I Have a Concert Problem…

I recently updated my country artist tally of who I have seen in concert… and the total is now up to an INSANE number of 122. Yep, you read that right… I have witnessed 122 country artists live in concert. My latest additions were two acts who performed at Jenks for Country Nights… and who I thought were kind of nobodies (sorry guys) but turns out, they have a much bigger following than I realized.

121 – Russell Dickerson

A cool fun fact about Russell Dickerson is that his music video for his single “Yours” was actually shot on an iPhone. The song that has taken weddings by storm, it had the entire place singing along on this night… and there were A LOT of people there to see him. Dickerson was kind of surprised himself… he did not think that many people knew who he was, but the floor was packed to sing along to “Blue Tacoma” and “MGNO” along with  a sneak peek at songs that will be on his full length album that will be coming out later this year! Oh, and even though he said he was getting over some laryngitis, he still sounded pretty darn good if ya asked me. And his energy was even crazier.

122 – Midland

OKAY. So, I will admit that for a while, “Drinkin’ Problem” was that song that when it would come on the radio, I would change the station. BUT. It started to grow on me, and I jumped on this band wagon pretty hard. A cool thing about Midland, for those who have yet to see them live, is that their set is like a step back in time to an old school country honky tonk. Unlike the “bro-country” and “pop-country” that we are used to hearing now a days, Midland brings us back to that Alan Jackson, Toby Keith vibe, and honestly it was such a refreshing feeling. They also are really fun to watch perform, and was just an overall great experience. While they do not have a full album out yet (that is supposed to be available September 22 for those who are wondering) feel free to keep “Drinkin’ Problem” on repeat… or even venture to “Burn Out” because trust me, you will get hooked on them too.

For every artist that I can check off the list, it seems like at least two are added on to who I still need to see. I love supporting the up and coming artists, and sometimes, I love their music more than those who have been around a lot longer! On to the next show… which ever artist that might be!

 

Summer Concert Nights

While I spent two weeks at my second home (Disney World), I still managed to get in three concerts before and after I came home from my awesome trip! Here is a quick roundup of who I saw last month:

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Walker McGuire really interacted with the crowd, including taking some cell phones!

June 28 – Walker McGuire, Jenks, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ

The one thing I look forward to during the summer is when Jenks starts hosting Wednesday Country Nights! Kicking off the season, Walker McGuire performed a pretty awesome show, as well as their hit “Til Tomorrow” which I have been hearing on the Highway for a while, and it is now FINALLY making its way to the FM waves.

 

 

 

July 8 – Zac Brown Band, PNC Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ

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Pictures might not come out great at every place, but hey, it is fun either way!

It has been SIX years since I last saw ZBB when they opened for Kenny Chesney. Since then, they have managed to sell out every show they have had in Jersey and somehow I always managed to never get tickets. Finally, the night before I left for Disney, my sister and I got to witness the magic of almost THREE hours of ZBB. Playing all their hits, and even covers including “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Paradise City” there is a reason I have loved this band since “Chicken Fried” was released.

 

July 26 – Dylan Scott, Jenks, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ

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Ah, Dylan Scott, still stealin’ hearts.

I have seem Dylan Scott four times now within the last year, and it has been amazing watching him become the artist that everyone now knows (welcome to the band wagon everyone!). While I miss the days when he was a nobody, and “Makin’ This Boy Go Crazy” kind of my own little secret, it is great to see how far he has come… and this show did not disappoint either.

 

 

 

Up next on the list, Russell Dickerson! If you have not heard of him, check out his video for the song “Yours” below!

Wishin’ I Was: at CMA Fest

As Nashville begins to kick off CMA Fest, and they continue to celebrate the Nashville Predators advancing for the Stanley Cup, it makes me miss my second home a little more.

Last summer, I dragged my mom and friend down to CMA Fest where I was overwhelmingly running around downtown trying to see as many artists as I possibly could. I accomplished a lot (over 30 in one day if I remember correctly) but it seems like even though we did so much, it was not nearly enough.

There are a lot of reasons to love Nashville besides CMA Fest. As the home to country music, you can walk up and down Broadway peeking into bars and listening to the locals play the night way. You can tour the Grand Ole Opry and The Ryman, or stop by the County Music Hall of Fame. You can take a trip over to the Parthenon, which makes you think you are in Greece when you are really in the heart of Nashville. Or, if you time your trip right, you can see a Tennessee Titans or Nashville Predators game! There is so much to see and do, that there is no way you would ever get bored… and as my Time Hop begins to remind me of all the fun I had during my week of CMA Fest, I figured I would take a quick stroll down memory lane.

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The Riverfront Stage was pretty much my home for the weekend. From the early morning hours, until right before the main party was starting across the river we spent most of our time out in the sun listen to some great acts. While others were drinking in bars, or visiting Fan Fair X meeting artists… I was here.

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This is not something you would expect to find in Nashville, but I think I can honestly say that Centennial Park was one of my favorite places to visit. I mean, how could you not?

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The main event! Nissan Stadium was the place to be every night. The biggest names in country music performed (and this is also the stage that is filmed for the TV version of CMA Fest). I even had Slash sitting in front of me during the concert too!

Now while I could go on and on about how much I loved this road trip, and how much I love Nashville… I am just going to go watch all my videos on repeat as I pretend to be there myself. Oh – and I will continue to root for Smashville as they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Stanley Cup!

Soul 2 Soul Tour

While I have seen Tim McGraw in concert before, I never thought I would be able to say that I have seen Faith Hill live too.

I had originally bought my mom tickets for her birthday, and did not think I would be attending the concert with her, since my sister claimed the second ticket faster than I did. But, a last minute decision to buy my own ticket, and my aunt tagging along allowed for me to witness the magic of a power couple in country music.

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The night was full of hits by both McGraw and Hill. There were also some new songs from their album coming out later this year. Personally, the duets between the two of them were my favorite (“Speak to a Girl” is a life motto for me, as should it be for every guy) as well as songs such as “Humble and Kind,” “Live Like You Were Dying,” and “Mississippi Girl” to name just a few of the ones that I loved the most.

For a Thursday night (May the fourth be with you… no? okay), it was a pretty solid crowd, and an older one too. For a while, I thought I was underage until more families started showing up, but where I was sitting, I was definitely the youngest. It was a different atmosphere compared to all the other concerts I have been to, but in the end, it worked out. Now I can say I have seen two power couples in concert: Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill!

Yeah, I Live at Concerts

Adding to the concert saga, over the last two weeks I got to see Levi Hummon, Jackie Lee, Dan + Shay, LANCO, and Jake Owen. To say it was fun, is an understatement.

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We begin this chapter with concert number one, featuring Levi Hummon, Jackie Lee, and Dan + Shay…

Levi Hummon, to those who do not know him, well, is an artist you should probably start listening to. His dad Marcus Hummon has written songs for guys like Tim McGraw, and Levi seems to have had music gene rub off on him too. I will be honest and admit that I had not heard of him until that night, but I am a fan now, and you can see why after listening to his son, “Love You Hate You Miss You.”

Jackie Lee followed next, and had me laughing from the moment he came on stage. His songs including “Breakfast,” “Leave the Light On,” and “Getting Over You” have been stuck in my head since the concert, and rightfully so in my opinion. They are CATCHY.

Now, this was my third time seeing Dan + Shay. The first time, they opened for Blake Shelton on the beach in Atlantic City in 2014, then I saw them at Starland Ballroom in 2015… and this time they SOLD OUT Starland Ballroom in 2017. The crowd was loud, crazy, and singing a long to every song including “19 You + Me,” all the way to “How Not To,” which if you have seen the video on their social media, Jersey can sing pretty darn well. Whenever I see these guys, they are always full of energy and a load of fun, and they did not disappoint this time either!

Then, exactly one week later, I got to experience the part that LANCO and Jake Owen throw… and I do not think I was mentally ready for it.

LANCO’s song “Greatest Love Story” is my FAVORITE song at the moment, and after seeing them live, I have to admit that there was not a song I did not love by them. They had such a great performance and got the crowd involved a lot. I had their music downloaded before the night was over, and since then, have been learning the words to all their songs.

My man Jake Owen, who I have loved since “Eight Second Ride” is just as awesome in concert as I pictured him to be. While I did see him at CMA Fest last year, it was much cooler seeing him in a smaller venue, especially when it was a sold out crowd of Jersey rednecks. It was full of flamingos, palm trees and lots of seafoam green!

Ok. I think that catches us all up on the concert shenanigans. This weekend I head to Richmond, Virginia for two days of NASCAR! So, brace yourselves now for that post 🙂

 

Concert Roundup

Anyone who knows me knows I pretty much live at concerts. You can most likely find me at any country concert in New Jersey, and can bet on me having a concert at least once a week. I know, I am obsessed.

We are only into the beginning of April, but since 2017 started I have already been to a few good concerts that I figured I should share – especially because in April alone I have two on the calendar! So, if you like country music, read ahead. If not, hey, maybe you will find a new favorite artist to listen to!

January 25 – Eric Church, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

Started off the concert season pretty early this year. For my birthday, I went to go see the man, the Chief, Eric (F’ing) Church. I have been wanting to see him in concert for a few years now, and finally got the chance to experience it. One word: WOW!

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On the “Holdin’ My Own” tour, Church is by himself. No openers, just him, his guitar, and his band. Also, he plays for OVER THREE HOURS. Three hours of almost 40 songs from his career. Even if you do not necessarily know all his songs (but really, how could you not?) watching that man work a crowd and stage the way he does is amazing. I personally can say that this was the greatest concert I have been to, because there were no frills to it. Just Eric Church, the audience, and his music. Exactly what a concert should be.

March 18 – Florida Georgia Line, Prudential Center, Newark, NJ

OK, on a complete opposite side… Florida Georgia Line knows how to throw a party. On the “Dig Your Roots Tour,” Florida Georgia Line is with Seth Ennis, Chris Lane, and Dustin Lynch, like I said, it is a party!

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While it was only March, this show made it feel like it was a summer night, and to be honest, it was quite a show. Having seen Chris Lane and Florida Georgia Line before (two and three times prior) I kind of knew what I was getting into. But, with new acts such as Seth Ennis, whose single “Woke Up in Nashville” is always on repeat in my car, and Dustin Lynch, who somehow I have missed seeing live until that night, it truly was an awesome show, even if it was snowing outside.

March 25 – Dylan Scott, iPlay America, Freehold, NJ

See what I mean when I say weekly concerts? That is how addicted I am! Dylan Scott is one of those unknown artists, even though he is quickly climbing the charts with “My Girl.” This being the third time I saw him, I tend to be one of the few people who know all of his songs… and that is okay. He is slowly growing a following, and at this particular show, it was a pretty big crowd who kind of seemed to know who the heck the guy was. It was one of those proud parent moments for me, and I am just counting down the days until his sophomore album is released.

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So, that has been the start of my concert series for the year! This month alone I will be attending Dan + Shay and Jake Owen, so I will be sure to write about them. Anyone else have any good shows coming up? Have you been to any good ones lately? Let me know!

Shawn Mendes: Life of the Party

I may be too old to admit how much I love Shawn Mendes, especially figuring that at tonight’s concert in New Jersey my best friend and I were probably the oldest people there that weren’t parents. At 18, Mendes has has quite the career so far, and he is just in the beginning!

I have seen this crazy Canadian four times in the two years. First, he opened for Austin Mahone and Fifth Harmony in 2014. Then, last summer he headlined the Show of the Summer in Hershey Park, and he graced the same stage as Taylor Swift as an opener for The 1989 World Tour. Now the boy is on his own World Tour!

 

If you have not heard of him, you might have heard his song “Life of the Party, “Stitches,” or “Treat You Better” since all three songs have made their way to pop radio. If you want to check out some songs that are in my opinion better than the radio tracks, check out: “Show You,” “Something Big,” and “Never Be Alone.” Until next time Shawn, enjoy your tour!