You’ll recall that I already saw the Brad Paisley show this summer once. I worked the Escape plaza during that time and so I was unable to really take in the Virtual Opry Stage like I wanted to. My biggest regret was not being able to really enjoy Jana Kramer’s set – as I have wanted to really watch and see her perform since I first heard her sing on One Tree Hill. I am also a fan of Love and Theft – I purchased their new CD when it came out last month and I have their debut CD from when they were a trio. The only person that I didn’t really know much about was Kristen Kelly.
You’ll also recall that I had an excellent seat for the main show the first time I saw this concert. So, I was definitely more interested in the side stage this time around. The only thing I was looking forward to when it come the main stage was when Brad Paisley sang to the lawn, but, sadly, he didn’t come out as far as I was expecting so I was a little disappointed with that.
So, let’s talk about the side stage. The thing I was focusing on this show. And the wonderfulness that ensued. When we got into the show (because we were running a little bit behind) the side stage was already a little packed, so I wasn’t right up against the stage like I wanted to be – but I still had a really great spot and was happy with it.
The first person up for this set was Kristen Kelly. I know her one song “Ex Old Man” but do not know nay of her other songs. She put on a great set and I really enjoyed her a lot. She has a powerful voice and I’m sure she’s going to become a hit with the songs she sang. I also fell in love with the tattoo that she has on her wrist. She has the word Believe tattooed on her wrist with musical notes intertwined into the word and I really liked it a lot. If I were to want a tattoo that would be a definite possibility.
Next up was Jana Kramer and my want to be best friends with her just increased. I was super excited to see her and at one point she definitely pointed right at me as I sang along with her. It was heavenly. I honestly believe that she is better live than she is on her album. I definitely want to be able to go and see her live many more times. And I would really like to meet her sometime soon – really sooner rather than later – and become best friends with her. I know this won’t actually happen, but it would be nice to be able to tell her how much I enjoy her music and how great I think she is…even if it doesn’t necessarily mean much because I’m just another fan doing so.
Last on the Virtual Opry Stage was Love and Theft. I had seen Love and Theft (well the end of their set) when they were still a trio and were opening up for Tim McGraw a few summers ago. This time I was just as excited as I was then because I really like their stuff and they are gorgeous. They put on an absolutely great show and I have a few statements I’d like to make. Eric is absolutely gorgeous, but already spoken for (I believe) and his wife is very lucky. Stephen is dangerous – in an irresistible/good way. I don’t actually know anything about either one of them (besides that I love their music and they are absolutely gorgeous), but I definitely want to see them. Because (and here’s the real catch), I think they are going to go the way of Sugarland. I think that they are going to be better as a duo than they were as a trio and they are really going to take off. During their set, they invited everyone to the official after party. I wish I could have gone and if I weren’t heading back to Rochester to have camped out for tickets to Martina McBride, I would have definitely gone out and tried to get up close and personal again.
After the Virtual Opry stage, all three artists were signing autographs. I wanted to go and do this as it would mean that I could finally say hello to Jana Kramer and meet her (and, of course, become best friends – I know it wouldn’t really happen, but I could at least tell her how much I love her music). I could also then stare at Stephen and Eric and say hello to them. And, naturally, tell Kristen Kelly that she really put on a great show. Unfortunately, we chose to stay for the entirety of the Love and Theft show (and rightly so because it was fantastic!) and the line was just too long to stay in the autograph line since my friends were saving us seats right at the barrier of the lawn.
The main stage was amazing. Scotty, The Band Perry, and Brad all performed great and did a wonderful job. I have no real complaints about the show. It was great. I enjoyed it immensely. And I continue to fall more in love with country music every time I attend a live show.
The problem is I’m becoming a new artist fiend. Yes, I enjoy seeing the “big” names like Brad Paisley and Toby Keith. But I really love to see the names that are up and coming because they are all putting on great shows, their tickets are cheaper and it’s easier to get closer (and we all know I’m a concert snob and like to be right in the front). So, I want to see Jana Kramer again soon. I want to see Love and Theft again. I want meet and greets with both of them – and should have investigated Love and Theft earlier because it’s a possibility that I could have won a meet and greet from their website.
I think I’m spreading myself thin in regards to the country music world and I need to focus on certain people soon. But for now, I’m going to enjoy the rest of the summer and my already planned concerts and any other that might pop up.
[side note: there were supposed to be pictures in this post, but I didn’t get them finished yet – so I will post them tomorrow instead…sorry!]
Do you have any new country artists that I have to check out and that will be close to me? What do you think of Jana Kramer, Love and Theft and Kristen Kelly? Would you rather see the big names in a sea of tens of thousands (or more) people or be a part of a smaller crowd for a newer name?