Thursday, May 12, 2011

#176 Play On, Nashville

May 3, 2011, marked the one year anniversary of the Nashville flood. And I thought I was just going to a really great show at the Grand Ole Opry! I try to check the Opry’s lineup every week and saw that there was going to be a show with Luke Bryan, Little Jimmy Dickens, Dierks Bentley, Trace Adkins, Charlie Daniels, Brad Paisley and Alabama, among others. What a lineup!

A friend of mine went with me. We arrived in Nashville at 3 p.m. Central time. Our plan was to get the tickets, walk around the Opry Mills Mall and then go to the show. Upon arriving at the Gaylord hotel/mall/Opry area my friend commented that the mall parking lot was kind of empty (we’d been there before and it had always been pretty full). I said something like, “Well, it’s a Tuesday, so maybe not many people are out today.” We’d usually come on a Thursday/Friday/Saturday. As I drove closer I saw fencing going all around the mall. I asked a worker if the mall was closed. They said it was and would re-open next year. What?!!! I felt like we were in National Lampoon’s Vacation movie, arriving at Wally World. “Sorry kids, the mall’s closed!” We drove to another mall about 10 miles away. It was nice, but no outlet stores like Opry Mills.

Back at the Opry, while waiting for the doors to open, we noticed some TV cameras outside. We still had no clue about the anniversary. Only until we were in our seats watching a taped introduction by Carrie Underwood, which included pictures of the flood damage, did we put two and two together. Huh. Didn’t make the connection, Mr. Obvious.

For those who have never attended an Opry show, it’s actually a radio show with several performers, each playing two songs. Two performers play their sets, then they break for commercials. Then the next two performers play, and so on. Each time a performer comes on, the audience is allowed to come up to the front of the stage for that set. You have to stay low so as not to block the view of those in their seats. Security makes the audience go back to their seats after each set. Then they let you back to the front to do it all over again.

My friend and I went to the front for Luke and Brad. We had seats in Row K and didn’t feel the need to do it for each artist. Note for next time: don’t wear skinny jeans. I almost cut off my circulation. It’s not comfortable to squat for 15 minutes at-a-time.

Here are pics of each artist.

Luke is a cutie. And he’s got a great butt.

I didn’t take a picture of Little Jimmy Dickens, but he is a cutie too. He sang a couple songs and told some jokes. At 80, he’s a little spitfire.

Dierks is cute too.

Trace is not "cute". He’s dead sexy. You’ve got your little Luke, Dierks and Brad. And then Trace walks out, all 6’6” of him, solid as a rock. Ooooeeee, shut your mouth, slap your grandma!

Charlie was great. To hear The Devil Went Down To Georgia live was amazing. He played that fiddle so hard the strings were shearing off at one end.

My friend’s favorite (besides Luke) is Brad. LOVES him. She was right at the edge of the stage. He played his new song “Old Alabama” and the band Alabama came out to sing with him. They don’t tour anymore so that was special. The last song they played together was Alabama’s “Tennessee River”.

As we walked out of the Opry, my friend said, “Best concert EVER!” It was a great experience.

After the show we hopped back in the car and drove home. Really. It wasn’t too bad and I wasn’t really tired until I got home and finally went to bed at 4 a.m. One bonus – gas was $3.69 in Tennessee. What a bargain!

The day trip was totally worth it!

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