NYS Fair: A Review

So, as you probably realized…the last couple days haven’t been great posts.  And I can’t guarantee that this post will be any good either, but I will at least tell you a little bit about my last couple of days.

I had decided when I saw what the free concerts were that I wanted to make it up to Syracuse for the state fair for the Lady Antebellum concert on September 1st and the Eli Young Band/Little Big Town (different times, same day) concerts on September 2nd.  I was bound and determined.  I got my advanced sale tickets and convinced my mom to go with me so that I wasn’t alone.  My younger brother also ended up coming.

When we got there on Wednesday, we walked around for a while.  We visited a few different places and just saw a few things.  The sand sculpture was of The Beatles and it was really well done.  I was pretty excited to see it – and even more excited to take more pictures on Thursday to see the progress (although a really good portion was done on Wednesday).  At 2, we went to Chevy Court (where all of the free concerts/shows were happening) to find my brother and his girlfriend as they wanted to see Mario Batalli  (that might not be spelled right).  We found them and chatted for a few minutes.  They decided to leave and we found someplace to actually sit down and watch the rest of Mario’s show.  Please note that we were sitting down in the bleachers at this point.

We decided to get up and go walk around before coming back for the Lady A concert.  We walked around a little and then I saw that there was a belly dancing show being put on in a little theater.  So we went to that.  It was pretty cool and I’m glad that we went.

At this point it was 4 o’clock and I decided that we show take a walk by Chevy Court to see what it looked like.  There was already nowhere to sit and the grass was filling up really quickly.  So we went and found a spot and I texted my brother and told him that they needed to show up.

We hung out at Chevy Court and it got even more crowded.  It was a record breaking crowd.  Which meant that I couldn’t see anything – except when I tried to see in between heads.  But I wasn’t very successful.  Lady A put on a great show, but I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t see much of anything.  So, we headed home after the concert was over.  And I vowed that the next day would be different.

We headed into Syracuse about the same time – maybe a little bit earlier.  And I went right to Chevy Court and staked out…in the front row.  At 11:00 AM.  As soon as we set our stuff down, I went to the bathroom and visited the sand sculpture – taking pictures of it.  Then, I went back to Chevy Court and I sat in the heat all day long so that I would be able to see.  Not only for Little Big Town, but also for Eli Young Band.  Don’t worry though, I brought plenty of things to do…although I only ended up doing a few of them.  I made two posters.  And I did a puzzle.  I also met a couple of new friends.

As the time approached for Eli Young Band to happen, Rich, from B104.7 (the country station in Syracuse), came up to a few of us and started to hand out meet and greet passes.  So, I got to go backstage and meet the Eli Young Band.  They were super nice.  I got a signed picture and they signed my poster.  Plus, I got a picture with them.  They put on a fantastic show and I really liked watching them.  I had heard some of their songs on the radio, but didn’t know a lot of them – and now I’m really contemplating getting one of their CDs.  After the show, they came out and signed autographs for all of the people that had been at the show – and they hung out for a while.  Once the crowd died down (because I didn’t want to be a hog or anything), I went over and told them that they had done a really great job and I really enjoyed the show.

Then, came the waiting game for Little Big Town.  I have seen Little Big Town twice before this (and they are opening for Sugarland – which is the concert I am going to tomorrow) and met them once – when they were at Niagara.  I tried to get my poster signed before the show, but it didn’t happen – which was okay because I had a front row seat and I would be able to see.

When they came out, they did an absolutely fantastic job.  There was a young girl (probably 7 or 8) that was sitting in the second row.  At one point, one of my new friends put the little girl up on her shoulders.  Then, Karen started talking to her.  She had a small sign that she had made and we gave her my sharpie and the band signed it for her right there on stage.  It was pretty cool.  They continued and they did a phenomenal job – like they always have when I’ve seen them.  I was a little sad that they didn’t play my new favorite song from their new CD, “Lean Into It”.  But then they came back out and did that for the encore.

After the show, I decided to hang out by the stage for a little while to see if they came back, but they didn’t.  So then, I decided to hang out by their buses for a while.  There were a good number of people there.  Slowly, they started to peel away.  Then, the band started to come to the buses from the backstage area.  First was Kimberly, who was holding the hand of her little girl and heading her to the bus so she could put her to bed.  She waved to us and retreated with her daughter into the bus (as she should have).

Next, Karen came by.  She waved to us and someone asked for an autograph and she said that she would come back out after she dropped her stuff out.  She came out about 10 minutes later and said she couldn’t stay for long because she had to put her baby to bed.  But she signed autographs for everyone who was still out there and she also took pictures with the people who asked.  It was really super nice of her.

Then, Philip came.  He had his daughter by the hand as well.  Just as a side note, both Kimberly and Philip’s daughters were absolutely adorable (and I could see them dancing just off stage).  He headed into the bus with his daugther.  Jimi followed closely after him.  He headed onto the bus as well.

I could see Philip’s daughter fooling around on the bus – in the adorable way that tiny toddlers do.  Then, Jimi and Philip came out.  They signed autographs for all of us, took pictures with us, and stayed around and chatted for a while.  Philip remembered seeing me in the crowd and was really sweet.  After they finished signing autographs they talked with the troopers who were doing security patrol.  I asked Jimi if he knew whether Kimberly was coming out (and told him that I totally knew that the kids needed to come first).  Shortly after Jimi and Philip got back onto the bus, Kimberly came out and signed autographs for the few of us that were left and took pictures with people who wanted them.

It’s bands like Little Big Town and Eli Young Band that make being a country fan worth it.  That make arriving at a venue at 11 AM when the shows don’t start until 2 PM and 8 PM.  It’s bands like Little Big Town – that are juggling family lives along with their fame who come out and sign autographs for their fans that are waiting for them that make waiting in front of their bus for an hour worth it.  They make it so clear about why country music artists are the best – and why country music fans are so loyal.

So, Little Big Town and Eli Young Band – thank you!  You both did an absolutely great job and I loved being a part of your shows!

Does hearing from fans that are passionate about the music they are listening to make you want to listen to that type of music as well?  Are you a country music fan?  Have you had similar experiences like mine?

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