A wonderful surprise awaited me as I went to my office this weekend. Shawn informed me that as a hard-working military member, someone had generously donated to me a free ticket to a country music concert. Not being particularly familiar with country music myself, I used to have a country music tutor. My girlfriend Ace would play me a song a day to familiarize me with various country music artists, thus comprising my whole knowledge of the genre. This was many years ago, so my knowledge may have lapsed a little since then.
However, as an ardent observer of human behavior, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to participate in some intense people-watching. My crash course in all things country was rather fascinating. The concert was Tim McGraw’s and Kenny Chesney’s kickoff to their Brothers of the Sun tour; it was held in Tampa’s football stadium and attended by around 50,000 people.
Things observed at my country music field trip include:
– The world’s largest collection of skinny chicks in sundresses with cowboy boots complete with cowboy (girl) hats. It seems to be the country-music-listening uniform.
– Country music folk grinding and making out, like the musical equivalent of sticking your hand in your significant other’s back pocket. Apparently country music makes country folks rather amorous.
– An older country music fan in a hawaiian shirt and bermuda shorts jamming out with her (plastic) glass of white wine. It was an occasion for all.
– A dad jamming out with his sweet little baby girl. It was a family event.
– A real life actual American flag t-shirt. He was a true patriot.
– Country music star Tim McGraw wearing white jeans. With a white t-shirt. He was wearing an all-white outfit. And people loved it. I was a little skeptical.
– A stage graphic behind said music star with a magical wolf (but only one). Sigh.
– A 50,000 people massive sing-along of “I like it, I love it, I want some more of it.” Universally entertaining.
– Kenny Chesney riding on a chair suspended over the massive crowd. Why can’t I do that at my job?
– At the finale, Kenny Chesney pulled a young fan out of the crowd and gave him his guitar. I thought this was super sweet.
An unexpected highlight of the evening was seeing Grace Potter perform a song with Kenny Chesney. I didn’t know the name of the song, but I have recently discovered through the magic of the Google that it is called You and Tequila. I like the song, and I really like Grace Potter, and I’m thinking I never would have discovered the song if I had not been at this show. Apparently she opened for them, but I missed her performance, sigh. Her country is more my speed, and I would have loved to hear her set. My lowlight of the evening was just barely missing a cat fight while finding my seat! But I did get to see one participant slipping and sliding in spilt beer as security tried to simultaneously split up the fight and help her off the ground while the other girl slurred, “She attacked me! She attacked me!” I imagine for the hardcore fans the tailgating had started rather early, so a few scuffles are probably to be expected.
Besides that, sitting amid all the drunken happy country music fans was rather pleasant. The sun was shining, a breeze was blowing, the sunset was beautiful and there was a full moon. High in our nosebleed seats, I felt relaxed and like I was attending a picnic with a soundtrack. Plus all that, I got a free fan. God bless America!