I’m going to say something that many, many music fans are going to gasp at my saying.
I’ve never been a Rascal Flatts “fan.”
Oh I’ve liked a lot of their songs! I think I have a CD or two of theirs. I saw their CMT tour (because their opening act was the artist my now-husband played for at the time – lol – and it was on my birthday) and I was on my feet the whole show. But all that being said, I’d still have never called myself a “fan.”
Is that weird?
The bar in Nashville that I pretty much call my second home happens to also be the bar in which they were discovered. I’ve run into Jay DeMarcus there a hand full of times. There are records on the wall from them. A huge sign inside proclaims, “Home of Rascal Flatts.”
Perhaps that has, over time, fed into my, “Yeah whatever” mentality towards the band. They’re fellow members of the bar’s family, even if they’re generally not around these days. Who knows.
When I caught wind of the band doing a private show at the bar, I couldn’t let it go undocumented. (I run the bar’s MySpace and Facebook pages.) Had the people putting on the show said, “No, you can’t come,” I wouldn’t have cried about it; I’d have gotten irritated for not being able to do my job. But, I’d have also understood.
Instead, they said I could come, so I did. I joked with everyone that Rascal Flatts was eating my life. Magazines, videos, billboards. Everywhere I looked I saw Gary, Jay and JoeDon! Ahhh! (This sort of thing happens when any artist releases a new album, though, so it really wasn’t a big deal. I just had the added private show in there to amp things up and put them on my radar this week.)
The private event was last night, and it wasn’t until I arrived that I learned it was a radio broadcast taping celebrating their 10th anniversary and debuting their new album on their new label. Hosted by Lon Helton from American Country Countdown. The people in attendance were radio winners from across the country, plus a handful of VIPs. (Apparently I was a “VIP” on their list of guests. I won’t let it go to my head, I promise.)
I wandered back to the Meet & Greet, but didn’t join in the fun. (I ended up bartending awhile instead so others could go back. LOL!) However, as I stood watching the Meet & Greet line, I slowly realized Lon Helton was standing right beside me. Darn if I didn’t get tongue tied and failed to introduce myself. Still kicking myself for that. Who knew I’d get more excited about the host than the artist? I’m weird like that, I guess.
I won’t go into too much detail about the broadcast itself. You’ll have to check your radio listings for that! But lets just say I never knew that Rascal Flatts could also go on tour as comedians. I laughed so hard through most of the night. Many of the jokes were extra funny to me as they poked gentle fun at the bar and its beloved owner and its regulars as they reminisced. The chemistry with the fans that were in attendance was wonderful as well. The added fabulous bonus? They sounded fantastic. No lights. No smoke. No video boards. Just them. And they nailed it. I was impressed. Very impressed.
I got to watch radio magic happen in front of me. I hope to hear the radio special myself, even though I was there for it in person!
Do I call myself a fan now? Not really. But that is sincerely due to knowing too many people in common with them, and they ARE at heart still a member of the bar’s “family.” Makes it really hard to go fangirl on the band. But, I did have a total blast and I recommend everyone check out the radio show and their new album. Seriously good stuff.