For those of you in South Florida, you know that last weekend most of your Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram were full of pictures and videos of tailgates, pretty girls in cowboy boots and lots of swooning over Sam Hunt. Yeah, you’re right, I was there, too.
For his first headlining tour I have to hand it to Sam for not only selling out amphitheaters, but for putting on a damn good show. You can lose a lot to theatrical value when you become a headliner, but that’s not what I saw.
“But, like, what do you even know about Sam Hunt?” you might be asking yourself, in the snotty voice that I just wrote that in my head.
Fair question, friends – let’s take a trip.
Back in May of 2015, I made two of my best girlfriends get into the pit with me for Lady Antebellum in Tampa. Now I LOVE Lady A (remember that in a couple of weeks…) but I can guarantee you that for that concert, all them pretty little girls with us in the pit were there for the opening act. This was the first time I got the chance to see Sam live because when I was standing outside of Dallas Bull in 2014 with one of the girls with me at Lady A that night, I saw a poster for some punk named Sam Hunt with some song on the radio called Leave the Night On and I was like “pssh, Sam Hunt, you punk.” Those were real thoughts.
Turns out, the guy’s got it. We were front of the front, touching our noses to the stage, and rubbing Sam’s sweat from his arms when he jumped off the stage and into my face (see Insta video at the bottom of this post). Yeah, girl. But it’s not just because he’s attractive, truss, he is – but he performs his freaking heart out. He sang his Single for the Summer/Marvin’s Room remix – I about lost my damn mind and I was sold on Sam Hunt.
The love fest doesn’t stop there, friends. Fast forward to November 2015 and I dragged those two lovely ladies from my previous post and another brave soul down to Mexico to sit on a cruise ship with me for four days and fall in love with music over and over again. I don’t think I fully lived until I was physically in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico watching Florida Georgia Line in concert from the lido deck. <–LOL that sentence, though. (The picture at the top of the main page is that moment.)
Sam was there. He made a casual appearance on our docked ship in the port of Cozumel and we sang together like only old friends do. There was more sweat to rub on my face again this time, too, because without exaggerating his chest and my nose became more than friends that afternoon in Mexico. Thanks, Sam. That trip was, to this day, probably the best one I’ve ever taken. Pure magic.
We’ve danced in the rain together on Fort Lauderdale Beach. I fought through crowds of drunk, rowdy teenagers for that and wouldn’t trade a second of it. Make You Miss Me has always been a favorite track of mine and there is something to be said for standing in a crowd of 20,000 strangers, shoulder to shoulder on the beach, with the rain starting to come down, feeling like you are the ONLY one on the beach. That’s where I went that day and I was transcended this weekend, too.
It’s a magical feeling, to give yourself over to a beat, or to get lost in a string of words that put you back in a moment – maybe it’s on a beach dancing in the rain – and I only pray for that to never end.
Maren Morris & Chris Janson opened the show and I’m sure in years to come I’ll have stories about all of the performances I’ve seen them give. Chris Janson can kill a harmonica solo and Maren Morris is the only female I know that makes a bathing suit top and sweatpants look runway-worthy.
What I continue to remind myself is that you have to make it about the experience, too. Sure the concerts and the performances are the reason my heart continues to beat – but having my best friend with me and being able to connect with her on that level is ridiculous. She’ll always be my best friend but in an amphitheater or sitting on a lawn with a couple of beers in us, I am reminded that she’s part of why my heart beats, too. It’s a really hard concept to put into words, but just know that a lot of the reason behind why I’m writing comes from her, that weekend, and the magic concert air has in it.
A few captured images from a variety of shows…
I didn’t take the picture all up in Sam’s face – because I am located physically underneath his microphone; this is the cruise situation I told ya’ll about…