Tag Archives: showstories

Show Stories — Radio magic

The stage is set...

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.”

Lon Helton

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.)

Rascal Flatts on stage

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.

Show Stories: I can’t believe I live here!

129: My City
I’ve lived in Nashville for 4 years now… and still I have moments when I go, “I can’t believe I LIVE here!”

Sure, there are a lot of ways that you can tell I live here. Tour buses no longer make me blink an eye. I’m ridiculously cynical about the music industry. And there is that whole night owl thing that I think this city amplifies.

However, there are definitely moments in time that make me sit back in wonder. The way everyone pulled together after the flood is one prime example that makes me look around in wonder. The way the leaves turn in the Fall simply amazes me by natures beauty. The friendships I’ve made here give me pause in their variety, strength and constant comfort.

Last night, though, I had one of those moments on the music side.

Living here, you might find it strange that I rarely go to any of the “big events” that occur here. Fan Fair, for example, I only go to the free stuff after giving myself a pep-talk to do so. You can watch GAC or CMT and hear about these big shows that happen in town, and a majority of the time they fly under my radar.

But its the nights like last night, when I am hanging out with friends and an artist comes in just to hang out. Then the band happens to get that artist up to play. It’s those nights that I pinch myself, because you’re seeing this artist who you’d pay big bucks anywhere else to see in their true element. No lights. No smoke. No video boards. Often just them and a guitar for a few songs. Something their fans would pay mega bucks to see. Instead, I find myself sitting there, taking it all in, for the cost of a night out with friends. Just because I live HERE in Music City.

I have to admit. Even being as close to the music industry as I am, I still get a thrill from it. I still feel those music-fan goosebumps, and my internal voice is squealing, “Oh my gosh! How did I get this lucky!?”

I love it. I love this city. And I get to LIVE here.