Last night I experienced something I never thought I would. I went to a country music concert. Now, don’t get me wrong, some country music is actually very enjoyable. Like Johnny Cash or Jerry Lee Lewis. That’s back when country music was just like rock music only it was made in Memphis, was kind of cool, and just had a bass and banjo that made it a little twangy. Then country music became about Toby Keith proclaiming to the world things about being a “redneck” and driving a big Ford truck. That’s not music. That’s just hillbilly obnoxious. Through the years I’ve had to suffer through my mother getting confused and listening to the country radio stations (did you know they are the most popular?) and on occasion purchasing a Kenny Chesney album (I’ll forgive you for that one mother). But as horrifying as Luke Bryan wanting country girls to shake it for him (barf) and Blake Shelton continuously winning “The Voice” with little girls (does anyone else think that is a little strange?), there are some actual good country artists out there. And no, I’m not talking about Taylor Swift (because we shouldn’t even consider her country anymore and it’s sad because she was good at it).
Last night I went to see The Band Perry and Rascal Flatts with a group of country loving friends (we will forgive them, too) and I have to say it wasn’t bad. I mean it wasn’t the best concert I’ve been too, but I didn’t roll on the floor writhing in pain. That’s probably because I quite enjoy The Band Perry. I think that a band made up of brothers and a sister is kind of awesome. They were pretty cute, too. They seemed to be very happy to be there and given their incredible songwriting and stage presence I think that they deserve to be. I’ll admit that I do own their newest album “Pioneer” and it is a joy to listen to. I wish they weren’t the opening so I could have seen them play longer, but alas they were not. Is it weird that I want to meet their parents and thank them for making such cool, talented, and not hick-like children?
After The Band Perry it was time for Rascal Flatts. Let me start out by saying that I had no idea that people actaully “fan girled” over country artists. And maybe it’s just because of that Joe Don guy (the hot guitarist), but I was unaware there was a Rascal Flatts fandom. Once their set started though it was easy to tell why. I honestly had forgotten how much I 1) enjoy them and 2) just how many hit singles they have had over their career. There were some songs that they played that I had heard and didn’t even know it was theirs! And I mean do we all remember “God Bless the Broke Road?” Good songwriting, which makes Rascal Flatts a country act that I can get behind and try to understand. What I really loved about the group was that the three guys really seemed to be having a good time together. They would stop from time to time in between songs and just joke back and forth with each other. It was really sweet and something you can only see with a band that has such a unique setup. I completely understand why people adore them so much.
See! I told you not all country music was terrible! The one thing that was the strangest difference between my first country concert and every other show I’ve ever been to was the fact that the crowd was so calm. My friends and I were the only ones really standing in our section (except for some guys in front of us who, let’s put it this way, were probably Toby Keith fans). The crowd hollered at what they liked, laughed at jokes, and sang along with the songs, but they were really well-behaved. I was surprised because I really thought that these country fans would be much more rowdy and well country-like. Also, it was one of the only shows I’ve been to were there wasn’t the smell of weed floating around like crazy and it was surprisingly not as loud as I thought it would be (the loudest concert I’ve been to is awarded to Aerosmith by a long shot). This was a good learning experience and maybe it won’t be my last country concert. Never say never! However, before I go I must leave you with a simple suggestion. People: There is no rule that says you must wear a plaid shirt to a country music concert. Just a thought.