Now that we’ve established that Old Dominion is fabulous, and you most certainly bought their album on Friday, RIGHT?!, we can move on to #4.
This story starts out what could be considered a bit strange, but if you know me and those involved, it’s not very strange at all.
Back in March of 2013, here I am at work on a Friday and I get a text from a friend that says, “hey – my mom won tickets to Kenny Chesney/Eric Church tomorrow and I can’t get off of work…do you want to go?” Now back in 2013 I wasn’t this radical fly-by-night you all know today, but this might be the moment I can look back at that turned me into that girl. I thought about it, I knew I had to work, and I said “YES; I’ll figure it out and I’ll be there.” Somehow I got off of work, I really don’t know what I told them but I’m 99.9% sure it wasn’t the truth and it’s doesn’t really matter because that job was the worst and I quit a couple months later anyway and long story short GIRL I went to that concert. Big shout out to Mary Lou & Jamie Gibson, ya’ll are my people.
The next day Mary Lou & I took our happy little butts up to Tampa and Raymond James Stadium. She packed a cooler, it was the cutest, and we had so much fun. The openers were Eli Young Band and Kacey Musgraves, but we missed them. UGH – I know right? Both great acts, both artists I’ve not seen again, how could we be so careless? HA, I’m sorry – we weren’t careless – we were quite early. Did I not mention that these tickets Mary Lou won on the radio came with a meet & greet for ERIC MF CHURCH!? Oh, well, IT DID. Did I mention that I have the coolest friends?
So here we are, tunneling our way through Raymond James – which, also cool, because I like football and it was awesome – going to meet Eric Church. Outside of bands only I and like three other people like, I don’t think I had met anyone “famous” in that capacity. Seriously – this concert changed the game for me. We got a signed picture and cool stuff and then we got to stand next to him and he put his arm around me and I probably whispered something akin to “we’re married now” before skurrying away – but that was pretty cool. We listened to him be interviewed by a fan, also cool. All around 10/10 for the FREE things I’ve done in my life.
After the meet & greet we made it to our seats, Bud Light Limes in hand because ya girl was finally 21 and drinking in public – seriously, this was A TIME in my life, and I had an absolute blast. I remember singing ever word to every Eric Church song, somehow having forgot how much I loved Eric Church. This was right when Chief came out so all of his songs were amazing and hard core and perfect. When he sang Springsteen I closed my eyes the entire time until the very end when I watched ALL of Raymond James light up and sing back to him and I probably cried. It was too much – it was everything. I took my boot off to sing These Boots (which I would later watch a couple get engaged to that song at another Eric Church concert, but I digress). I think I knew then that Eric Church understood, but it would be almost 4 years until it really hit me when I watched him perform with no openers for three hours straight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. No but really – what is this life?
Now that I’ve written a love story for Eric Church – maybe we can move on to KENNY CHESNEY?!
This was the first time I ever saw Kenny and I’ve been blessed to see him like 4 times since – but you don’t forget the first time. I vividly remember the goosebumps I got singing Anything But Mine with the rest of that stadium and no back up instruments. I just gave them to myself again even just thinking about it. I traveled back to being a kid in the backseat of my parents’ car, on road trips or just running errands with them, listening to No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem. Talk about the early 2000s. I LIVED for The Good Stuff. I learned what it meant to be in a moment during that concert and I’ve never stopped searching for that feeling. I can draw it all back to that night.
This is only #4, ya’ll. Can you even imagine what I have to tell you for the next THREE!? Damn.