I cannot lie, when I first moved to Vegas (almost) a year ago, country music was not on the top of my list of things I expected to experience. Granted, we have about 3 country bars where one can line dance and two step their way to a good time, but in general…not a whole lot of country!
So that made this weekend all the more special… because the American Country Music Awards were in town!!! There were concerts every day and every night all weekend, starting Friday and ending Monday!!
Now, I only experienced Friday and Saturday, but I am certainly not complaining!!
Friday night was extra special because I had originally been scheduled to work and I ended up getting off way early (so to speak) so I was able to head on down to Fremon St for the first round of free concerts!!
First up was Sunny Sweeney… who I have to say, I have never heard of…but she was good and fun and this picture isn’t zoomed in so you can see how close we were able to get!
Next was Joe Nichols…and let me tell you how he took me straight back to high school. As cliche as it may sound, I absolutely remember many a night driving home from swim practice in my truck with my windows down blaring “Impossible” or “She only smokes when she drinks.” …I thought Joe was just sooo cute. Well, I have to say he has aged well!!
We popped over to Kip Moore next. You may know his songs “Somethin’ bout a truck” or “Hey pretty girl.” He was also a lot of fun to listen to. But by now it was getting uncomfortably crowded and we decided to skip out on Gary Allen in order to head home for our next day of festivities!!
Saturday was “Party for a Cause” and we were even more lucky because the tickets were free! Country music loves their military!! The concert also included a presentation of charitable donations to the military-inspired non-profit organizations Wounded Warrior Project®, Folds of Honor and Nellis Air Force Base Youth Education Programs which was pretty awesome.
We got there about 10:15am loaded up with water bottles and Monster energy drinks, ready to go!! The expo was first and we saw some very shiny belts and very expensive boots and then were ready at 11 sharp to beeline for a spot.
We laid out two towels in the middle of everyone else in the front and just sat down, ready to wait it out until all the concerts started! The line-up was Dustin Lynch, Love and Theft, Kix Brooks [half of Brooks and Dunn], Lee Brice (I caught his guitar pick), Hunter Hayes, Eli Young Band, and Dierks Bentley (with surprise performance by Sheryl Crow!)
Dustin Lynch and Love and Theft were great to listen to, and easy to look at . Each performance lasted about 40-45 minutes or so with about 30 minutes to set up for the next artist in between. We would stand up for the concert and then sit down in between each set to save our feet and our legs.
It worked out really well because we kept a nice area of personal space and we eventually got a group of women who became protective of us and our towels. They benefited from us being there because they always kept their spots as well and they weren’t crowded because no one else would step on the beach towels! It was brilliant!
|Love and Theft|
Love and Theft were almost like alt rock meets country, they way they looked, their guitars, their attitudes and what not. You may know their songs “Girls love to shake it” and “Girls look hot in trucks” ..I happen to agree with both….
Watching Brooks reminded me of my Momma and listening to Brooks and Dunn and Garth Brooks and Reba with her growing up. He still has it too! Although, I could have done without him spraying his water on us!
And then there was this kid. Hunter Hayes. You may know “Wanted” and “Somebody’s heartbreak” by him. Great singer, great performer, great on the guitar (in spite of looking like he was sucking on a sour warhead whenever he focused…) but he brings with him a large group of annoying teenage girls. Oh I’m sorry sweety that I have been here since 10 am and have no patience for your nonsense at 5pm. They kept putting up those silly signs and blocking everyone’s view. So I did what was only right and threw empty water bottles at them until they respectfully removed the sign….
And then there was this gorgeous man. Dierks Bentley. Seriously. How does any man make a white t-shirt and jeans look as sexy as this.
I’ve never wanted to be a groupie more in my life.
I am so jealous of the lucky girl who he gave his guitar to. Ugh. But other than that, he was amazing to watch and I would certainly pay to see him again!!
And then he goes and brings out Sheryl Crow!! How cool was that!! She looks incredible for being 51. I hope I look that great (although, maybe a tad larger than her…someone get that lady some fried chicken…). So the concert series ended up around 945pm or so…definitely a solid day of music. And thanks to generous sun screen application, not a sun burn or tan line in sight!!
And then, believe it or not, I went back to Fremont St to meet up with friends! but more on that in a different post. I missed most of the music that night in exchange of a nice drink and a comfy chair.
I ended up at the MGM tonight with some friends [where the American Country Music Awards were actually held this afternoon] but unfortunately I did not get swept up by some sexy country celebrity or even meet a nice cowboy. Maybe next year. 😉
But honestly, I did not see a single performance that I would not have been willing to pay. They all sounded as incredible in person as they do on their albums. It is ALL REAL here folks!!