Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Old Dominion Is My Ace & I Just Can't Lose

There's something to be said about seeing your favorite band. When you hear that, you probably think "well yeah, duh." But what I'm talking about is seeing your honest to goodness, down right, nothing else tops them, FAVORITE band. 

Perhaps I should give some context here... I don't think I've ever had a favorite band. Crazy right? Sure, there were bands and artists that I thought were my favorite, but I'm beginning to think I didn't know what that really meant. Well, ladies and gentlemen. I know now. Old Dominion is my FAVORITE band. And here's why. 

1) I feel like they have this unique and amazing way of communicating and expressing a feeling or feelings. Songwriting is a fantastic strength with this band. If you're a lyric person (which I just recently discovered isn't everyone), you know that Old Dominion's songs, as well as the songs they write for others, are relatable and paint a picture of a true emotion and feeling. There's a reason why you're "in your feelings" when you listen to their music. That's real shit right there. 2) They have such an honest connection to the crowd and their fans. I'm not sure of the reasoning behind why it's so amazing, but it's like they know what it's truly like to be one of us, and they care about us, and they don't give a shit who we are or what we look like. 3) They take you to your happy place. When I'm at an OD show I'm able to 100% disconnect from the outside world - any other stresses/concerns just don't exist for that hour and a half (feeling like I can literally not worry about tomorrow or the rest of my life). I'm taken to another place, a happy place, a place where I feel comfortable to jam out and shake my head and scream at the top of my lungs. And when I have just my earbuds, their music is what I turn to when I need to destress, relax, get in a good mood, or relieve some pre-interview / pre-date anxiety.

They're just a kick ass band putting good shit out into the world. And they're seeing the reciprocation of that when they come to a show and see and hear every fan singing along. Let it be known that their Meat and Candy album came out in November and every single person in the crowd tonight at Joe's Pub knew every word (that's not too common). To take it a step further, not only are they singing along, but they're f**king rocking out... feeling it, vibing to it, connecting. Man, isn't that what good music is all about? Connecting? I think that's what I love so much about Old Dominion, though it is hard to just state one reason. Not only do I know all the words to all of their songs but I FEEL things when I hear and sing along with them. Don't you?

In the past, and even now, I've enjoyed many many many bands and artists (so don't take this lightly) but the passion for and connection to Old Dominion is a feeling like no other. Call me crazy, call me drunk, call me whatever you want, but I can honestly say that Old Dominion is my favorite band, and I'm not ashamed to admit that this is a first at age 25. I finally understand what it feels like to love and care so deeply about a band.

PCD is undoubtably a real thing, and I guess that's why I just can't decide if my glass is half full or half empty...

Let's just let it be
Put your hands on me
All I know is we're gonna be alright
It's gonna be alright


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Old Dominion Poppin' Up in New York City

PCD is real. And if you don't believe me, at least Urban Dictionary does...

"Post-Concert Depression (PCD): The feeling of depression after going to a really good concert. Usually involves depression over the fact that your lives purpose is now fufilled after seeing your favourite band. Also can involve depression over the fact that you might not see that band for a long time."

Maybe it's because I'm obsessed (the first step is admitting it, guys). Or perhaps it's because I haven't been to a show in forever (which in reality is probably a month). Either way, my love for this band grows more with each show, song, and unbelievably adorable smile from Matthew Ramsey. Now that's a little somethin' for my lock screen. 

I first got wind of the "exclusive invite only Pop Up show by Old Dominion" via email from Joe's Pub two weeks prior. They reached out because I purchased a ticket to see Old Dominion in December. Perhaps early birds really do get the worm. 

Here are a few reasons why Monday's show (and every other one) was kick-ass:
  1. They know how to work a crowd. The genuine smiles and the laughter are proof that they love what they're doing.
  2. They're humble. Nobody likes an ego. We can only hope they hold onto this extremely important quality as they get bigger (because they WILL get bigger). 
  3. They're writers. They've written some of your favorite country songs (yes, I'm talking about Save It For A Rainy Day and Say You Do), including their own. There's a special place in my heart for songwriters.
  4. They still have few enough songs to play every single one. Buuuuuut not for long. Their new album, Meat and Candy, will bring music to your ears (literally) on November 6. My heart is doing cartwheels right now! Just wait until you hear, Song For Another Time.

The Bowery Electric is a super small venue, but I really don't think there's a better place to see your favorite band. To sum up the evening: intimate, captivating, and just downright fun. I may be biased, but I brought a friend who'd only ever heard one of their songs, and she was blown away too. They're the real deal, y'all.

Mark your calendars, because the boys will be back in town in December and next August. :)

More pictures and videos here.

I’m tired of having fun
I’m sick of watching that sunset
I just wanna turn in early
Said nobody ever


Saturday, September 12, 2015

How Country Feels With Randy Houser

I kicked up my heels for a little while and did it country style on Thursday night with Mr. Randy Houser. I'll be honest, I considered not wearing them that night, but in order to properly shout "I'm going out with my boots on" you have to actually be wearing them (so I gave in). 

Without much prior knowledge about the opening act, apparently something happened with his plane and that person(s) never made it. But the show went on, and in the words of RH himself, all we got is all night and ain’t nobody slowing’ us down right now.

We can all agree that Sam Smith's voice is god-like, but Randy's version of Stay With Me was a serious rival. You can't hide a mediocre voice when you've got a live mic in front of you, but that's no sweat for Randy. The man has an amazing voice and you realize it even more when you see him live. I'm in love with his voice. Obviously he played all his big hits, but he slowed it down a bit for Like A Cowboy and a brand spankin' new song (which I LOVE), Little Bit Older, Little Budweiser, "for all the people that bust their ass all week and are looking forward to a Friday and Saturday night, y'all." Needless to say, I'm looking forward to that release. And he gets some serious brownie points for playing two of my favorites, Growin' Younger and Absolutely Nothing. They're only known by those who have his complete How Country Feels album, but they're awesome (obviously if I like them). 

While the vocals were on point, the vibes were just off that night - and for a reason that I can't place (perhaps not having an opener?). The first time I saw him was phenomenal, but I guess every now and then you get a night like this. Despite all of that though, I have to say that Randy Houser is a fantastic country music artist (and his band rocks, too), and I'd go see him any day of the week. Stop being modest, Randy, there's lots special 'bout an "awe shucks country boy."

Some vids and pics you don't wanna miss right here.

Time goes by, you can't get it back
It's a one-way ride, you gotta make it last
Ain't nobody got no plans to settle down
All we're thinkin' 'bout is right here and right now


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Chase Rice Put Some Country In Us All

Ready. Set. Let's roll.

It's always important to mention the openers, who have the responsibility of getting the crowd pumped and alive for the show. If you've hit the Starland Ballroom for many country shows, there's a good chance you've seen Scott DeCarlo, who just rocks (literally). Climbing around on the bars is his favorite thing to do (fans love that s***), and his rendition of Save a Horse [Ride A Cowboy] is always a crowd-pleaser. The second opener was aspiring artist Carter Winter, who performed covers Hell of Night by Dustin Lynch, Garth Brooks' Rodeo and House Party by Sam Hunt (yes, the crowd knows every. single. word.). One of my favorite songs of his titled Whiskey and Wine exploits his deep (Josh Turner-like) voice. Winter may not look like your typical country-singing musician, but that's what makes him unique.

Chase Rice ain't just another pretty face y'all, but he certainly is a heartbreaker. The man puts on quite a show, and is a fabulous songwriter too. Take a read through his biography even if you already know who he is, it'll inspire you. The man has a genuine love for what he does and it's amazing. Combined with his looks, talent, and personality... we're in trouble, ladies. Did I mention he's also from Florida? ;)

Chase Rice got his little fine ass up on the stage, and kicked the night off with Do It Like This. Not surprising... every person in there knew the words to every single song (what a loyal fan base). He sang all of his hits, but some of my personal favorites: I Like Drinking, Cause It's Fun; Carolina Can (which should be his next single); an emotional acoustic performance of Jack Daniels and JesusLook At My Truck and How She Rolls (let's be honest, they're all my favorites). At one point, he serenaded a woman up on stage with the sweet and sexy, Ride... let's just say she had trouble keeping her composure (I would too). Michelle, every single woman was jealous of you.

Covers included: Cruise (a co-write), Smoke A Little Smoke (hell yeah, Eric Church!), Dust On The Bottle, and Free Fallin', and it's never really quite a country show without Friends in Low Places. Then there was the extremely exciting Blink-182 battle between his band members competing with All The Small Things and What's My Age Again? I'm still not sure who won, but the crowd was rockin' out hard (even the ones who weren't alive when those songs were released), so it really didn't matter. 

I need someone to remind me who I am, and Chase Rice can. He had us soakin' up every bit of the country life. Full of energy (that's how he rocks and that's how he rolls), he and his band were laughing and enjoying themselves the entire night. You could tell they were having so much fun, and it was contagious. For an hour and a half we were totally captivated, singing along to every song, forgetting that at some point, the night had to end *tear*. And like all good things, it did end. And we were sad.

If you've never seen him, you ain't livin' yet. Fear not though, he's coming to Terminal 5 NYC in November so you get one more chance (at least for now). I've been listening to his music non-stop since Thursday and I'm kinda obsessed. Now go learn all the words to his songs and sing your heart out when he comes back (and let's hope he plays What's Your Name this time). 

As always, more photos and videos are on Instagram :) 

I got grease on my hands and mud on my boots
Still hold on to my country roots
Got an Earnhardt tat on my left arm 
Born and raised on a Florida farm
I love my Garth and old George Strait
Ya I'll fish with real live bait
I'm Southern grown, Southern born and bred
And I'll be country 'till I'm dead


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Did You Wake Up Lovin' Old Dominion?

Yeah I know I said it, but I'll say it again... Old Dominion is incredible!

You know it's gonna be a good night when you start it with that view ^ ...and when you run into the band on the beach before the show. I think it's safe to say that we're best friends now. I mean, we are on a first name basis. They personally requested that my next blog post be all about them, so guess what guys? Here it is! Hope you love it :)

But first, let's hear it for those opening acts!

Kendal Conrad. Or did you mean one of the sweetest girls I've ever met? That's right, she's talented AND has an amazing personality (and is super adorable). I was blown away by her fabulous voice, and that girl has a serious resume! We talked a bit about her set and why she chose songs like There's Your TroubleCop Car, and Gunpowder and Lead as covers (all fan favorites). Help a sistah out and tell her what covers y'all like (though it seems like she may not need it)! We love you, Kendal!

I'll admit, I'd never heard of Outshyne until I saw they were opening. I listened to some songs on Spotify and knew they would be good, but I didn't realize they'd be this good. One word to describe this band? Fun. They sang many of their own songs (Dirt Road Romance and Moonlight Crush are personal favorites) and some really sick covers including Jason Aldean's Just Gettin' Started and The South by The Cadillac Three. But how about that combo of Let's Get It On and Thinking Out Loud?! Nailed it. I had the chance to meet them after the show at their merch table (yes, it really is that simple) and I loved every second of the interaction. You should catch the South Carolina based band before they hit the road Friday at Maxwell's Tavern (Hoboken, NJ) and Saturday at KJ Farrells (Bellmore, NY). You won't regret it.

Seeing Old Dominion twice in one week is just way too much... said nobody ever. And as soon as you finally give them a listen (and a look *heart eyes emoji*), you'll understand why. Last night's show makes my top 10 best concert ever list... and for someone who goes to A LOT of concerts, that's not to be taken lightly. Thankfully this set was way longer than the 20 minutes they had at MetLife. 

The best performances (in my opinion) are the ones that make you feel something standing out there in the crowd, and boy did we ever feel last night. Not only did we FINALLY get to hear Save It For A Rainy Day, but also Sangria, Say You DoEx To See, and A Guy Walks Into A Bar. In the midst of all this, I actually heard someone say, "Sing your own songs already!" What that person didn't realize, and maybe you didn't either, is that they WERE. Those lovely band members had their hands in every one of those hits (because they're kick-ass songwriters too). Thanks for writing, singing, and sharing great music, boys. Y'all are everything I love in a band.

The coolest thing about last night's show (other than everything) was during Nowhere Fast when the entire place was singing every word. I wish I could bottle that moment up and share it with you somehow because it was indescribable. The entire band was looking at each other and couldn't help but smile ...what a moment. There is nothing like witnessing a band's reactions the instant they realize they've made it. Also, can we all agree that Brad Tursi looks like happiest person in the world? Let's be friends, Brad. 

From the show, to the venue, to the fantastic merch guy (fistbump, Nick) the night was downright amazing. There is nothing like a small venue, no matter how packed it is, and that's what I love about this area. You can see some really fantastic bands for a decent price, and guess what? You can actually see them. And hear them (and sometimes vice versa). Lucky for you guys, there are still some great country music acts left to perform at Jenks this summer.

"That was awesome!!" was a common statement from fans in the crowd. But like everything great in life, Old Dominion were here and gone in a flash, ending the night with a killer performance of Wake Up Lovin' You. Though I'm still not tired of their EP, raise your hand if you can't wait for their new album, too! I'll be on that like dirt on a road. Until next time, boys.

And as always, more fabulous photos and videos on Instagram :)

Shake me up and baby turn me loose
I just wanna roll around with you


Monday, August 17, 2015

Kenny Chesney, He's Got It All.

Well the fact that I'm still breathing means that I must have survived. (And that I lived to go out with Old Dominion again Wednesday night). 

I literally cannot think of a more amazing show. Old Dominion, Cole Swindell, Brantley Gilbert, Jason Aldean, AND Kenny Chesney? Now that's a boys club I didn't mind being a part of, and I wasn't the only one feeling this way. There were records broken to prove it. According to MetLife Stadium, Kenny Chesney was the "highest selling Country music artist OF ALL TIME in New Jersey" with 58,642 fans in attendance! That should certainly make him feel like a rock star.

Old Dominion

Kicking off the party first was the wonderful and talented country rock band, Old Dominion (you can see us hangin' like a pair of dice above, thanks to Tunespeak!). If you happened to catch them, you made all the right wrong turns that night (or should we say afternoon? It was 4:30 afterall). Though the stadium was empty (because at that point most of the fans still had beer on their breath in the parking lot), it didn't seem to bother them one bit. They were probably so caught up in how it felt to play at MetLife (uh, I would be too)! Don't know the guys? Break Up With Him or Shut Me Up should ring some bells, But if not, co-writes ChainsawWake Up Lovin' You and Say You Do certainly will. No pressure, whatever, just do what you gotta do, but if I was you I would check them out.

Old Dominion let the night do what it does best, rockin' all the songs from their EP, but the set was entirely too short. Even though sweat was pouring down my back, I was singing along to every word, wanting nothing more than for them to keep playing. And I know it ain't my business to be all up in, but y'all think any of them are single? Let me stop. Thanks Matthew, Brad, Trevor, Geoff and Whit... y'all are awesome! Any time y'all wanna rock with me, I'll roll ;)

*Caution: If you plan on reading the rest of this review, you'll need a cold drink, cause I'm a hot mess.

Cole Swindell

All the worries in the world? They were gone. Because just as there was a little sun left to burn in the blue sky, we started kickin' it country style with Cole Swindell. The place was getting more packed and the drinks were flowing. From where I was standing, there was nowhere to go (literally), but there was nowhere else to be. Long as I'm rocking with you, Cole, you know I'm cool with just chillin' it.

Came out to have a good time? Then you were at the right place. If you've seen him before (or read my NASH BASH review) then you know that he's just like a miniature Luke Bryan. Happy as can be, the man was tearin' that dance floor up. He's such a fun artist to see live. No wonder he won New Artist of the Year at the ACM Awards. Well deserved, buddy.

Cheers to a good country song... that you can sing to your ex. The crowd was singing from the bottom of their broken hearts because baby, you just ain't worth the whiskey. Hey Y'allLet Me See Ya Girl and Hope You Get Lonely Tonight were amongst the other fan favorites. And Brought To You By Beer... don't remind us, Cole - that's still a touchy subject. I think it's safe to say Cole had a night with our names on it.

Brantley Gilbert

If you want a bad boy, then baby you got it. Brantley Gilbert is the definition of a country rebel, and I just love it. Seeing him perform was a moment I'd long been waiting for, and I finally got to cross it off my bucket list. I was in the front row singing along (because I'm all about the country sound) and I never thought I'd be one to bang my head up and down at a concert, but it may have happened a time or two during his set (I can't lie. I'm guilty!). Sho'nuff was a good time.

If Old Dominion and Cole Swindell didn't do the trick, Brantley sure did. One Hell Of An Amen, Small Town Throwdown, Bottoms Up ...you name it, he played it. Read Me My Rights was probably the most intense, though he did make it clear to the crowd that if there was to be a fight, to take it outside (thanks for that BG). Not sure if he can still say he ain't close to famous, but you can tell he loves to play and sing. MetLife certainly isn't a honky tonk, so I'd say he's living one hell of a dream. Let's give a toast to the good times. *Raises beer*

For all those who are wondering, there ain't no doubt in my mind that country IS country wide. And I will continue to say that as long as I'm feelin' like I was that night. Looking around at the people rockin' out to BG confirms the fact that it ain't where, it's how you live. Can I get an amen?

Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean sure left his mark on us, and we can only hope we left our mark on him, too.

I first saw Jason back when he was on Trace Adkins' tour with Billy Currington in 2006... I'm talkin Hicktown and Amarillo Sky (which are still crowd faves). It was nice to see him again with just slightly better tickets this time. I couldn't wait for him to get that thing started. JA is my kinda party.

If you're a concert junkie like me (or even if you're not), you know that each artist has their own unique performing style. Compared to many others, Jason is one of the calmest and most seemingly confident I've ever seen. How he manages to get the crowd so pumped without bouncing up and down is beyond me. From Burnin' It Down to Crazy Town, he was just doin' his thing (oh how we love it when he sings). Add some fireworks and flames, and you have yourself one wild night. But that's the way we get down.

Take a moment to think about this... other than in your car or the shower, where else can you belt out the words to a song at the top of your lungs without being judged? The answer? MetLife Stadium with 58,000 other people. Sure, any song will really do, but there's just something about The Truth that brings a crowd together. It's like one giant therapy session. "The truth is that I'm askin' you to lie, and we both know that it ain't right..."

From the songs he plays to the prays he prays, that man is country. And I just gotta tell you, Jason, that night looked good on you. I have one question though, why oh why didn't you play WHY? Oh well, long as I'm with you it really don't matter.

Kenny Chesney

And then, everything got hotter when the sun went down. Which seems impossible considering the temperature read 93. Ah, sweet summertime. It's safe to say that I've done some livin' and I've had fun. But there is one thing that I haven't done, and that's stand front row at a Kenny Chesney concert (and I've never wanted nothing more). One more night of that that would surely kill me (but holy bucket list!).

We all have a song that somehow stamped our lives, takes us to another place and time. I Go Back does it for me, and was probably my favorite of the night. Mix in Anything But Mine, Living In Fast Forward, and Young ...and man, that's the good stuff! The crowd once again connected during emotional songs, Somewhere With You and You And Tequila (it's always our favorite sins that do us in). At one point, Kenny brought a girl up on stage and fulfilled her dream of kissing him on the lips (YEAH), which showed us his softer side.

It's amazing when you think about just how many hits Kenny has, but it also makes it pretty impossible to hear every one you wanted. I was waiting ALL NIGHT to hear a song that he was apparently saving for a rainy day (hint hint). Perhaps the sun was too bright or the sky was too blue? Ugh. Guess I'll just sit right here, and have another beer in my apartment to melt these blues away. As KC would say, a drink or two is a foolproof remedy, and he's sure worth drinking to. Also, can we get  a hell yeah for his amazing female bassist?

Man I don't know, where the time goes, but it sure goes fast, because before we knew it, it was time for the encore. Both Kenny and Jason sang She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy and The Only Way I Know, and then the highly anticipated Summer of 69... which was phenomenal. I struggle sometimes to find the words. There was also a moment when I was sure Kenny and Jason were looking straight at me, and that's something that just don't happen twice.

We raised a lot of hell in the no shoes nation that night and I can't say we had a whole lot of cares (because there's only so many times you get to feel like this). But oh how we prayed it wouldn't end. It all may seem like a blur now, but I do recall wishin' time would stop right in it's tracks.

Ah, goodbyes are like a roulette wheel. You never know where they're gonna land. I just wish it wasn't over! It was honestly one of the best shows I've ever been to, and it was evident that everyone in there felt the same. How are we feeling now, you ask? We may be a little messed up, but we'll eventually be alright (I hope).

Check out Instagram to relive the night over and over again.

One life, one chance
One ticket to the big dance
You and me still holding on
Right down to the last song


Monday, August 10, 2015

Killin' the Lights and Strippin' It Down with Luke Bryan

So it's Monday, and I'm STILL trying to get a handle on what happened Friday night. What was it, you ask? Luke Bryan, my friends. And if this photo provides any insight to how I'm feeling, well, then you just might understand.

Last Tuesday, Citi announced it's exclusive Luke Bryan show at Irving Plaza on Friday, August 7. Within minutes of it's on-sale time, tickets were gone. Though fans only knew about the show 3 days prior, there was still plenty of time to build up excitement. Not only was it Luke Bryan, but it was Luke Bryan at a venue that holds a max of 1,025 people! Yeah, betcha never thought that would happen. But it did, and boy are we glad! (THANK YOU CITI)

Just as expected, by 6:30 on Friday the line at Irving Plaza was already halfway around the next block. The copious amounts of boots and flannel were a dead giveaway to passersby that this was unlike most nights in the popular Union Square neighborhood. And by 8:30, the crowd inside was chanting, "Luuuuuuuuke!" It was pretty clear we all knew we didn't want this night to end.

His hour-long set included some of his most popular hits, Play It Again, Roller Coaster, and Country Girl Shake It for Me, as well as Kill The Lights (which he actually did at one point) and more songs off of his new (and rather fantastic) album, which was just released on the day of the show. Side note - I don't know about you, but Kill The Lights just makes me wanna shake it. The beat sounds like it was stolen from a Michael Jackson song (and I'm not complaining there). Somebody, please play it again.

The man's dancing gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME. No Luke, I can't move when you move. (Country boy, shake it for me!) Well, not only did he shake it for us, he drank a beer for us, and he even stripped it down for us! And by stripped it down, I mean he played with just himself and the piano (don't get too excited, ladies). He turned Irving Plaza into a party. 

Man, if I could've hit pause, I would've somehow. But it don't work like that. In case you can't quite understand how I felt, let me put it into some LB lyrics for ya... It's like all you keep trying to do is slow it down, soak it in. You're trying to make the good times last as long as you can. But you can't, man. It just goes too fast... (*tear*)

Surprisingly though, I left that night feeling completed and utterly satisfied. I usually leave a concert with serious PCD (Post-Concert Depression), but I was more than happy with how everything went. I got my  (totally unexpected, but totally AMAZING) picture. I saw him dance. And I was part of a night that many people would pay serious money for (and let's be honest, some of you did). 

Luke, I don't know what you did, but you done it good
. And now (if not before), I can't go anywhere, I can't do anything
. No, I can't close my eyes without you in my dreams

Check out Instagram for more beautiful pictures videos ;)

It's like there's something in the air
That turns you wild 
when a country song is way up loud 
and the sun goes down


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

It May Be August, But We Ain't Runnin' Outta Summer Yet

Alright, so it's August (sigh). And you might be in a panic, thinking "Hot damn, the summer's almost over and I haven't done anything yet!" Slow it down my friends. We still have lots of summer left, and I'll tell you what I'LL be doing to make the most of it.

Tonight: Sitting on my couch watching the CMA Music Festival on ABC hosted by Little Big Town.

August 5: Hanging out on the shore with Dylan Scott and Derek Crider at Jenks Club (did I mention this is FREE).

August 7: It’s been a long, hot summer, and we should be together with Keith Urban at the TODAY show or kickin' the dust up with Luke Bryan at GMA. Then LB round 2 for his exclusive show at Irving Plaza... but Jersey for Toby Keith at PNC Bank Center isn't a bad idea either. 

August 13: Where I'd like to be is with Lee BriceEric Paslay and The Cadillac Three at Mercer County Park Festival Grounds OR with Sam Hunt (heard he's single for the summer), Michael Ray and Joel Crouse at Pennysaver Amphitheater... but I'll most likely just be sitting on my couch, if I'm being completely honest (not having a job limits one's spending abilities). 

August 15: Jason AldeanKenny Chesney, Brantley Gilbert, Cole Swindell and Old Dominion are all at MetLife Stadium. There's really no excuse not to be there, other than the fact that tickets on StubHub start at a whopping $154 for upper bowl. So call up all your rowdy friends and crank that country up loud. Lee Brice won't be there, but it'll certainly be one hell of a parkin' lot party.

August 19: I guess I'm making all the right wrong turns that night with Old DominionOutshyne and Kendal Conrad at Jenk's Club... oh, and it's free :)

August 20-23: The four-day long Brooklyn Country Music Festival at The Bell House sounds enticing enough.

August 21 & 22: I'll be knee deep with Zac Brown Band at Citi Field on one of these days (or maybe both).

August 26: I just can't get away from a good time, and Logan Mize and Rachel Allyn at Jenks Club sounds like something I can't pass up (again, free).

August 27: Ready, set, roll. Chase Rice is well worth my trip to Starland Ballroom in New Jersey with Carter Winter and Scott DeCarlo.

August 29: It's just a hop, skip and jump to The Shop in Brooklyn for The Cadillac Three.

So what will you do before the summer dies? Sounds like I'll be busy. Will you?

Be sure to check out the events calendar for the full country music schedule the rest of this summer! And stay tuned for my September plans - it's going to be one crazy month!


Got a whole lot of time left
There's still so many sunsets
To make a night that we won't forget, baby
Ain't runnin' outta summer yet

Monday, June 1, 2015

Before You "Kick the Bucket"

If you know me well, you know that I'm really into crossing things off of my bucket list. Why? Because YOLO (you only live once), and I believe you should enjoy every single moment. In fact, many country music artists have told us just the same. Tim McGraw sang about the truly amazing things that resulted from a man being forced to live like he was dying, and Lee Ann Womack's 2000 hit told us that when we get the choice to sit it out or dance, dance. There's also Travis Tritt's It's a Great Day to Be Alive, Don't Miss Your Life by Phil Vassar, Don't Blink by Kenny Chesney... and the list goes on.

While I have many different categories on my bucket list, the one I want to share with you today is my country concert bucket list (obviously!). Some of the crossed off shows I had been dying to see, and some of them just happened by chance, but I'm not complaining. Here's a peek:

A Thousand Horses          
Alan Jackson
Ashley Monroe
Billy Currington
Blake Shelton
Brantley Gilbert
Brett Eldredge
Brothers Osborne
Charlie Worsham
Chase Rice
Chris Young
Cole Swindell
Craig Morgan
Darius Rucker
Dierks Bentley
Dixie Chicks
Dolly Parton
Dwight Yoakam
Dylan Scott
Elvis Presley
Eric Church
Florida Georgia Line     
Garth Brooks
George Jones
George Strait
Jake Owen
Jana Kramer
Jason Aldean
Jerrod Niemann
Jimmy Buffett
Johnny Cash
Josh Turner
Justin Moore
Kacey Musgraves

Keith Urban
Kellie Pickler
Kelsea Ballerini
Kenny Chesney
Kip Moore
Lee Brice
Little Big Town
Luke Bryan
Martina McBride
Michael Ray
Miranda Lambert        
Native Run
Old Dominion
Phil Vassar 
Randy Houser
Randy Travis
Rascal Flatts
Reba McEntire

Sam Hunt
Shania Twain
Sturgill Simpson
The Band Perry
The Lone Bellow
Thomas Rhett
Tim McGraw
Trace Adkins
Tyler Farr
Vince Gill
Zac Brown Band
Maybe I'm a bit of a concert addict? But I'm completely okay with that. I do realize some of those I haven't seen yet are a little unrealistic - given the fact that they are no longer around - but a girl can dream, right? And yes, I know there are a ton of amazing artists I missed, but my list is constantly growing (as it should be!).

Who's on YOUR country concert bucket list? (Share below!) And if you don't have one, now's the perfect time to get it going (especially with all of the shows coming to the NYC area this summer)! Josh Gracin says "it's never too late so do it while you can, cause tomorrow could go wrong" and he's right. So, raise your glass... here's to life!

She's dyin' to try something foolish
Do something crazy
Or just get away
Something for herself for a change
Is there life out there
So much she hasn't done


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

MIA Country Blogger Returns

Where have I been the last couple of months? No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth (well at least not for good). But just in case you missed me, here's the rundown on what I've been up to:

Miranda Lambert showed me and the rest of NYC what a woman is made of.

Miranda Lambert was at MSG and we all took nothing but a memory. The openers were fantastic, too. Ashley Monroe was onto something good with her sweet, southern voice that reminds me of Dolly Parton.

Justin Moore... well, there are no adjectives to properly describe his performance. But let me just say that country done came to TOWN! Just a few of his fabulous quotes from the evening: "Just so y'all are aware, you CAN come to a country concert in New York City!" - Yes. WE KNOW. "I know we're in the middle of the city, but do we have any rednecks in here?" - Only one gentleman was wearing a cowboy hat, but I don't think that's make or break to be considered a redneck. "Why have we waited so long to play here, y'all?" - I wondered the same thing, Justin!

And then there was Miranda, who kicked ass (I love that I can say that on here!). Some of her best, in my opinion, were Little Red Wagon, The House That Built Me, and Gunpowder and Lead. She's just so cool. At the end, Ashley Monroe and another woman from the band joined Miranda to sing a Dixie Chicks cover! You guys, it was nothing short of amazing. They ain't the kind you gotta shake, but you can check out the pictures on Instagram.

I contemplated breaking up with him after an Old Dominion serenade.

"We like to pat ourselves on the back in this band," the lead singer Matt Ramsey said at one point during the show, and I'd gladly do the same. Aside from their own big hits, they performed several of the songs they've written for big names like Dierks Bentley, Tyler Farr and Craig Morgan (and yes, even a co-write Ex To See with Sam Hunt). A personal favorite from the night was Said Nobody Ever, which I believe will be a new song on their album. The guys were very interactive with the crowd, telling jokes and laughing at themselves... It was such a fun night! Old Dominion is definitely going SOMEWHERE fast. Side note: They also told us they'll be at CMA Fest (for those lucky enough to be going) so don't miss them. 

I got country crazy at a StageCoach bachelorette party.

I'd never been to a music festival before (if you haven't, you need to) and it is truly a unique experience. 7 of us girls stayed in an RV on the grounds the entire weekend. To be able to wake up, tailgate, and walk a short distance to a stage to see some of the best names in country music - honestly, what could be better? The festival is on the same grounds as Coachella, but is a much different experience from what I hear. Some of the noteworthy performers: Tim McGraw (AMAZING), Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, The Band Perry, Blake Shelton and Jake Owen. I had some of the best times I'll never remember. Can anyone say FarmBorough?

Darius Rucker told me how much he wanted me to hold his hand.

We don't need no concert in the city. Darius Rucker was right there in Holmdel, New Jersey! It was the first stop on his Southern Style Tour and it was absolutely phenomenal. The openers certainly held their own as well.. Brett Eldredge was an incredible entertainer - just downright fun - but I honestly didn't expect anything less (if you follow him on Instagram, you understand). I  was falling in love to the beat of his music, as well as Brothers Osborne with their hits Stay A Little Longer and Rum (aka the perfect summer theme song) and A Thousand Horses' Smoke.

Literally every single person there was singing along to even the ones that they barely knew. They still sounded good... a little outta tune, but we didn't care. As Hootie would say, let her sing. Speaking of, were there any throwback Hootie and the Blowfish songs? HECK YES. And all the best ones too: TimeOnly Wanna Be With YouLet Her Cry, and Hold My Hand - assisted by the openers. The best news you'll ever hear, HATB are writing a new album which they plan to finish within the next few years... hopefully it doesn't take too much tiiiiiime. I've been on a serious Hootie and the Blowfish kick ever since.

And of course he saved Wagon Wheel for last, sending us all out of the venue with it stuck in our heads (rock me momma). Darius was right when he said it wouldn't be like this for long and don't think we won't think about it.

I watched a cowboy ride off into the sunset with the woman of his dreams.

It may sound so sappy, but for my brother, it's true. The beautiful country-chic wedding was at a barn in Scottsdale, Arizona where all of the bridesmaids (including me) and the groomsmen wore cowboy boots (and most of the guests as well). Yes, there was even line dancing to Alan Jackson's Good Time and more. I'm glad I have such a country music loving family (for the most part at least). I'd like to do a whole piece on this one - so be on the lookout for it!

When it comes to a good time
You know what they say
It's never too early
It's never too late


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Country In Brooklyn... Brought To You By Beer

NASH BASH in Brooklyn was the place to be last night. There may have been more empty seats than filled ones, but c'mon guys, it's quality not quantity. And those of us that were there were swayin' and prayin' that Cole and the band didn't ever stop playin'.

Amongst the openers were Jana Kramer and Gloriana, but to kick it off was Michael Ray, who by the way is not all that hard to look at (and what a great way to get us in our seats). You might recognize his name from his hit song right now, Kiss You In The Morning. I hadn't heard any of the others, but he won us over with Dust On The Bottle, which is always a fan favorite. 

Jana Kramer was as fierce as could be. She stunned us with some killer heels and a hott outfit, but she'd look great in just about anything. I'm sure the guys were wondering why she had to keep making them want her too. Jana was belting it out seriously hard for Love and a little AC/DC All Night Long, but to me, nothing was better than her beautiful voice during some of the slower songs. Jana, I still believe in love too. 

And Gloriana's set made me wonder why they are so completely underrated (Tom, Mike and Rachel really are wild at heart). Some noteworthy songs were Can't Shake You, [Kissed You] Good Night, and Trouble, which brought everyone to their feet. I don't know why I haven't paid more attention to them, but I certainly will now (and you should too).

Cole Swindell was like something straight out of a country song. That man is a Luke Bryan in the making (from his voice to his moves) and he sure knows how to shake it alright! I'm pretty sure I said multiple times last night how adorable he is. 

Of course CS played all his popular tunes: Ain't Worth The WhiskeyChillin' ItHope You Get Lonely Tonight (and then some). Something you may have in common, he's a big Tim McGraw and Dierks Bentley fan (but really who isn't?). BBQ Stain and What Was I Thinkin' were hits with this Brooklyn country crowd. It felt like we were somewhere between the back roads and the back row.

Not only does he put on a fabulous show, Cole is also quite impressive off the stage as well. He writes music for himself and many others in the country world (Get Me Some Of That by Thomas Rhett, This Is How We Roll by FGL, Roller Coaster by Luke Bryan - all of which he performed last night - and so many more). 

Anyone else at the show would probably agree that all the worries in the world, they were gone. I mean, some drunk dude was even in the crowd yelling, "Let's get weird, y'all." Ok, not really, but I'm pretty sure there were many moments that could have only been #BroughtToYouByBeer (or maybe it was the whiskey? Who cares). Cole may not be able to fill Barclays Center just yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if he starts selling out arenas in the next few years. Thanks for letting us chill it with you, Cole :)

Some are gonna wanna fight, some are gonna wanna dance
Some are gonna wanna carry 'round one in each hand.
Yeah, we all have a get a little crazy plan
When we break out and we go out.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Walkin, Talkin, Drinkin Proof

Tyler Farr was at Starland Ballroom recently and if you weren't there, here's what you missed:

Get a little redneck crazy. Add some whiskey to your water. Throw in a little dirty talk (thanks to the woman who threw her bra up on stage). And you're all caught up. TF sang an acoustic version of Hello Goodbye (which was phenomenal). I really felt that true emotion, but half of the crowd was hardly paying attention and I could hear them talking over most of it. The problem you ask? Maybe they weren't even drinkin'. Okay, that's a lie. But shame on y'all! 

While it wasn't quite as much of a party as some of the other shows I've seen, I thoroughly enjoyed it. He may not have been dancing around the stage like Thomas Rhett, but I was entertained and I respect his style and ability to sing. I also have to mention his cool setup. The way his name lit up came from a shadow box of sorts, so no matter what the lighting was like during each song, you always had a clear photo (above). 

The opener, Scott DeCarlo (pictured above) was pretty impressive as well. And get this... I talked to his photographer after the show and he said Scott only does this part-time. He has a full-time job and plays local venues in his free time. Now THAT'S dedication. Best of luck to you, Scott!

And just like all good things.. it had to come to an end. We barely even said hello before we had to say goodbye. For some of you lucky dogs, you'll get to see the guy walk into a bar again on April 28 at Irving Plaza. Just don't forget to pay attention this time.

Get your hands up
If your whiskey bent and hell bound 
Get your hands up
If you like the way that guitar sounds


Monday, March 23, 2015

Billy Currington Knows What To Do With A Friday Night

Billy must be doin' somethin' right, and his sold out show last Friday was one way to prove it. It started with an "I" and ended with a "U" and Billy had a feelin' we were feelin' it too.

We Are Tonight, Don't It, People Are Crazy, Hey Girl... you name it, he played it. But if he was going to play anything, it had better be Good Directions - and it was clear that the entire audience agreed. Who needs backup singers when you've got two thousand country music fans singing along to every word? 

To sum the night up, God is great. Beer is good. And people are crazy. 

But really... We found a floor and we danced on it. We were tonight. We had lots of feelin's. We were pretty good at drinkin' beer. And yes, we enjoyed ourselves. Everyone was having fun and really, what more could you want from a concert? The only complaint I have is that it wasn't near long enough (and not just because I never wanted it to end). He let us down easy just before 10pm and only came out for a few more for the encore. It was like one minute he was telling us he was pretty good at drinking beer and the next we were watching him disappear into a cloud of dust. Sigh...

On another note - Have you ever instantly connected to an artist after only hearing them perform just once? Well, that's exactly why I must mention the incredible opener that evening, Kelsea Ballerini. This was my first time hearing her live (and honestly the first time hearing more than one of her songs). All I have to say is... She. Killed. It. Her current hit is Love Me Like You Mean It, and if you're wondering, yes, she can talk the talk and walk it. My favorite that night was a song where she compares her pain to wearing stilettos... even though they may hurt, you keep your head up high, putting on a show. All of her lyrics are so unbelievably honest and relatable. And the woman's only twenty-one!

I met her after the concert and she's just as awesome in person as she is on the stage. Did I mention Taylor Swift loves her too? Okay, let me stop because I could go on about this girl forever! I am so excited to follow her journey. She's going places. If you haven't heard of her, you need to go listen. Unfortunately not all of her music is up on Spotify, but there's more on YouTube.

Kelsea and Billy, thanks for the fabulous night. It's good to know New York City can feel a little more "country" sometimes. In the words of the man himself, thank God for good directions, and turnip greens.

Enjoy yourself, let it all hang out
And you'll know exactly what I'm talkin' about
If you come on over without a doubt
You'll enjoy yourself


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Because There's No Such Thing As "Too Many Concerts"

With so many (but still not enough) shows coming up in the NYC area, we could all use a little discount or free show. Honestly, there's just too much month at the end of the money. So, in order to ease the pain (kind of) I've gathered links to all of the current contests and discount codes out there. I'll continue to update as I find them, but jump on these while you can! Feel free to share below if you know of any more!


Taste of Country Music Festival - $10 off with code: SUMMER10


NASH FM 94.7
Tim McGraw @ Jones Beach 6/11 & PNC Bank Arts Center 7/18 - Ends 3/11
NASH BASH @ Barclays Center 3/24 - Ends 3/12
Miranda Lambert @ MSG 3/28 - Ends 3/12
Shania Twain @ MSG 6/30, Nassau Coliseum 7/1, PruCenter 7/7 - Ends 3/16
*All of their contests end at 12am on the dates above

Miranda Lambert @ MSG 3/28
Tim McGraw @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater 6/11
Kenny Chesney & Jason Aldean @ MetLife Stadium 8/15
Jimmy Buffett & The Coral Reefer Band @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater 8/18

All gone, oh, heaven only knows.
All gone, oh, where on earth it goes,
But it sure goes.
Well, sometimes I think it blows away.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Who Wants a Little Taste of Country this Summer?

Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Billy Currington, Eli Young Band, Jerrod Niemann, Sara Evans, Easton Corbin, Chase Bryant, Colt Ford, Josh Abbott Band, Tracy Lawrence, LOCASH, Logan Mize, Western Underground, Rachel Lipsky, Sasha McVeigh, Jackson Michelson and Annie Bosko. I'm out of breath. Buttttt, that's a pretty sick lineup. The coolest part? You'll receive $10 off just by using my code: SUMMER10. Thank me later, but totally share with your friends now.

The 3rd Annual Taste of Country Music Festival will be held June 12-14, 2015 at Hunter Mountain Resort (Hunter, NY) in the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County. All of the details are here

If you're reading this, you're obviously interested, or maybe you just came to drink (we're all just drunk Americans after all). But if you're looking for a little bit of everything, Keith, Toby and the rest of the artists have you covered. And Tim? Well, Tim's just there to see you smile (and I know you will). 

Summer comin' through a rolled down window
Tearin' down an almost two lane back road
Freedom and fireflies in the air


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Shania Twain Is Still The One

No, you're not dreamin' or stupid. Shania is still going strong, but apparently not for long. She just announced her LAST TOUR EVER and I'm happy (but also a little sad) to share that she's got three stops in our area. No matter what kind of day you were having before this, it can only go up from here :)

I've had Shania on Spotify ALL day (highly recommend doing the same) and I can't help but think back to my middle school days when I was a dancer (short-lived, but still happened) and wanted so badly to be a part of the older girls' group so I could dance to Man! I Feel Like A Woman. I still remember a lot of the moves (from watching, obv) and you better believe that I WILL be testing a few of them out at the concert. After all, you only live once.

In case you're suffering from a little memory loss, let me make it clear to you, my dear:
You're welcome for the sweet vids. Now, for the dates:

June 30 @ Madison Square Garden
July 1 @ Nassau Coliseum
July 7 @ Prudential Center

Presale tickets will be available starting 3/10, but general tickets go on sale to the public 3/13 at 10am. If you wanna make some noise and really raise your voice, then get to this show! In the words of the lovely lady herself, don't be stupid. You can betcha bottom dollar I certainly won't be.

The best thing about being a woman
Is the prerogative to have a little fun


Friday, February 27, 2015

Thomas Rhett Made Me Wanna...

It started with a smile, and didn't quite end with an all night long slow kiss, but I'm totally alright with that. Thomas Rhett, you have jumped to my top five, without a doubt. The vibes during his show at Starland Ballroom accurately illustrated my idea of a country concert. There was beer, cowboy hats, and multiple U.S.A. chants (it's not really a country concert without all of that - GO AMERICA!). 

Other than his best songs (which really is everything), TR also performed the song he wrote for Florida-Georgia Line, Round Here, and a better version of it in my opinion. He serenaded us with an emotional Beer With Jesus (that had me in my feelings). And just like at MSG the night before, he showed us his version of Uptown Funk and Parkin' Lot Party, but when it comes to the atmosphere, there's no comparing the two. Despite the fact that it was a whopping 20 degrees outside, Starland Ballroom really felt like one big parkin' lot party (they actually did have to tow some asses outta there as well). 

TR had the country boy charm turned all the way on last night. He's got a beautiful wife but I'll bet the ladies were wishin' they were his high school sweetheart. I mean, his moves alone... Luke Bryan better watch out! My favorite thing about his performance though, is the fact that he's just having so much FUN on that stage and he's so interactive with the crowd. He brings fans up to sing with him and takes quite a few selfies (jealous). You can't help but love every bit of it.

I can't forget to mention the opener, Alex Hall. I hadn't heard of him until last night, but there's no doubt in my mind that the rest of the country music world will know him soon. Not many people can pull off a Johnny Cash cover, but he had the deep voice and moves to back it up. We didn't have the blues, but he certainly gave us a rhythm. Props to you, Alex. I can't wait to hear more. (IG has the videos and pictures)

The whole night was amazing and there's really no better way to end a show than with Garth Brooks' Friends In Low Places. Honestly, I'd love to be a part of that tour, because it seems like a blast. TR, when can we get another album?

I don't know when it's gonna end
So for now, I'm sorry for partying


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bumpin' the Night with FGL at MSG

I guess I must be spoiled, but a country concert is just not the same in a big arena. Now don't get me wrong, Florida-Georgia Line had the crowd on their feet the entire night, but it just wasn't my scene. To be completely honest, I enjoyed the opener (Thomas Rhett) more than the main act. The whole production was just too big, but I guess that's just how they roll. 

Florida-Georgia Line is all about bringing the party and they had some damn good times. Looking around, I got the feeling that I was surrounded by either die-hard FGL fans or really drunk people (or both in some cases) because they were livin' every minute of the night like there might never be another. I was definitely not on the same level, but I did notice several people leaving before the show was even close to being over. 

Tyler and BK performed all of their biggest hits, but my personal favorites of the night were Sippin' on Fire, Here's to the Good Times and Dirt. I also really would have liked to hear Take it Out on Me and People Back Home, but I guess you can't always get what you want. They also took us out of our country into a little hip-hop with Forgot About Dre and All About That Bass while rockin' some J's (those are Jordan brand sneakers for my cowboy boot loving friends).

Thomas Rhett absolutely killed it. The man is just as fun and lively as I'd hoped, which has me even more fired up to see him in a (much, much) smaller venue. The crowd jumped to their feet for his performances of Get Me Some of ThatMake Me Wanna, and It Goes Like This, where he showed off his sweet moves. I honestly think he could rival Luke Bryan in a dance contest - the man can shake it! TR also did a fun country cover of Uptown Funk, and made his way out into the crowd to sing with a fan (hilarious). What a fun, and true country artist. I am however, a little ashamed to admit that I missed Frankie Ballard's opening performance (a confusion with the set time). Oh well, I guess bad times make the good times better. 

Now I'm not saying your boys (FGL) didn't bring the party. Bottom line: It was exactly what you would expect from a rock/pop country duo. I'll continue to listen to FGL on Spotify, but I'm not sure I'd pay $100 to attend one of their shows again.

Every goodbye is bitter sweet,
So why should we fight what we both need?