Wednesday, June 22, 2016

She's Gone Country

"You saw Reba?"

At the time, I couldn't remember the last time someone told me they went to a country concert. This cute 20-year-old was eventually going to be an ex-boyfriend but I do have to thank him for exposing me to country music. He was a Marine with a dream of flying. As much as I wanted it to work out, the military life wasn't for me. But damn, are men in uniform so sexy to me.

We ended up dating after flirting with him that he didn't stock my tables with a variety of jams and he took me to an 18 and up country spot in Davis, California. I can't remember the song that was playing but at some point the cowboys were supposed to lift up the girls. That was different from the bump and grinding men do at the club to try to 'get to know you.'

He recommended Kenny Chesney to me and he was right. I became a fan. His songs were set in the islands with songs like "All I Want for Christmas is a Real Good Tan," "On the Coast of Somewhere Beautiful" and " Boston." "You and Me" became our song.

I ended up having to break things off with him because I just couldn't follow him around the globe and waiting on a man. Perhaps it was young love but I have never felt as loved and adored than by him. Perhaps I have, but it was my choice to leave so maybe that made me think it wasn't enough at the time. But all things are as they should be. He is married with two kids and he fulfilled his dream of flying. I couldn't be more happy for him. Sometimes I think of him when I see a jet leave its mark across the blue sky and I'm glad I didn't keep him grounded.



Since then, I have seen Kenny Chesney, Big & Rich, Sara Evans, Dustin Lynch, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan and many more live. See full Concert Log for a listing. But the most recent concert was Country Summer in Santa Rosa, California with Old Dominion, Frankie Ballard, Josh Turner and Billy Currington. It was a great day full of cowboys for us ladies.

Country Summer is a three-day concert and the other headliners included The Band Perry and Lady Antebellum. I was bummed but I had to work so I basically lost out on $400. I bought two tickets for the pit for all three days. I ended up going with Courtney to Sunday's show and it was well worth it. Hot, but how could it not be with that line up?

I met her in Concord not thinking that is completely out of the way. I didn't realize that until that morning and I wasn't going to ask her to change her route. I was coming from Hayward and was just so excited to have the day off. We ended up being Katniss twinsies in terms of the side braid and printed summer dresses.


We stopped in Vallejo to get a Jamba Juice for me and to introduce her to Seniorita Bread. Soooo damn good. It's in the same old shopping center that my mom's friend had a video store and we used to help retrieve the cassettes to rent from behind. It was also where I often compare chocolate croissants to the balangerie (sp? bakery there that we used to get as a kid. Tasty!


Then we were on our way. Doors opened at noon and we were determined to get front row. Parking was $15 and we got our spot right in front. It was damn hot. We got whiskey and unfortunately they will only give a max of two shots per person. So when either of us held our spot in the pit to make a drink run, we only single shots. So sad. But after awhile the shots weren't helping in the heat, nor was the food. I just wanted to cool down and a big plastic cup of lemonade only meant having to go to the restroom. Oddly enough, I only went once the entire time we were there. We explored the grounds and took a pic from the back and then at front row! There's no place like front row. Concert snob here!



Then the performances started and Old Dominion was unknown to me until then. 'Snapback' was their song and I couldn't recall it once Court played it for me earlier that day. But they flew in from Texas that morning and didn't have any of their equipment. I thought it was odd that they were using scratched up, teenage garage band like instruments but they were having a great time up there and interacting with the fans. The stage jutted out into the pit so you had an opportunity to reach up and touch them if you weren't 5'1" like Court and I. Sadly, I can't remember any of their songs by name but I did get a guitar pick. That was only when the crew was cleaning off the stage and flicked it in my direction. I wasn't even paying attention.



So glad I got this action shot. 


Next up was Frankie Ballard. I had no idea who he was but a cute, blonde with 60's hair and a leather jacket and scarf came out and hell yeah, I know his name now. We were dying in the sun and we couldn't stand him wearing the leather jacket. "How are you wearing that right now?!" yelled a fan near me. I guess when you're that cool... nevermind.

Frankie had jazz fingers angled at his long-time buddy and guitarist as he did his solos. Then a song he played a song he said he was thinking of California Girls when he wrote it. 'Sunshine & Whiskey' came on. I did love that song. I just didn't know who sang it.



Oh, Josh Turner. Another artist that reminded me of my Marine cowboy ex-boyfriend. "Your Man" came out when we were dating and it was Josh's first number one hit. His voice is so deep and sexy and he kept his sunglasses on the entire performance, I couldn't see where he was looking. You could see where Frankie was looking and you'd think he made eye contact with you. It helps when you're in the front row. But Josh was great. He didn't move a whole lot but it was great to see him live.





I love being front row.
I have been to many concerts and I realized at this concert that country artists sound exactly as they sound on the radio and on their albums. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of electronic magic happening in the studio to make them sound good. They already do. I do love Josh's deep voice but there's something about Billy Currington's voice that I just fell in love with.

Did I already say how much I love being front row?
To hear Billy live and sound exactly as he does in my car was great. He has this voice that has a touch of the South, a bit playful and so sweet that you just want to hear his voice on the other end of the line. My favorite songs of his are "Must Be Doing Something Right" and "Good Direction." "Let Me Down Easy" is quickly climbing up my charts. Check out this video below where it looks like he's singing and smiling at me, but there was a little girl that was placed in front of me and he was singing to her. But Billy or his social media rep liked my post and tweets. I felt so special. I loved how he was performing barefoot and that he sang "Shut Up and Dance with Me." That was so much fun. I am definitely a bigger fan and would love to see him perform again. The concert ended and the sun was still up. We were high on cloud 9 all the way to the car. What a fun day.

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LOVE YOU, BILLY!




So yes, Bern's gone country. It's all I really listen to now.

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