Country Showcase 2018, held in the Curb Event Center on Saturday night, kicked off the spring semester and offered prospective families visiting for Preview Day the greatest reminder that Belmont resides in the country music capital of the world.
Saturday’s performances — in true Nashville fashion — were all about storytelling. The four featured artists offered something for everyone, covering both modern and classic country music and exemplifying Music City’s strong songwriting traditions.
Grace Gonzalez opened the show with nerves clearly present, but quickly pushed through and embodied her subdued stage presence to further express her powerful songwriting abilities. Accompanied by what appeared to be the only technical glitch of the night, Gonzalez opened Country Showcase 2018 with a moving and intimate performance. She showed a flair for Americana music as well with her song about bringing love back to the United States, which closed out her opening set on a poignant and fitting note.
Anna Vaus took to the stage after Gonzalez, and showed the Curb Event Center the songwriting talents that helped land her a publishing deal with Black River Entertainment in the summer of 2017. Her band dressed as if they were performing at the Grand Ole Opry — cactus embellishments and all — and helped her emit even more of a traditional country stage presence. If Vaus proved anything from her performance Saturday night, it’s to keep your eyes on this Belmont senior after she graduates in the spring.
Nick Boyd walked away with the win Saturday night after leaving the Curb audience with a fresh, urban-pop brand of country music. With a sound similar to Sam Hunt mixed with a little Bruno Mars, Boyd performed an incredible rendition of Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” that had the whole arena singing along. Make sure to catch Boyd again in the Commercial Music Showcase on Monday — he isn’t an artist you want to miss.
Madeline Enna: remember her name. With her large entourage of backing musicians, Enna took over the Curb Event Center with a smooth tone that embodied the traditional country music sound — complete with steel guitar. It’s a style very few female country artists are currently pursuing, which made Enna’s performance all the more memorable and unique. Her audience, decked out in Madeline Enna T-shirts, clearly loved it as they rushed to the stage and sang along to every word of the set.
Written by Carina Eudy. Photos by Carina Eudy and Shelby Thacker.