Anyone who’s someone in country music … or wish they were … was in Nashville over the weekend for the CMA Music Festival.
And I was upfront and center in one of my gigs at LP Field.
I had perhaps the best view of everything, just feet from the stage, and I got to see it all.
For four nights country music’s biggest stars – past & present – displayed their craft in front of 65,000-plus fans.
My ears are still ringing, not from the bass vibrating while Rascal Flatts performed, but from the screaming young women (and some not so young) when recent high school grad and American Idol Scotty McCreery took the stage.
This weekend was a celebration of music in Middle Tennessee. Besides the CMA Music Festival, there was also Bonnaroo and a variety of smaller events that were pleasures to the ears.
Despite calling Nashville home for seven years I’ve never fancied myself as a country music fan. However, from my vantage point I discovered what makes this genre so intriguing.
Whether it was younger generation such as McCreery or Dierks Bentley, or legendary performers Bill Anderson and Alan Jackson performing, it never mattered to fans of all ages.
They were in wheelchairs and strollers. They were barely adult women holding up Alan Jackson shirts hoping his eyes would focus on them.
What other genre can a concert be considered a family event. My grandson would never want to attend a Gladys Knight concert with me; and I would never in a zillion years entertain accompanying him to a rap concert.
Can the old and young co-exist at a music concert? Is it even remotely possible?
Rock & roll? Jazz? Rhythm & blues? Rap? I don’t think so.
But country music is unique. You never have to worry about the “F” word … or the “B” word … or just about anything else you wouldn’t want any of your kids to hear or see.
The music overload was great for Nashville’s economy. If you tried to book a hotel you were out of luck. Same with rental cars. If someone came to town without a reservation … forget about it.
So if you’re interested in attending the CMA Music Festival next year you may want to begin planning right now. The dates are June 6-9, 2013.
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