallas Cowboys’ 50-yard line since Dave Campo was their coach.

7:53 – And yes, the Florida Georgia Line win means I don’t have to wear a Florida Georgia Line t-shirt to Willie Nelson’s 4th of July picnic. Though I may bring one with me and burn it in effigy.

7:50 – I know Martina McBride is a good singer. The sound must be tough up there.

7:48 – Yep, Martina McBride, is um, not lip syncing either.

7:46 – Wow, that’s more than I’ve heard from Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley in two full length albums. Morons didn’t even know where to point their noses. Like Spinal Tap getting lost backstage.

7:45 The ACM for Vocal Duo of the Year goes to Florida Georgia Line. And water is wet.

7:43 – Dierks Bentley once again proves why he’s one of the few relevant mainstream country males you can get behind. Nothing special, but an intimate performance that does need fire, explosions, or lasers.

7:41 – Tony Romo is my MVP of the 50th annual ACM Awards so far!

7:40 – Tony Romo to Blake Shelton: “Blake, we’re The Dallas Cowboys, we have real balls.”

7:37 – Tony Romo comes out to present an award and throws two interceptions, and has a forced fumble.

7:35 – BTW, shame Miranda Lambert’s “Roots & Wings” had to be played on a commercial instead of on the broadcast.

7:32 – Sorry folks, technical difficulties. Basically the Randy Travis appearance nearly crashed the SCM server, but we’re back up and running now!

7:27 – Miranda Lambert wins Song of the Year for “Automatic”

7:25 – Really cool moment as Lee Brice introduces Randy Travis. This is the first official appearance by Randy Travis since his stroke.

7:23– Florida Georgia Line’s instrument track is totally pre-recorded.

7:22 – Crowd noise and boomy-nees of the venue is pretty obvious in the audio mix.

7:20 Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton doing “We’re not worthy” bows in front of George Strait. Let’s just be happy they weren’t given time for a proper monologue.

7:16 Love how Big & Rich have to tell us who they are. Classin’ up the joint fellas!

7:14 – King George don’t need no flash, just heartfelt songs. Let’s nott Auto-tune the encore broadcast like they did with his final show at this very stadium.

7:12 That said, can’t complain listening to The King George Strait singing “All My Ex’s Live In Texas.” Hey, there even giving him a second song. ACM’s taking a big risk losing their young demo. Usually they start off with the most non country performance first.

7:10 Oh I see, rope a dope folks into thinking this is going to actually be about country music by getting it all out of the way at the beginning.

7:09 So seriously, when to we start the anorexia watch on Taylor Swift?

7:08 Any cool points to Keith Urban for wearing a Don Williams T-shirt are subtracted for the Gentle Giant’s visage being rendered in shimmer paint.

7:06 So apparently the “Merle Haggard Tribute” was name dropping him in their crap rock songs while his image is imposed on the stage background for 11 seconds.

7:05 Sorry. LIVE blog rules state I have to make fun of someone’s hair at least once. Best to get it out of the way early.

7:04 Most performers have hairstylists. Keith Urban hires Jack Hanna to train an Australian rabidback to perch on the top of his head.

7:02 More like a Def Leppard tribute.

7:01 When they said Merle Haggard tribute, I was hoping they’d do it with Haggard songs instead of tricked up rock tributes.

7:00 Here we go!

6:58 Saving Country Music has recently been optimized for mobile/tablets for those who want to follow along tonight on their phones!

6:56 Self-imposed prediction/bet: If Florida Georgia Line doesn’t win Duo of the Year, I’ll wear a Florida Georgia Line T-shirt to Willie Nelson’s 4th of July picnic this year.

6:54 Ha! Farce The Music doing their photoshop magic, introducing Scott Borchetta on the ACM red carpet.


6:52 Some red carpet stuff: The Band Perry proving undoubtedly that country music has entered its hair metal phase.