Life Changes, And I Wouldn’t Change it for the World

Ugh, TR.

To set the stage for you, for the past 2 and half years, the home screen on my phone has been a picture of Thomas Rhett. Like most people have pictures of their family or friends or pets or some pretty sunset – nah fam. The first 8 months was a picture from the first time I saw him, and the rest of this time has been a picture from March 2016. I literally don’t like anything else enough to change it, sorry not sorry.

Actually, I’m just an obsessive weirdo because TR is the best.

This past weekend, I recruited my psycho friends to take a bit of a trip with me to go see this lovely man. A few months ago (honestly prob like April) I was scrolling through Instagram stories and Thomas Rhett posted one saying tickets for Pensacola were on sale. 1. I didn’t know he was even going to Pensacola, so, rude, and 2. It was the weekend after my birthday so I was sold.

What I didn’t realize when we bought these tickets was that we already had tickets to see Florida Georgia Line the next night…in West Palm Beach. For those of you who aren’t from the vast state of Florida, Pensacola and West Palm Beach are roughly 9 hours apart. If you’re a logical person, you would say – well hey, you’ve seen FGL 3 times on this tour alone and it was only 2 months ago you flew to Chicago for them, so stop being psycho and relax. I’m not quite that logical, though, so we went to both.

But it’s not just because I’m a crazy person that we went to both, it’s much more than that. Ever since the Vegas thing, which I’ve already written about, I’ve felt more convicted in my passion for what I do. No one gets to stop me from doing what I love and I would much rather look back on memories of a good time where I was a little tired than regretting never going in the first place. And people need to continue to support live music, so I will go to all of the concerts, forever.

But back to the point of this post; THOMAS RHETT.

I fell in love with TR probably 3 years ago now and the first time he performed locally I wasn’t even able to go. ßsee, that’s why I go to all of the concerts now because there used to be a time where I had to say no and that was the WORST. Since then, watching his career and his little family grow has been so much fun. His music is pretty great, too. At this point he’s released 3 albums, each with their own sound and none any better than the next in my personal opinion. The first one was upbeat and fun and young, the second was a little more lovey, still upbeat and fun, and this last one is all about this rollercoaster life. It’s listening to someone tell you their life story, but you’ve gotten to see most of it already. It’s really cool.

I’ve done the crazy person things where I’ve been in the pit for TR, like I wrote about during my FGL posts, and I’ve done the nosebleed seats too. Doesn’t matter where you are, he’s just such a good performer. This last concert was #5 of his for me, and it’s almost like they just keep getting better. Maybe because it was his first technical headlining show, I don’t know, but he was fabulous.

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His openers were Walker Hayes (YAS, tho) and Dan + Shay. I have to be honest, one of the biggest reasons I was going to make this concert happen was because of Walker Hayes. A year or so ago, You Broke Up With Me came on Pandora and I was like “damn, whatever this is I’m into it” which lead to me downloading both of his mixtapes. He’s another fun one to watch because his career is finally starting to get bigger and his first album is coming out in December. His music really is like nothing I’ve ever heard before which is part of why I like it so much – check it out, it’s worth it. He performed new songs and songs that I knew and definitely made it worth 18 hours in a car.

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I was less excited for Dan + Shay, admittedly, because I’d seen them before and they were good, but just good. It could have been because they were opening for Hunter Hayes at the time and I was surrounded by 16 year-old girls, but it was fine. This time, though, they definitely gained a couple of fans. They are so hype and so captivating, their songs are actually good, and they give you all the feels when they have the crowd sing back with no background music. If we’re basing their greatness off of giving the feels, they get all the points.

Then there’s TR. It’s hard to put into words what it’s like to see your favorite artists over and over again without thinking you’re being repetitive, because I’m sure by this point I am. But no matter what, when those lights go down my stomach jumps into my throat and TR pops out of a hole in the center of the stage and it’s time to JAM. One of my favorite things to do is guess the song they’re going to open with (I don’t cheat and look at set lists like Kim Collier does) and almost always I can pick out what track on an album sounds like an opening song. Don’t worry, I nailed it this time, too. One of the best things about a new album and seeing someone on tour right after that release is by now you have favorite songs and you can only hope you’ll get to hear them live. Well, he didn’t disappoint.

At his “back of the crowd” portion of the show, where artists typically move to a stage that’s closer to the back of the arena because they’re sweet, he played a couple of those slower, cuter songs from the new album that were so great. If you haven’t listened to the new album, it’s called Life Changes, and you should go get it immediately. Specifically, Marry Me is a solid track and will for sure get you in the feels. Sorry, but also you’re welcome.

So this experience was well worth it, and the next morning at 5:30am we started the return trip home to change our clothes and drive another hour to West Palm. There is one really really big reason I’m not upset with myself that we did this, aside from all of the fluff I’ve already said. I kind of had a feeling what happened next was going to happen and legit why I wanted to go.

Towards the end of the FGL concert, a video started playing with the quote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” From my boy MLK. Then, the boys started playing one of my favorite songs, Music Is Healing. This is another one which if you haven’t heard it, go listen to it right now, because it’s the absolute truth about music. There are no divisions in who we are as human beings when we listen to music. It is the ultimate unifier. So while they’re playing this song the video continues with images of hurricane relief efforts & Vegas recovery. Every single person in that amphitheater was connected for three minutes by one song and one ideology. We are ONE and the sooner we start believing that divisions don’t exist and we are here to love & build one another, the better off we’ll be. THAT is why I went to that show, and will continue to show up, because I need feelings that like and the reiteration that feelings like that can & do exist.

Now, it’s with a heavy heart that I write that for 2017 – this is my last scheduled concert. I would count on me finding something else, but for now I’m concert free for the rest of 2017. The schedule is filling up quickly for 2018, and I’m actually headed to Europe in 3 weeks so that’s taking a good bit of my time away. However, if there are stories you want to hear and questions you have – I will be continuing to write and share this huge part of my life with anyone who wants to hear it.

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