Guitars and Stars: A Concert Review

I’ve been feeling  a bit down lately.  There are a lot of contributing factors to this, but it just is a fact.  I’ve been down.  And I don’t necessarily know when I will come back up.  But it is what it is.  And that’s okay – at least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

I had bought tickets to a concert and I considered bailing on it.  The show was 2.5 hours away and I was going alone.  But it is one of my favorite shows and I love going to it.

The show is called Guitars and Stars.  I love it because it is a show that brings together a variety of country artists (maybe they do it in other genres as well) and they are all up on stage at once.  They take turns singing songs and interact with each other and are overall more together than most shows usually are.

I went to the show outside of Rochester, NY put on by WBEE.  The other great thing about the show is that it is a charity show to benefit The Ronald McDonald House.

A couple years ago, they moved the show to Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack.  I understand why they  moved it, but I still miss the intimate nature of doing it at a venue that is smaller and enclosed.

This year the lineup was as follows: High Valley, Brooke Eden, Canaan Smith, David Nail, Charles Kelly, and hosted by Jennifer Nettles.

I was really excited for this lineup.  While I didn’t know High Valley or Brooke Eden other than by name, I loved the other four acts.  I am a huge Canaan Smith fan and think that David Nail is one of the most underrated country artists out there.  I followed Sugarland (and still hope they come back out with new music sometime as a duo) and have enjoyed Jennifer Nettles’ solo stuff.  And while I love Lady A, I really think that Charles blossomed a little with his solo stuff.  Plus, I was excited to see (and possibly learn to love) Brooke Eden and High Valley.  [Unfortunately, David Nail wasn’t there due to illness, but he is going to be putting on a makeup show for those that had tickets which I’m really excited about because it means more David Nail!]

The show was really good.

I was most impressed by Brooke Eden.  As I said earlier, I didn’t know much about her.  After seeing her perform, I am definitely a fan now.  I think that she sounds so much better live than on the radio and her stories really drew the crowd in.  It also felt as if everyone – including the others on stage – were also blown away by her performances.

High Valley were really great.  Their bluegrass sound is one that I’m excited to hear more of and possibly have brought into the country scene more.  I think that it would be really great!

And, just as I knew they would be, Charles Kelley, Canaan Smith, and Jennifer Nettles put on great shows.  My favorite moment was when Canaan was about to sing his song that is a tribute to his brother, called “Bronco”, and Charles asked the crowd to just quiet down a little and really take it in.  I was locked in and ready to go – excited to hear it.  It really was something special and one of the reasons I love the show so much.

That being said, the biggest disappointment was that Jennifer Nettles – the host of the show – wasn’t on stage with everyone else like would normally happen.  She came out and introduced everyone, then she left the stage while everyone else performed.  Then, she came out and sang her set (each artist did 5 songs, I think…it might have only been 4) before bringing everyone back out to sing one final song together.

It seemed disjointed.  And while it was great to see her sing songs off her new album – which I am falling in love with – I wish that she had been on stage with everyone else.

The other disappointment was that there was a lot of chatter.  So much chatter that Charles asked the crowd to quiet down.  This might be due to the venue change, but it was still a bit disappointing because it’s hard to really feel the music when people aren’t into it.

Overall, a good show and I’m glad that I went.  However, the disappointments were enough that I will probably think twice about going again – especially by myself.

What was the last concert that you went to?  Did you enjoy it?


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