When the heavy gold curtains raised on Little Big Town’s Friday night performance at Ryman Auditorium, history was made at the historic venue, which is marking its 125th anniversary in 2017.

The harmony-rich quartet’s Friday night show was the first in its nine-concert, yearlong residency at Ryman Auditorium — it was also a first for the venue. Dubbed Little Big Town at the Mother Church, the residency is the only time an artist has headlined as many shows at Ryman Auditorium over the course of the year. More shows will be added.

Little Big Town launched the show the same way the group launched its new album, "The Breaker," with the Lori McKenna and Hailey Whitters penned "Happy People." Even though the album was just released Friday, fans were singing along loud enough to be heard over the group.

"We are so excited about this night, y'all," Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman told fans. "We have worked on it for over a year. We're going to play this record once tonight and once tomorrow night and that will be it."

Brent Cobb opened Friday night’s show for Little Big Town, and Ashley Monroe is set to open Saturday’s concert. The set list for both nights is the same — the group plans to perform "The Breaker" top to bottom both nights.

After singing "Drivin' Around," singer Karen Fairchild told the Ryman audience that Nashville has "the best songwriters in the world" and invited one of the song's writers, Audra Mae, to perform with Little Big Town on Saturday night. Friday night was not without special guests — the group brought out label mate Sam Hunt to sing his new hit "Body Like a Back Road" and later welcomed Chris Stapleton to the stage.

After this week’s Little Big Town shows, the concerts will each be unique, with different openers, possible themes and a range of special guests.

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