Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Weekend Break

I can't thank TJ, phin, Beth and moehawk enough for covering this week. And an extra special thanks to phin for covering the weekend. And not just because it's a good feeling knowing that people will step up for you. That's a great feeling, yes. But let me tell you about the weekend.

When phin responded to my request, he offered to cover the weekend. I almost said thanks, but no thanks. Then my Big Sister (who's 5'4") called.

She and her husband had tickets to see Kenny Chesney in Atlanta that night. But something had developed and they wouldn't be able to make the trip. So she offered the tickets to us.

Well, I'm not a country music fan. I'm quite familiar with it. And I'm not a fan. But the wife is. And she gave an excited "YES!!" and we got the tickets. That's when I wrote phin back and told him I'd take him up on his offer. I finished a couple of quick posts (including the Monday Alliance post) and we got ready to travel.

Well, the trip was, overall, a good trip. But it had its interesting moments. Starting with the road construction and the suicide attempt.

The Georgia Department of Transportation, and as best as I can tell, 49 other state DOTs, build Interstate highways by studying how much traffic is on the road and building enough highway lanes to almost take care of it. Oh, and they close half the lanes needed while they are building the new lanes. And they were working on Interstate 85. Which had traffic backed up 12 miles. I know because I measured it.

Being smarter than I look, I did take an exit and drove the two-lane highway that (roughly) parallels the Interstate.

We made it to the hotel later than planned, but still on scheduled. It's nice having enough ChoiceHotels points saved up that we could get a comp room for the night. Or, it was. Barely had enough for a hotel on the outskirts of Atlanta, but we did.

We got checked in to a clean room. I know it was clean because of the extremely strong detergent smell that hit us like a brick when we opened the door to the room. But, we got everything settled and headed back to the Interstate.

After just a little bit, traffic was backed up again. Which was odd, because the contruction was behind us. But the bumper-to-bumper traffic was real. So I started scanning the radio to find what was going on. Nothing. So I left it on 96 Rock, which carries the Braves games.

During a commercial, they told about the traffic being snarled because of a jumper. That's the suicide attempt I mentioned. Well, perhaps it wasn't really a suicide attempt. But the radio called him a jumper and the next day's Atlanta paper called him a would-be jumper.

Anyway, traffic was slow, but we got through it. But we were late to the concert.

Which was a problem for the wife, because the opening act, Pat Green, was someone she was looking forward to seeing. But, we got to Phillips Arena late. And missed him. But we caught Gretchen Wilson. Who the wife hates. So, she's not happy.

We passed some time by scouting out all the eateries in the Arena. And the restrooms. And then we headed inside.

The first complete song Gretchen Wilson sang was "Straight On." Yes, the song by Heart. At a country music show.

She followed it up with "Black Dog." Yes, the song by Led Zeppelin. At a country music show.

She finished, did her encore, and the lights went up.

Did I mention how everyone was dressed? No? Well, there was this one girl with camo hip-huggers. Definitely not Army issue. But she wasn't the only one with low-cut jeans. It looked like a butt-crack convention in there.

And lots wearing cowboy hats. Men and women. Lots of cowboys hats. But I didn't see the first horse parked in the lot.

And the couple sitting next to us with their baby. Their 68-day-old baby. We know because we asked.

And White folks. Lots and lots of White folks. Except the Philips Arena staff. Mostly Black folks. Lots of Black folks working there. In fact, the last time so many White folks were having such a good time and being waited on by Black folks was at last year's Democratic Leadership Conference.

Anyway, between shows, they played music for the fans to listen to. Supertramp. The Police. Prince. Joe Walsh. At a country music show.

So, Kenny Chesney's portion started. With opening music by Queen and Ram Jam. At a country music show.

Then Kenny Chesney appeared. Over the crowd. On a trapeze.

The show went on for about 90 minutes. The wife enjoyed it. Except when the drunk 20-year-olds stood up in front of us.

Then Kenny called Uncle Kracker (yes, Uncle Kracker) out from the back and they did a couple of songs together. At a country music show.

The concert continued with the occasional drunk girl dancing alone. And the occasional drunk guy dancing alone.

The concert consisted mainly of Kenny Chesney singing songs that drove the 20-year-old girls and guys screaming. He'd have parts of the video for the song playing on the screens. And the screens would also show him on the stage. And, during each and every song, he'd hold his arms out and later point at the camera.

After he finished his songs, he'd leave and folks would light their lighters for him to come back out. Only with not as many people smoking these days, they'd break out their cell phones and use the screens as the lights.

He did his encore then left with the band playing the instrumental hook from "Don't Look Back" (yes, the song by Boston; at a country music show) over and over until the lights came up.

The wife had a good time. I got to look at and make fun of folks. So everybody had a good time.

Except when we were leaving and one of the beers spilled by one of the 20-year-olds made the steps slick, and the wife fell on her ass. And bounced down two steps.

She wasn't happy. She was okay. But she wasn't happy. About falling. She was happy about the concert, though. She wore her Kenny Chesney t-shirt to bed.

Posted at Outside the Beltway Traffic Jam


  1. You wanna see hilarity incarnate? [I work the crowds right by our city's major concert venue]

    Country music concerts in the Minnesota winter, snow 'n all, with all sorts of cowboy hat action. I don't think cowboys did any cattle rustlin' in 20 below weather. But whatever.

  2. Man, thanks a hell of a lot for ruining it for me ;) I'm going on the 30th. I won't be wearing hip huggers, my ass is too big, but I will be wearing my "Redneck Woman" tank top - because it shows off my "assets" he he. I hate when they play rock at a country show. blech. Oh, and I will be wearing my cowboy hat. I'm just going for Keith Urban yum!

  3. Feisty:
    Lots of those I saw seem to be the source of the phrase "all hat, no cattle."

    Keith Urban? I think I had the pleasure of taking the wife to see him a year ago in Atlanta. Only it was outside. And some drunk Georgia Tech student thought I was Ted Turner. Go figure.

  4. Glad y'all had a good time and that I could take a part (however small) in enabling you to attend such a culturally enlightening event.

    I took the missus to see Kenny Chesney a couple of years back and one of the teens compared it to a Buffett concert. Turns out he hadn't been to a Buffett concert, but he's heard rumors.

    All in all Kenny Chesney's concert wasn't bad, but he's not on the same level as Jimmy Buffett (and neither are the fans).


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