April 28, 2019

Chris & George

March 30, 2019 was a day I will never, as long as I live, forget. I think my husband would agree- it is right up there with our wedding day. On this fateful day, we got to see Chris Stapleton and George Strait perform live in Atlanta.

We woke up at 4am and were out the door by 4:30. My sweet husband drove the entire way to Atlanta while I serenaded him with everything from Eric Church to Eminem. #luckyhusband We arrived at our hotel just in time to change and haul ass to the stadium. We still arrived hours before Chris or George were set to take the stage, but I couldn’t settle down until we got to our seats. I just wanted to know we were where we needed to be- together- drinking $10 beers with 80,000 rednecks. #everycowgirlsdream

Chris Janson opened for Chris Stapleton, and another gal did too, but we missed her set because we couldn’t figure out how to get into the parking lot. #bigcityproblems Chris ran onstage and within about 30 seconds, I felt like we were the only people in a tiny honky-tonk bar. The man sang to.my.soul. He talked about his ‘bonus children’ the way we talk about our girls, and maybe it was the lack of sleep, the high elevation, or just me missing our girls…but eyes filled up to the brim.

“Step kid just sounds like they aren’t as special,” he said to the crowd.

In a world of selfies and made up languages (I’m talking to you, Cardi-B) it was refreshing to hear a man stand on stage in front of thousands of people talk about his family…his bonus children…and his wife. That is real life.

While I dried my eyes, the seats around us filled with cowboy boots and plaid shirts...and cellphones. Literally every person in front of us was either taking selfies or videoing every moment of the evening on SnapChat.

Pardon me while I step onto my soapbox for a moment…

I took one selfie and one video...why? I wanted something to remember the evening- which is why we take photos, correct? A photo allows us to travel in time back to that moment and remember the feelings, the smells, the laughter, the tears...the memories attached to the photo is what makes the photo special. HOWfreakingEVER, filming every second of the evening removes the emotion completely. It takes away from the excitement of seeing George Strait dance onto the stage with his guitar...a two-step that continued for over two hours. There were times that I felt it was only George and his guitar...the band members faded into the shadows, the screaming fans disappeared...and it was just George and his dance partner- his acoustic guitar.

How can you feel that if your version of living in the moment is living through a snapchat filter?

Shoutout to the lady-beside-me- your constant filming made me sing louder, knowing that my tone-deaf vocals would be the memory saved in your iphone. #yourewelcome

Our generation and those younger do not know how to enjoy a single moment without documenting it. (The irony here is that I’m writing about this experience on my blog...which will be posted on social media for all ten of you to read. Hi, Bailey!) Whether a concert or a dinner plate, each and every moment is documented, filtered, and shared for hundreds of their closest friends to judge, like, and comment on.

Is this really what our generation will be remembered for? An addiction to filtered memories?

Allow me to climb down off the soapbox.

I wouldn’t change a thing about our evening with Chris x 2 and George. There is not one single song I had hoped to hear that they didn’t perform...and perform so well that I still hear it playing in my mind. George sang several Merle Haggard tunes. The soundtrack of my parents love story includes many Merle-melodies, which made the performance even more emotional for me. I often feel my father’s presence but during that particular moment...I could see his grin smiling back at me.

If you ever get the chance to see any of the three mentioned performers, do whatever you have to do to get there...call in sick, sell your favorite pair of boots, whatever you have to give up- I promise you, it will be worth it.

And for the love of God, put your cellphone down and listen once you get there. ;-)

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