Monday, July 16, 2007

My Weekend in South Bossier

(Bossier City) - It seems I spent my entire weekend in one building. Saturday night, my little Arena football team played its final regular-season home game for this year and lost by three points. It's okay; they're in the playoffs. So, we might be back in the arena. The game was remarkable because there were four ejections for fighting in the first quarter. Nobody really wants to see that, but the crowd was jazzed up early and the game went down to the final seconds before the outcome was determined. Overall, it was a fun evening.
24 hours later, the arena had been transformed into a concert venue. I was excited to see the country group Little Big Town.
They were opening for Martina McBride, and I was happy to stick around for her part of the show, too. Okay, I undersold Martina McBride to myself. More on that in a moment.
Last year, while driving home from one of my weekend football trips, I ran across an interview show on XM radio. Little Big Town was the featured group. I liked their story and the way they presented themselves. Then, some of their songs were played. I was hooked. I bought their new CD the first day it was available. My teenage daughter and some of her friends even have LBT songs on their iPods now, so I'm spreading the love. I guess I'm not the only one to say this, but they sound a lot like Fleetwood Mac, with a little country/ swamp infusion. During the show, they covered the Mac classic "Go Your Own Way," and it sounded terrific. I was very pleased, and I think my wife is now a convert.
I haven't paid much attention to Martina McBride. Even though I seem to go to a lot of country shows, I'm not a huge country music fan. But, hey, this is Louisiana and that's what we get. I try to get out some, so I go to country shows. Can I just say she blew me away? I didn't realize how many of her songs I know. Duh. She's a mega-star. She displayed uncommon emotion at one point. Early on, she apologized to the crowd because she was suffering from a cold. Although she didn't say, surley she considered not performing. When it came time to sing the uncommonly challenging "Broken Wing," she stopped and spoke. "This song is either going to be good...well, it won't be good. It might be be passable or it's going to suck," McBride said. "I wish I had recorded easier songs to sing." She nailed it. The crowd responded with an ear-splitting ovation which moved McBride to tears. Her composure hanging in the balance, she confessed "I was so nervous before I came out here because I thought y'all would be disapponted..." Then, she turned away and cried for a moment more. The crowd was putty in her hands for the rest of the evening.
She covered some classics, songs I used to hear in my dad's truck: Loretta Lynn, Sammi Smith, Jeannie C. Reilly, and introduced a few new songs of her own. She sounded slightly raspy at times and had to work a little too hard for some high notes, but nobody cared. She blew it out and blew everyone away during an encore when she nailed Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." She said it was a night she will never forget and she can't wait to come back. If she does, I'll be there. Consider me a convert.

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