Iconic singer and songwriter Michael W. Smith brought the Nashville area its first major public drive-in concert at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center on Saturday night. Reunited with his full band for the first time since mid-March, Smith was ready to provide live music in person for the crowd of thousands, who were just as eager to listen, with some arriving hours before the gates opened.
As fans honked after each song, Smith laughed saying “This is a first,” later remarking “how spectacular it was to see everyone and be performing for them again.” The night was filled with worship, with Smith taking some somber moments to lead prayer for the country.
Highlights from the evening included the performance of Smith’s current #1 single “Waymaker” with his longtime backup vocalist Vanessa Campagna. The song, which is #1 on Billboard’s Christian Airplay chart for the third week in a row, brought a wave of emotion over the audience. Another standout moment occurred when Smith delivered his iconic hit “Friends” to close-out the night, and the crowd illuminated the sky with their phones while singing every word in unison.
An estimated 4,000 – 5,000 people came prepared for a night of socially distanced entertainment; some brought dinner and set up tables in front of their cars – some sat on top of their SUVs and others stayed in their cars for the duration. They all enjoyed this momentous night in their own ways, watching the performance safely and comfortably, listening to the concert audio on the designated FM radio channel. Large LED screens were mounted across the parking lots as well, to ensure optimal viewing of the show from the stage.
Smith’s full setlist from the night included:
“Open the Eyes of My Heart”
“Sky Spills Over”
“Place In This World”
“CYW Medley (Love One, Picture, Cross)”
“A Million Lights”
“I’m Waiting For You”
“Do It Again”
“Great Are You Lord”
[Photography by Kris Rae Orlowski/MWS Group]