My weekend started off with an extra 4 year old on Friday. Brennen’s friend that he has known since he was 6 months old was at our place for a sleepover!!! We went to the splash pad, ate some goodies and watched a few kiddie shows on TV. I am not sure who had more fun, me or them!
One might think that it would be more difficult having an extra kid in tow but it was actually really great because it gave Brennen someone to play with so he didn’t need me to be his constant playmate. On the downside bedtime was doubly difficult though!
On Saturday I went to the Brad Paisley concert with a friend that I went to high school with.
I wore this super cute but way too short dress.
Cowboy boots would have been a perfect way to complete the look. (Note to self: Get a pair of cowboy boots before my next country concert.)
The weather was perfect for an outdoor concert in the D. And if you don’t think that there is a HUGE country music fan base in Detroit….think again.
The first opener was Scotty McCreery. Not one of my favorites but he has a nice voice nonetheless. This was the only song that I knew other than an old Travis Tritt song that he played.
Next up was one of my favorite country bands, The Band Perry! LOVE them! I knew most of their songs and happily danced and sang along with them.
This is probably my favorite song by them right now.
Next up was the headliner himself ……Brad Paisley! Right from the start there was no question as to why his tours are so popular and why he wins so many CMA awards. He is a great entertainer! Full of energy, showmanship and a great voice to boot! Some highlights of his portion of the concert were him autographing one of his guitars and GIVING it to a little girl in the crowd. (I SO wish I was her!) He went up the aisles into the crowd COUNTLESS times and he even performed a few songs on a small stage near the lawn seats since he said those were the seats he could afford when he was growing up. He also explained why he named his tour the Virtual Reality Tour. (Keep in mind I am severely paraphrasing.) He said that country music is about reality. And at the same time it can provide you an escape from your current reality if need be. Especially when you add country music with beer.
Here’s one of my favorite Brad Paisley songs.
My only complaints about the concert were primarily venue related. (Except for the cheesy duet Brad did with a digital image of Carrie Underwood.) The frozen drinks were not frozen and the mixed drinks looked and tasted different despite ordering the exact same kind both times. I also had no cell phone reception. I couldn’t communicate with the outside world! lol I couldn’t check in on FourSquare or post pics to Twitter or Facebook. Woe is me! lol Ironically my cell phone provider had a booth at the concert selling their phones. It also took us an hour and a half to get out of the parking lot and to the expressway. I know that leaving a concert is always difficult but that was a bit excessive. On the plus side the women’s bathroom line moved VERY quickly. That was a nice surprise!
All in all it was a great night and I would never let a few negatives impact a whole night of positives! If you ever get a chance to go to a Brad Paisley concert, I highly recommend it. You will not be disappointed!
Turns out I have friends in low places AND high places! But before I can tell you why, you need to read my previous blog post called ‘My Plea to Garth Brooks’ by clicking here. Go ahead, I will wait for you to come back. No really, read it now!
Okay, now that you have read that post, I should tell you that I tweeted that post to the Wynn (the resort in Vegas that is home to Garth’s show), 99.5 WYCD (my local country radio station) and to Trisha Yearwood (Garth’s wife). I also printed a copy of my post and mailed it to Garth’s fan mail address. That wasn’t over doing it was it? Nah, I didn’t think so either! Obviously, I have no way of knowing if Garth or anyone close to Garth actually read my post, but I can tell you this, somehow, someway, the universe worked its magic for me.
On Tuesday night, I got THE email I had been waiting for. It was an email from the Wynn with the subject line of ‘Purchase your tickets first – Garth Brooks pre-sale starts tomorrow.’ When I saw that on my phone, I knew opening it would either result in utter disappointment or sheer excitement. Oddly enough, I couldn’t bring myself to open the email. Instead, I was jumping up and down in my kitchen yelling, “I got the email, I got the email, I got the email!!!” The hubby came running over and snatched my phone from me while saying, “The Tough Mudder emailed you back?” (That is another email I am waiting for, but it is completely unrelated to this post.) “It’s Garth, It’s Garth!!!” I exclaimed still jumping up and down. Then just like in the movies, the scene played out in slow motion as the hubby placed his finger on the screen of my phone to open the email and a wide grin spread across his face. And in that instant, I KNEW! I knew Garth was having a concert on December 3rd. I grabbed my phone back from the hubby just to see it for myself and sure enough, it stated that Garth’s ONLY concert dates in December were the 2nd & 3rd at 7:30pm and 10:30 pm each day. I screamed. Again. I am certain that my scream was heard around the world (yep, that was me) and I jumped up and down. Again. And finally my eyes welled up with tears. My dream was coming true!
On Wednesday I ended up getting two tickets to see Garth on December 3rd for the 7:30pm show. Second row center, by the way! (Thankfully I had double checked the ticketmaster website and the pre-sale was listed as starting at 9am pst, not 10am pst as the email had stated. But I am not going to dwell on that.) As you can imagine, I am super excited about the great tickets I got and even more excited that I am getting to see Garth in Vegas. I have already started counting down the days. (58 in case you were wondering.) Now I just have to figure out what I am going to wear. . .
What concert would you love to go see and why?
My dad was probably the biggest country music fan I have ever met. And an even bigger Garth Brooks fan. He had every Garth Brooks tape that was ever released (yes, it was tapes back then, not CD’s). Because of him I know the words to every single Garth Brooks song! Unfortunately, my dad passed away when I was 13 years old, he was 32 and died unexpectedly of a heart attack. As the years went by after my dad’s passing, I drifted away from country music and instead favored pop music from groups like New Kids on the Block, just like my friend’s did. But I never drifted away from Garth Brooks. I am a true believer in the power of music, a specific song or artist can take you back to a special time in your life. At any point, I could pop in a Garth Brooks tape and instantly my dad was with me again. Even 19 years later, Garth can still take me back to a simpler and more carefree time in my life.
Unfortunately, my dad never had the opportunity to see Garth in concert. If he did, I know that he would have been beside himself with excitement as just watching videos of Garth performing live got him fired up. Once Garth retired from touring, I thought that I would never get to see him perform live either. However, I had my first opportunity to see Garth in 2007 when he was performing a week-long series of concerts. Despite the intense urge I had to see Garth in concert, I was very pregnant with Brennen at the time and I had endured a pregnancy full of complications. Traveling to the concert was out of the question for me and I was truly bummed. I figured I would probably never get the chance to see Garth again. However, in December of 2010, I finally got to see Garth live. He was in Nashville playing a series of concerts to benefit the flood victims. It was a dream come true for me. And as corny as it sounds, it was everything I had imagined and more. I cried many times that night. Some tears were out of joy and some were out of sadness for my dad. My tears were especially heavy when Garth played, ‘The Dance,’ the song that without hesitation brings my relationship with my dad to life. At the end of the concert, I did not want to leave. For those few hours I became a little girl listening to Garth Brooks with my dad and all was right with the world. It was a magical experience that I will never forget.
If you are a Garth Brooks fan you know that he has a one man show in Vegas at the Wynn. If you follow my blog, you know that I will be in Vegas in December to run my first half marathon in the Rock ‘n Roll series of races. I have been anxiously waiting for Garth to announce his concert dates for December. Currently they have only been announced through November. To say that I would like to see him again is an understatement. I am hoping that the universe will align for me and Garth will announce a concert for 12/3/11. It’s not like I can just go to Vegas on a separate occasion to see him. Between making arrangements for someone to watch Brennen, securing the time off of work and allotting money for all the expenses - one trip is all we can manage. However, I can guarantee that if my dad has any pull, he will see to it that I see Garth in Vegas.
On the off-chance that Garth is reading this, or someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows Garth is reading this . . .Please, please, please have a concert on December 3rd. It would truly mean the world to me!
If you read my post about going to the Selfridge Air Show, you may be wondering what other activities we had planned that caused us to leave the air show so early. Brennen had a friend’s birthday party to attend and a sleepover at another friend’s house. The hubby and I had tickets to the Goin’ Coastal concert featuring Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band, Billy Currington & Uncle Kracker at Ford Field in Detroit. We are huge country music fans!
Thanks to a friend who took Brennen to the birthday party and then later dropped him off for the sleepover, the hubby and I were able to go 99.5 WYCD’s Beach Bash just outside of Ford Field. Here is what it looked like when we got downtown.
You better believe that there are TONS of country music fans in Detroit! The hubby even decided that he wanted to look the part and bought his first cowboy hat!
We also checked out an up and coming country band from Detroit (Yep, I said Detroit!) called AnnaBelle Road, who was playing on the 99.5 WYCD Beach Bash stage. The hubby and I both LOVED them. The band had great stage presence and chemistry. The lead singer had an amazing voice and the fiddler player was unbelievable. Annabelle Road sang a few of their own songs, like ‘What Goodbye Looks Like’ and popular songs by other artists, like ‘Sweet Home Alabama’. The band also led a giant line dance to prove to the world that Detroit loves country music just as much as any other place. The hubby and I were happy participants. We have yet to see the video on You Tube so, I don’t think we are going to be stars anytime soon. Bummer! The hubby and I are hooked on Annabelle Road and plan on following them as they grow (we are hoping to catch them at Arts, Beats & Eats) and I guarantee they will be well-known in country music land in no time!
Once we entered Ford Field for the concert I was taken aback by how beautiful the stadium was. I was almost ashamed to call myself a Detroiter since I had not stepped foot into Ford Field till this past weekend. It was very modern and clean. Even more shocking was the high level of service that we received from every employee that we encountered. They were all very friendly, polite and helpful. The beer vendor in our section was especially memorable! He was dancing and singing along with the crowd. You could tell that he loved his job! Kudos to the entire Ford Field staff and especially to those responsible for the training of the employees! Job well done!
As far as the concert goes, I really could go on and on about how fabulous it was. Afterall, I have rated it the 2nd best concert I have ever been too (Sorry, Kenny, nobody will ever top Garth Brooks) and at 6 hours long it was the longest concert I have ever been to. However, I will try to keep my recap concise and just go over the highlights of the show. Uncle Kracker was the first to come on stage and he wowed the crowd with many of his favorites. He also played Kid Rock’s ‘All Summer Long’, one of my favorite songs that reminds me about summertime in northern Michigan. And no, Kid Rock did not join him on stage. Next up was Billy Currington. I was surprised that I knew so many of his songs as he was the artist that I felt like I was the least familiar with. My hubby’s favorite song of his is, ‘I’m pretty good at drinking beer,’ of course!. He also played Hank Williams Jr’s song ‘Family Tradition’ which got the crowd pretty fired up. The next act to come on stage is one of my favorite country bands, the Zac Brown Band! They played many of their own songs, including my favorite, ‘Chicken Fried.’ They also sang ‘America the Beautiful’ and then got everyone in Ford Field stomping their feet to the ’The Devil Went Down to Georgia’ by The Charlie Daniels Band. I honestly didn’t think I could like the Zac Brown Band anymore than I already did, but I was wrong. The lead singer addressed the crowd and thanked everyone for spending their hard-earned money on tickets to the concert. The message of thanks resonated with every person in that stadium whether they were a Detroiter or not, but I felt it was an important thing to say to a city with such a bad economy. I am sure you can imagine who came on stage after Zac Brown Band. . . . Kenny Chesney!!! What’s not to love about him?!?! He is a great performer, a wonderful singer and genuine good guy. He surprised the crowd by soaring onto stage via a zipline type apparatus from the other side of the stadium, high above the crowd. He sang all of my favorite songs, including his new hit that I can’t get enough of, ‘You and Tequila.’ He had a great rapport with the crowd as he encouraged everyone to sing along and told lots of stories in between most of his songs. The message that stuck with me the most came before he sang ‘The Boys of Fall.’ He stressed the importance of kids being involved in sports or other extra-curricular activities to keep them on the straight and narrow. I could not agree more. At the end of playing ‘The Boys of Fall,’ Desmond Howard came on stage and the crowd went nuts. I had no idea who Desmond Howard was or why everyone went crazy for him. After being educate by the hubby, I learned that Desmond Howard played football at the University of Michigan and won the Heisman Trophy in 1991. It was a fitting way to end the song and Kenny scores extra points with me for selecting a Michigan athlete to come on stage! Although the concert was the longest one I had ever been to, it flew by! Like most concerts, this one also had an encore. However, unlike most concerts, the encore lasted for another 45 minutes – 1 hour. I feel bad for the poor saps who left when they “thought” the concert was over. Here’s a tip, never leave at what you think is the end of a concert, there is almost always an encore. During the encore Kenny sang various songs with each opening act individually and at the very end of the concert they all came on stage together. There are no words to describe how I felt at the end of the night! It was an awesome concert!
There are tons of other things I could discuss here, like the older ladies near our section who were wearing red cowgirl hats who seemed to have an unending line of young guys giving them attention or the artist by the name of Sonia Leigh who joined Zac Brown Band on stage to sing one of her songs with a beautiful voice that was marred by her bieber like haircut that I just couldn’t get past. Or the fact that I still can’t shake a habit from my younger years of stopping at Taco Bell after a night of adult beverages. But some things will just have to be left unsaid . . .
Have you been to Goin’ Coastal? If so, how was your experience? If you are not a country music fan, what is your most favorite concert that you have ever attended?
Andrew and I experienced Detroit’s Downtown Hoedown for the first time yesterday! It is pegged as the largest free country music festival in the world and I believe it! We were crammed into Hart Plaza shoulder to shoulder amongst the largest crowd I have ever been a part of. If you could get over the size of the crowd and the inability to move, it was a great time and a mecca for people watching.
By the end of the night, Andrew & I determined that a majority of the people who were in attendance fit into 1 of the following 3 categories.
1. Country Folk - These are people who truly love country music. They probably arrived at the Hoedown hours before the event actually began in order to secure a spot near the stage to see their favorite acts up close. Their cowboy attire was not just for the event, but also worn in their everyday lives. We saw a few of these people anxiously glancing around towards the end of the night – I mean it was in Detroit after all.
2. Pseudo-Country Peeps - These are people who like some country music but probably didn’t know who all of the performers were. They came to the event trying to look the part but ended up looking like they tried to hard. Ex. – Young women wearing flannel shirts tied just below their bust, with daisy dukes or jundies (jean undies, as I like to call them), cowgirl hat and boots were a dime a dozen. Which by the way, is just one more reason I am thankful I have a son!
3. The Questionables - These are people who have never listened to country music and probably don’t like country music. Some of them may have come just to be seen (we had a Snooki wannabe on the People Mover with us) and some of them didn’t know how they got there (as we were walking to Hart Plaza a guy said to me “Hey, what’s up white girl?” To which I looked around and thought, am I the only one? Turns out I wasn’t)
The only thing more surprising than the diverse crowd was the $17 we spent to use the bathroom. Either the event didn’t have any port-a-pottys or we just couldn’t find them. We ended up going to a restaurant and ordered nachos and drinks just so I could use their bathroom. (They had a no public restroom sign.)
So if you are headed to the Hoedown this weekend, my advice to you is to pre-plan your bathroom needs and partake in the people watching. But most importantly enjoy the Country Music!