I have to start off by acknowledging the chaos that has been the last 12 or so days. I’m already annoyed by the topic so I won’t go that deep into it, but hurricanes suck and they turn lives upside down and I’M NOT HERE FOR IT.
Last Friday I was supposed to go to Boston for a once in a lifetime experience to be at one of Thomas Rhett’s three album release parties that day and it was going to be a 24-hour whirlwind and so much fun. Alas, here I was on Friday putting up wood boards on windows, tearing down patios, and packing one single duffel bag of belongings not knowing if I would have a house or stuff to come back to on Monday morning.
Yet here I am, a full week after the storm rolled through, and I have nothing to complain about. I look around at a virtually untouched house, safe family & friends, and I’m nothing short of blessed. There’s not many words to describe what it feels like to put all of what you hold dear into one bag, plant a kiss on the wood frame of your house, and walk out not knowing what would be on the other side. I could complain about the fact that after 8 days my house still doesn’t have power, but I physically can’t. I’ve been blessed enough to have family & friends that have opened heart and home to me without hesitation. I’ve been sincerely humbled by this past week and things that annoyed me before, or that were trivial and I didn’t think about, now aren’t so big and don’t bother me as much. I’ve learned to think before I speak and evaluate the bigger picture before jumping to simple conclusions. I’ve learned that sloppy joe’s can make your heart happy and a bottle of cold water is a gift. And I’ve continued to be shown that music is healing.
This post obviously had to do with a concert.
So this last Friday amidst all of this chaos, we were scheduled to go see Brad Paisley in West Palm. We didn’t know if it would actually happen or if it would get cancelled, but I kept my fingers crossed for a green light on Thursday because I knew what I needed after all of this. Thankfully, we got exactly what we hoped for and the concert was on.
From the first opener, Lindsay Ell, you knew that the artists knew what we needed. Floridians are a resilient bunch and if nothing else, we needed a chance to get away from our hot houses and long lines for gas & water to just let go. I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing Lindsay Ell before but holy shit is she talented. I’d only ever heard her first single on country radio a couple of times, and her album The Project just recently came out and admittedly I’ve not listened to it. But I know I’ll take the time to now because she can kill a guitar solo and sing her heart out. She didn’t dwell on the fact that we’d just dealt with some shit, she just put on a great show.
Chase Bryant was the second opener and all I could think the whole time was how much he looks like Robin Thicke. Seriously, look for yourself. He’s someone that I’ve seen before, actually locally at Lakeside Country Bash so I was expecting just as good of a show, and that’s what we got. I’ll admit that I did choose Chase’s set to go get another beer since I’d seen him before, but I swear he’s good.
Dustin Lynch was the third opener and I don’t even need to tell you that he was good – you should just innately know that. Although I have to say, nothing beats seeing him perform in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. Are you sick of me saying that yet? And actually, that’s not even the best I’ve ever seen him. It was honestly when he was incredibly drunk in the middle of the afternoon calling bingo on that same cruise ship. If you’ve not seen your favorite artists hammered, you’ve not lived. It was one of my favorite experiences and we missed our flip cup tournament for it and nothing has ever been so worth it. He’s a partier for sure so when you’re looking for a good time, I would highly recommend a Dustin Lynch concert; they’re probably close to the top of my list.
Then of course, Mr. Brad Paisley himself. I’ve seen one other of his concerts before here at Germain Arena and I remember it being nostalgic. That’s the only way I can think to describe it – the songs all bring me back somewhere or to a certain time in my life because they all have such heavy meanings. That’s where I was last Friday, too. It had been a fucking WEEK and I had a couple beers and with all of my recent realizations I was so much more in the moment than I’ve been lately. I closed my eyes a lot, I breathed in that sticky & wonderful summer air, and let the music remind me that there are so many things to be grateful for and to focus on that the shit was the week before. And THIS is why I do this. When life is insane, I’m able to find my feet on the ground on a familiar piece of land singing songs I’ve been singing for what it feels like has been my whole life and try and put it all back together.
They said themselves that the weekend of the hurricane they told them they wouldn’t be playing their Florida shows. We knew it wasn’t true and so did they. Most compasses point north to help you find your way home; mine points towards music and towards those who understand that. Everything about this past weekend was just what I needed, and I thank my best friend helping me find order in the chaos.
Stay tuned for the rest of my top concert countdown coming back soon!