So ... back to where I was... oh that's right Day 2 of my super awesome Nashville trip with Christina and Trista. The day started out very innocently .... some sight seeing at the mall, maybe a boat ride through the Opryland Hotel later in the day and then .... the day turned amazing when we found the Smith Creek Moonshine distillery which was giving out free shots in the middle of a freaking mall!
Guys they had like 13 various flavors for our enjoyment... did I mention that the "tasting" was FREE?! I mean how could you NOT participate?! I will admit I didn't participate in all 13 flavors, I mean I even draw the line at alcohol when it has Peach in it ... or "coffee" flavored anything to be honest. I will admit when she pulled the coffee flavored one out Denis Leary popped into my head which made me giggle out loud harder than I meant to do so. By then I might have been a tick tipsy at this point cause ...incase you missed it ... FREE SHOTS!!!!!!!!
I will tell you what I tried and thought of the following:
- Sweet Tea - which was pretty good .. not fantastic but good.
- Peach - I declined this one
- Apple Pie - I declined this one too
- Chocolate Silk - this is the one that brought me to the table, it was delicious. Like hot chocolate with a kick. Like a nice hug that you didn't know you needed.
- Strawberry Shortcake - Another I declined
- Coffee - add that to the list I said no thank you
- Orange Cream - this one tasted like a Dreamsicle and it was delicious but too tart for my taste. I wouldn't want a lot of it at one time is my point.
- Butter Cake - this one was just gross . . . I mean I still vomit a little just thinking about it
- Ginger Snap - I declined this one
- Salted Caramel - If I could have married this I would have ... it was that good. Had they had smaller bottles of this stuff I'd have bought one but I didn't need the giant jars they had on the shelves. A thousand years from now I might be half way done with the jar... might be.
- Cinnamon - I declined this one
- Lemon Lime - I declined this one too -- eww I mean really? I mean who comes up with this shit.
- Straight - AKA White Lightening ... the OG of the Moonshine world -- the Granddaddy of it all ... and thank goodness it was last cause it burned ... hard. By this point most had walked away but me and a few others and let me tell you...one can't really appreciate the others without appreciating the base. I appreciate the base, and love what it signifies but yeah ... still burning a little bit to this day.
After that we found food. I needed it, seriously my face was quite warm and i'm told that at some point I was dancing in the mall ... IN FRONT OF PEOPLE!!!! After a nice greasy burger I was good to go for round #2 but my crew refused to venture back to the Moonshine store, which upon hindsight... this was a good call on their part. Well played crew ... well played.
The coolest part of walking around the mall was seeing people in Ed Sheeran T-shirts from his first night in Nashville and talking to them about the show. The more I talked to people the more excited I got for the night ahead. Everyone had great things to say about the show and it just pumped me up more than I already was. I also discovered the shirt I planed to buy that evening. One decision made.
After the moonshine and lunch we made our way to the Opry Land Hotel for a quick boat ride around the hotel (more to sight see than anything else) then walked around the various shops.
It was at this point that I became an official County Music Manager when I financed the cutting of Christina and Trista's debut single, a cover of the Judds song "Grandpa tell me bout the good ole days." Unfortunately I was unable to be in the booth with them as they were cutting it I had business to attend to, gigs to book, myspace page to plan, Go Fund me account set up for our debut EP, you know that kind of thing. I wish the single was better but the equipment wasn't all that great. I'm going to work on that for their next single, cause I'm telling you this group is going places. Booking shows now just call 1-800-for-reals and I'll let you know about their availability. They will be made available for parties, weddings, really any place where people gather, your living room for instance. All money up front. Performance is non-refundable.
So we aren't ready to join Ed on tour yet but we'll get there one day and he'll beg to be the opening act for us! Sure that's how that's going to go...maybe I was still feeling the moonshine at this point in the afternoon. Shortly after that we made our way back to the car and back to the hotel to get ready for dinner at Pucketts, one of my favorite places to eat ever and then the concert.
I've been to Pucketts before once to see my boy Markus Fox play, and lo and behold I posted we were having dinner before the show and Markus hits me up. "What do you mean you are in town and didn't tell me?" - Did I mention Markus has recently moved to Nashville to pursue music full time and thus I don't see him nearly as much as I used to which makes me a sad Marcy ? - Turns out Markus was playing directly across from the arena and scheduled to go on AFTER the Ed Sheeran concert so he said we should come down. I was really excited to see him again and we made plans to get together
later that evening.
Then food happened. Guys Pucketts is soooooooooooo delicious. Imagine your grandma's cooking with a really awesome sound track playing behind it. That's how I describe Pucketts. No one was playing while we were there but it was still early. We wanted to give us plenty of time to eat and get to the show and boy did we. After a delicious dinner we went back to the Car to park at the arena then "walk around" as it started to drizzle. Stupid NATE....just kidding he wouldn't show up until Sunday but it was fun to say. We walked down one side of Broadway and then came back up until we were back at the arena. We also walked over to the Ryman, couldn't go in as it was closed but could see the building itself and walked through the "gift shop." Everything in Nashville has a gift shop . . . . everything.
Upon getting back to the arena we stood in line for a T-shirt but they didn't have the one I saw at the Mall earlier booooooooooooooooo hiiiiiiiiiissssssssssssssssssss, I did end up finding another but will have to start dieting like right now to wear it a year from now. ha! Then we got in line to go inside the Bridgestone Arena which took forever!!!!!!! I mean security was dumb tight and I get it really I do but good lord. Thank goodness we were so early. We made it to our seats in record time and I was immediately thankful for the seats cause they were amazeballs. Guys for real if he sneezed he would have sneezed in my face ... you know if he turned his head to the left. I was so excited .... I stood up and pointed to the back of the arena and told my friend, "those guys way back there are gonna be soooo angry!" I mean it's Ed Freaking Sheeran, he's a small ginger haired man with a guitar, that's it. Him, a guitar, and a loop pedal. Way back there I can't even imagine what he looked like .... I mean I guess it would have looked like him to those people. We also couldn't figure out where the "screens" were, I told my friend when we were planning that if I go I'm not watching a screen the entire time, I could do that on youtube for free. I had figured they were in the Jumbo Tron turns out that wasn't the case either. After a while I stopped caring about the people way behind us and focused on what was in front of us. That stage set up was ridiculous. Ed posted to Instagram a video of them building it once and I remember thinking they don't get paid nearly enough and upon seeing it in person i'm more convinced that's true.
Teddy's Photos - Stage Construction - Instagram
This evening was not without drama tho, just so you'll know. At one point my friend went to the restroom, I stayed in our seats. I had the tickets on my phone. She did not. The guy didn't want to let her come back to the floor. She finally just walked right past him and came to our seats. I mean it was the same asshat who showed us where to go like not 30 minutes before so she was like why are you hassling me.
Then without warning the lights went dark and James Blunt was on stage. I like James Blunt and upon leaning he'd be the support act downloaded his new album "The Afterlove" which I LOVE. It's cleaver and funny and just really good music. I really enjoyed his set which consisted of many of my favorite Afterlove songs but what no one set me up for was how funny Mr. Blunt was. He had us laughing between each song. It was a great start to the evening. While James was playing, that's right I've decided I can call him James now ..... the young ladies behind us were drink challenged and dropped a FULL coke with no lid and it was like the floodgates in New Orleans opened and took everyone out within a 3 mile radius. Christina, my friend, got the bulk of the spray. She was just happy it was coke and not beer, hold on to that hope Christina. The seats we were sitting in were soaked, the floor around us was soaked everything was soaked. So we stood for Jame's set. Seriously go get Afterlove. I was never a big fan of You're Beautiful it gets on my nerves but as I've learned with Ed never just an artist by his singles.
When James went off stage watching the crew break down the stage and get it set up for Ed was fascinating. So much so that I didn't notice that the two young ladies who dumped coke all over us had been asked to vacate their seats when it was determined they were in the wrong seats anyway. They weren't even supposed to be there guys .... like what!?
During the intermission, since we couldn't sit, we talked with the couple sitting next to the "Coke girls" was we now refer to them. They were there celebrating the fact that their teenage daughter got a clean bill of health just that morning from scans done last week. She's been fighting cancer for 4 years and they believe she is now in remission. We all celebrated that. It was like our section was celebrating and it was awesome. The mom cried a little dad couldn't stop smiling and we were cheering for a girl we had never met. It was a really cool moment.
Then the lights went down again and ED walked on stage. Guys ... it was literally everything I wanted it to be and more. He was worth every penny. I hadn't looked up the set list he was playing at other venues cause frankly I didn't want to know. I didn't want to know he played say .... The City for Chicago and not here.... or that he played Lego House for Detroit but I didn't get it. I was surprised however by the setlist and have tried to recreate it in my own head tho I'm sure I'm missing some of the songs. He played (in no order other than what I remember) Eraser, Thinking Out Loud, Sing, Nancy Mulligan, Perfect, A-Team, Bloodstream, Don't/New Man/Happier remix (which I really want to have so I can listen to it forever on repeat), Galway Girl, Dive, and finished it off with Shape of you and You Need Me I don't Need you as his encore songs. I think there were more but those are the ones that pop into my head right this second as I type. I wasn't expecting Dive and Nancy Mulligan, two songs I love but just haven't gotten that much love. I also kind of expected him to dip more into his earlier CDs but this is the ÷ tour so it was getting all the love and I was A-OK with that.
Shortly into Ed's set the people who took the seats from the "Coke Girls" as we call them now were enjoying the show a bit too much for their Beer to handle and proceeded to lose control of their glass which then re-soaked Christina's chair, pants, shoes, and the floor. By the end of the show our feet were forever stuck to the floor. I really thought we were going to have to leave our shoes behind.
As awesome as both James and Ed were on stage one of my favorite things was watching this young man (11 or 12) sitting next to me who was at his first concert with his dad. His dad was so stoked about being able to give his son this experience and the kid recorded EVERYTHING like when the show ended I was shocked he still had any battery left for me to take a picture of him and his dad. It was so cool remembering that feeling of your first concert, mine was the New Kids on the Block with my mom and cousin (my cousin cried the entire way home). We saw several other people with similar stories ... the young girl with her dad who upon seeing her seats almost fainted. Another young girl with her friend (boyfriend?) who really needs to eat a hamburger but was also super stoked to be in that arena. A Young Couple who was almost more fun to watch than Ed To be honest. For those brief moments I was reminded why people go to concerts, why live music has a place in our world and why it should be celebrated. Sure we all have these songs on our phones, online and our computers but there's just something about live music that creates memories and connections with that artist that you don't get by just listening to a track in your room.
After Ed's show I was so pumped until we got outside and it was suddenly clear how many damn people were in that arena. Christina even looked at me and said, you ok several times. I'll admit part of me wanted to bail on Markus as opposed to walking through all those people, but we went ahead. If I had recently seen him or knew I'd see him soon I would have. I'm so glad we didn't however, we made our way across the street and walked right into the Bar. He was playing at a place called "Second Fiddle." When we walked in he was setting up his equipment, I hope he was as happy to see me as he let on cause it made me happy that he was happy. He was soaking wet with sweat but I didn't care that hug was totally worth being wet yet again.
It took forever for his band to set up, they were supposed to start at 10:30 and it was closer to 11 before they put finger to the first string. He's full on 90's country, don't ask him for Bro Country or the Marine will come out of Markus and that is just one of the many reasons that I love him. The other reason I love him, there were two young ladies who had to have been drinking since they were born cause they were trashed. They were dancing and having a good time but really getting on a lot of people's nerves cause they were at the point where the Drunk in them could care less about who was standing around them. Christina got hit in the face with one girls hair about 75 times. Markus finally got the attention of one of the guys with them and very quietly said "get them out of here before they get hurt!" and the guys listened. It was more enjoyable after that. It could have been a pretty scary situation quickly as they were knocking into people and annoying drunk frat boys which is never a good thing. It was an awesome end to a fantastic day. A few of the young ladies around us realized we knew him and wanted to know all the things about Markus. I will admit I told someone he was 25/26 but I think he's really closer to 30. I told them to find him on social media, see I'm still working for you Markus. He did a good job, I only wish I lived closer so I could hang with him more often.
Upon leaving Markus around 1am Sunday morning we went to an all night McDonalds near our hotel for beverages and food. I won't disclose how long we waited for the food just know it was closer to 2 when we finally got back to the room and had to wake Trista up to let us in when our key didn't work the front door. At that point I was ready to curl up in a ball and sleep in hallway, but lucky for us Trista let us in and my bed called me ending Day 2 in Nashville, well into Day 3.
When I say BEST.TRIP.EVER I mean it! I'm already trying to figure out how I can go see him next year on his Stadium tour. So I gotta make some money ASAP!
Hope you guys enjoyed our trip half as much as we did.