There are artists that I like (i.e. Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum) and songs I like (recently, Jason Aldean's "She's Country"), but I am not, by any means, a full-blown country music fan.
I respect the art. I mean, how can you not? Country music has just about the most widespread, eclectic and most loyal fan base in all of music.
However, I love love love concerts. Live music. Big or small venue. Rap, rock, jazz, blues, pop, inspirational...even country. I love live music. It's the best way to take it all in.
So, needless to say, it's hard to ruin a concert for me (I sat in the 100-degree weather, sweat-drenched to see Dave Matthews, remember?). I don't think that I've ever been to a bad concert. I just love live music that much.
So I say all that to say this: I think that I've said at least once in my life (and I know I've thought it about a million times), I will never ever go to a country music concert.
Friends, never say never.
Tonight, I wrote history. I went to my first country music concert, after much arm-twisting from Hollie earlier today. It was one of those spontaneous decisions. Last minute. And I wore my best hippie outfit in an effort not to "fit in". It's the rebel in me.
I don't have a history of being spontaneous. I like to know what, where and when things are going to happen. But God's been working on me a little bit in that area. Okay, a lot bit. And if it takes a country concert to test that out, I'm okay with it. And well, if nothing else, I'll get a good blog post out of it.
Tonight (Thursday night), Kenny Chesney and his Sun City Summer Tour was at probably one of my most favorite outdoor venues -- the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Oak Mountain.
Why did I go? Two words - Lady Antebellum.
They opened. I heart them. Their harmonies are like water for a thirsty soul. I can't get enough.
Miranda Lambert was there too. She was in between Lady Antebellum and Kenny (as Hollie would say. They are on a first name basis). And I was surprised at how much I liked her. I mean, I watched her on Nashville Star the first season it was on. (Yes, I watched that show. It's a talent show, isn't it? I watch all talent shows.) I rooted for her. Loved her. She's precious. And man, can she sing. I just can't listen to her talk. COUUUUUUntry. But y'all, she inspired me to the my pretty blue guitar out and actually learn how to play it.
Kenny Chesney wasn't that bad either. I can see why he has been Entertainer of the Year for however many years in a row. (But, we can't forget that Carrie Underwood broke that streak this year. And PTL! She's precious. And great. And talented. And the most successful American Idol.).
Anyway, he's a great entertainer. The guy sings effortlessly. I'm serious. No effort whatsoever. He sweats like a beast (so did Miranda but who can blame them, it was blazin' up there), but he works that stage and the crowd like a professional. And I guess that's fitting since he is, in fact, a professional. It's probably why he's loaded.
I had deja vu, though. Deja vu at a Kenny Chesney concert. It was a little disturbing.
What other things did I find disturbing/annoying about this night?
Glad you asked.
I'll list for easy reading.
1. I found myself singing along to these songs. It was a wicked serious outer-body experience. I don't listen to the country music stations in Birmingham so I'm astounded by the fact that I knew so many of the lyrics to so many of these songs. I guess I've been to one too many baseball games. Because you know we've talked about the link between baseball/softball and country music.
2. The confederate soldier (I'm sure) sitting behind us that thought it was great to "rebel yell" in our ears every 15 minutes. Yes, I timed it. He had that rebel yell down to an art. And I almost had my fist in his face down to an art too. But I refrained considering his blood alcohol level was probably higher than his I.Q.
3. The couple in front of us. Probably no older than 22. There is only one thing more gross to me that an intoxicated couple turning to each other and singing every song to each other while looking longingly into their beloved's eyes. And that one thing is when that same couple breaks into full on make-out mode. I can't handle it. I don't do PDA. It makes me uncomfortable. The couple in front of us started at the opposite end of the row. (Hollie and I were in seats 1 and 2.) The couple made their way, somehow, all the way down the row until they were in front of us towards the end, blocking our view with their, um, expression of their undying love. Good thing my leg seizures weren't acting up tonight, or one swift kick would have sent them both (considering they were attached to each other so solidly) flying down the stairs. And out of my line of sight.
4. I can tell that college definitely culturized me. And according to Bethany, my new superhero name should be "Super Nose". I can smell Malibu Rum from a mile away and can pick out the stench of marijuana from anything. (This comes from high school. They didn't bring the "dogs" to our school once a month for nothing.)
5. I almost killed a cowboy on the way out. Hollie and I were in the car and I'm trying to get in line to get out of the parking lot. (By the way, I am the master of finding good parking spaces. I sweet-talked the parking attendant to let us in a full lot because we "swore we saw at least three parking spaces open" in that lot. Needless to say, I found a really close, and legal, spot and I have officially surpassed the legal limit on parentheses.) We were rockin' out to the iPod, I'm sure to T-Pain or Pit Bull, when all of a sudden there is a cowboy humping my car. Yes, folks, pelvic thrusts on the car. Poor Sally. She's still scarred. However, I gave Mr. Cowboy the death stare from hell and he backed away slowly, with fear and trembling.
However, all in all, I'd say it was good night. I will never say never again but I can without a doubt say that I am not a whole-hearted country fan either.
I just can't embrace the redneck inside of me yet.
I don't know if I want to.
(Pics to come. Hollie has them on her camera. So yes, this night was documented.)