I have seen over 60 artists in my 20 years of life and that list is still growing. I have seen many artists more than once and have the t-shirts to prove it. I’ve been to everything from a honky-tonk to open fields to a private school concert in our quad. I’m no expert, but I have learned a thing or two about matters the most between the venue and the performer.
In no particular order:
1.Grand Ol’ Opry (Vince Gill)
Okay, let’s start with the fact that this was number one on my bucket list that I got to check off. Once I got over my startstruckness and enjoyed the showed it was everything I thought it would be and so much more! My favorite artist of the night was Vince Gill. What made this night so special was that it was his first night back since Merle Haggard had passed away. What did Vince sing? The song he had written for Haggard, “A World Without Haggard.” There was not a dry eye in the Opry that night.
2. The Fair, The Arena, and The Field (Brantley Gilbert/Dixie Chicks)
Yes, I have seen Brantley Gilbert three times, alright. I guess you could say I’m a fan. The first time I saw him was at the State Fair of West Virginia in track seating. What is track seating? Basically the pit at the stair but with chairs. Brantley Gilbert at the fair is probably one of my favorites at the fair. Then, next time I saw him was maybe 4 years later at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC. I bought the tickets to take a boyfriend but boys suck so I took my best girl friend with me! This time I was further away but it wasn’t a disappointment. The last time I saw him was summer of 2016 at PNC pavilion in Charlotte, NC. Easily my favorite place for a concert. PNC as some chair/bleacher seating but I prefer the general admission. You buy a general admission ticket and bring your camping chairs or blankets and sit anywhere on the hill. I think this was my favorite because I witnessed 4 intoxicated “men” (yes, quotes needed) who did not want to walk to the bathroom so they took turn whipping it out and peeing. However, one of their pals I don’t think made it out of his pants and well… I think you know how this ended. Okay, I can’t say that PNC is completely flawless, after seeing the sold out concert of Dixie Chicks, the traffic is just a mess. I spent more time trying to find my ride then the opening acts took to perform.
3.Civic Center x2 (Dierks Bentley)
In Roanoke, Virginia there is an arena type building called Roanoke Civic Center, well now it’s called The Bergland Center, because names matter. Over the past years I have seen more artist in this center then I could name. However, I have seen Dierks Bentley there twice. The first time was with Miranda Lambert. LOVE LOVE LOVE! She is purely amazing and I will always be a Miranda fan! (Miranda over Gwen any day!) But there is nothing like seeing the final show in the tour. Dierks had a plane on stage! A plane! Like who does that?? Dierks Bentley that’s who! If you ever have a chance to see the final show of a tour DO IT! You will have zero regrets!
4. Old Theater/Historic Site (All Time Low/Kane Brown/Old Dominion/Chase Rice)
I know I have been just telling you random things about venues and artist but on a serious note if you learn nothing else, learn this: See new artist while they are in small venues before they get moved to sold out arenas. Not only will you be able to say “I saw you when….” But it’s a great way to know them personally. I saw Kane Brown, Old Dominion, and Chase Rice at the Fillmore in Charlotte, NC. The Fillmore is my favorite place in Charlotte to see small acts. Unless you are 5’5’’ and you get a 6’2’’ drunk Geoffrey the Giraffe girl dancing in front of you and stepping on you because she can’t stay up straight. I also saw All Time Low (Not a when they were unknown, just not mainstream) at The National in Richmond, Virginia. This was a freshmen roommate trip and probably one of my favorite memories in undergrad. The line wrapped around corner after corner. But well worth every minute.
5. The Pit (The Fray/Rod Stewart)
I have only been in “the pit” once, and yes I was at the stage. It was to see The Fray & Rod Stewart. Pure amazing and loved every minute! But it got so hot and everyone is pushing right on top of you. So take my advice and do it once, and then you’ll never have to do it again.
6. The Noise Bleed Arena Seat (Carrie Underwood/Trisha Yearwood/Garth Brooks)
Sometimes it doesn’t really matter where you are as long as you are having fun. And let me tell you, on a college student budget (and $12 per beer) you gotta sit in the Noise Bleed section to check it off your list. It doesn’t get any better than being able to see Carrie Underwood: Story Tellers in the Round and growing up to Garth Brooks & Trisha and getting to see them!
7. The Quad (Austin Moody)
Last but not the least! In the fall, my school brought Austin Moody to campus and we had campfires and string lights, it was my favorite thing or all 4 years. Having this new and upcoming artist being able to interact with us crazy college kids was amazing, just AMAZING!
After this article, I think I may need to start a Go Fund Me to help pay for my next concert… Anyone want to donate???