About eight years years ago, I went to an Alan Jackson concert with a friend in Washington D.C.'s MCI Center. The theme was a 1950's travelling caravan show and he had four opening acts, who played three to four songs each. They were: Sara Evans, Andy Griggs, Chad Brock and Clint Daniels.
Evans is the only artist of the four still enjoying success today. She wasn't a new artist at the time, since she had two albums to her credit. But after the ultra-traditional Three Chords and The Truth, she was trying to re-do her image as a neotraditional artist a la Patty Loveless.
Griggs scattered a few hits and Brock enjoyed some early success too. Daniels never quite got out of the gate.
But the reason I'm blogging about this show is because I miss road trips to country concerts. I don't seem to do as many of them as I used to.
And also, it seems like a lot of artists don't tour in California or on the West Coast. I don't think it's due to the fact that Californians don't like country music - many of them do.
Sure, the big marquee tours like Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney come here, but it's probably not as easy for an up and coming artist to travel in their bus to the West Coast, when the Eastern seaboard is more economically option.
That's ironic, because I've felt that living in California has more of a country vibe than Massachusetts, but they seem to get a lot more of the concerts, being closer to Nashville and all.
Anyways, about the Alan Jackson concert. I went with a friend named Lou, and we were both students at the University of Delaware. He told me some superstition about not listening to a band's music on the away to that band's concert. Or maybe it was about not listening to it on the way back from the concert. I forget. But anyways, I remembered that last Tuesday when I saw Luke Bryan in San Jose, and I didn't listen to any LB the whole way there or back.
Also at the AJ concert, I purchased an album by his band, The Strayhorns, that you can only get at concerts. The whole way back to Delaware, I thought I'd lost it, but my friend had simply hided it in his van. He presented it to me when we returned.
A couple of things about this last week's concert. When I paid the cover charge, I got my hand stamped, but then, they wouldn't let me leave the club to go eat at Subway. So, I settled for the limiting dining options in the club. What's the point of stamping people's hands then?
Then, since I had a 90-minute drive back home, I was just drinking ice water, but the bartender said to me "they drink ice water in hell, too, you know". I thought that was a little uncalled for, but on the other hand, where would the bartender be if everybody just drank ice water. What's more, they were charging for the ice water. Go figure.
I love listening to itunes mixes, but if you have to listen to the same one for three hours on the way back from the beach, it gets kind of old quickly. That's what happened on Saturday because my wife was sleeping in the passenger seat, and I wasn't about to look for the other mixes. Plus, we didn't know any of the country radio stations near the beach.