Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I Thought You'd Be In Plaid: Jason Aldean in Baltimore

I thought this would be the perfect night to catch up on the blog since it's Snow Day Eve. At least, I think it's Snow Day Eve. They haven't actually called a Snow Day yet. They are probably waiting until I'm deep in REM sleep at 4AM to wake me up with a text alert letting me know that I can sleep in. 

But you know what I wouldn't want to sleep in and miss? A Jason Aldean concert. 
Jason Aldean

See what I did there? What you may have missed is that I skillfully and subtly guided the conversation to a topic I want to cover. 

This story started many months ago when those Hickman sisters informed me that Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line were coming to the area and that we should go. 

And, by "the area," I mean, "Baltimore." Technically in another state. However, when it's the middle of winter, sometimes you need to drive to fill your heart with the warmth of country music. 

Tractors and whiskey > Polar Vortex. 

I volunteered to buy the tickets for everyone. Like anyone who makes sound financial decisions, my credit card was pre-saved in Ticketmaster to make quick purchases (but not quick enough for some people, BEYONCE.) We had six people total as Baltimore ladies Sarah and Jessica were joining us and one of my partners-in-crime Maggie was also game for the trip. 

I got the tickets, guys. I'll buy them. I have the pre-sale code. No big deal, I'm on it. 

Here's the catch. I wasn't so on it. 

You could only buy a maximum of four tickets. Say whaaaat? What's that malarky about?  

I quickly rushed my laptop over to Maggie's computer so we could split 3 and 3 and try to buy tickets simultaneously and be in the same section. Then I got confused or stressed or dyslexic or something. We thought we bought seats one row in front of the other -- we hit submit and thought, NAILED IT. Then we got our confirmation and realized we'd bought the same row in different sections. Is "geographic dyslexia" a thing? Because I think I have that. It would also explain my inability to ever take the correct Metro exit. 

Oh well. What can you do? (Learn the difference between rows and sections, I suppose?)

Fast forward to concert day, February 1. Maggie, Jessica and I were sitting together and were just hoping we could politely annoy whoever was near us to swap with Anna, Sarah and Rachel. 

Never one to want to miss a meal, I made sure we had pre-dinner plans so that we weren't forced to eat $27 hot dogs at the arena. Jessica suggested a delicious Thai restaurant in Federal Hill and after a pleasant drive from DC filled with lots and lots of car singing, Maggie and I showed up early and wasted no time ordering more food than we could ever eat. 

Jessica met us at the restaurant where she informed us over dinner that she "had gone out and bought a new shirt because she thought we'd be in plaid." 

That's one of many reasons why I love Jessica. 

I was wearing my cowboy boots but I neglected to don my plaid. it hadn't occurred to me that I should wear plaid. We teased her for her assumption but later ate our words when we showed up to the concert and everyone around us was wearing plaid. Maggie and I sat there in non-plaid like losers. 

Excited for the show. 
Having perfectly timed dinner and our arrival to the concert, we found a great parking spot on the top level of the deck adjacent to the arena and figuratively patted ourselves on the back for having such great luck. Much like our incorrect attitudes toward plaid, we would later hate that stupid top-deck spot.

Upon entering the arena and having our boots checked for weapons or flasks or whatever people smuggle in cowboy boots, we promptly got ourselves some super expensive low-quality beers and made our way to the seats. Maggie refused to get the Bud Light in a commemorative boot and I will never forgive her for that. I was driving so I couldn't get the boot. But she had no excuse. 

We found our seats and hoped and prayed that the three seats empty in front of us were for our friends and that maybe we had purchased tickets correctly after all. 

We hadn't. 

The three seats in front of us were eventually filled by a trio that drank an impressive (?) amount of beer and Fireball whiskey. The "third wheel" of the group was our favorite. When the couple would kiss and hug, she yelled, "Y'all need to stop! I'm going to go sit with that guy up there! That lighting guy!" and pointed to the poor soul who has to sit up in the rafters and run spotlights. 
A rare, blurry, across-the-aisle sighting of Anna and Sarah, proving we were at the concert together.
As expected, the show was loud and bright and awesome. The opening acts Tyler Farr and Florida Georgia Line were stellar as well. (Well, at least Tyler Farr was great from what we could hear out in the beer line). I wouldn't say I was a huge Jason Aldean fan before the concert but definitely had some favorite songs and could sing and dance along with the best of them. I've added several more Aldean songs to my regular playlist for that night as well. 

Florida Georgia Line perform "Shine On"
One song I have always loved is his duet with Kelly Clarkson, Don't You Wanna Stay. When they played the first few notes, the idea popped into my head, "OMG, what if Kelly is here? I love her. I love her so much. I would die." As I was thinking this thought, I heard Jason say, "Ladies and gentlemen, Kelly Clarkson." Her face was suddenly on the screen and she appeared to be on stage. I ALMOST LOST MY FRIGGIN' MIND. It seemed too good to be true. 

And it was. She was on a screen like some kind of fancy TV hologram. That's a MEAN trick, Jason Aldean. 

My hopes were similarly dashed earlier when Florida Georgia Line was performing. I wished for a cameo by Nelly who performs the Cruise remix with them. But sadly, no Nelly. It was probably best he wasn't there because I would've spent the whole rest of their set yelling, "DO COUNTRY GRAMMAR! DO COUNTRY GRAMMAR!"

After two hours of country goodness, lots of plaid and a twenty minute wait in the women's bathroom line, we made our way back to the car. Remember how we were excited to find a spot on the top of the deck connected to the arena? Yeah, see the problem with that is that the deck empties from the bottom. So, that means, you sit at the top at 11:00 p.m. at night and don't move for an hour.You look down over a stream of cars and an abnormal amount of pickup trucks -- it was a Jason Aldean concert after all.  None of them are moving.

This is the rest of my life, you think. From now on, I shall always be in this spot on this deck. I see no end to this. I suppose this is what we do now. Maggie, Jessica and I. We live in a parking garage. 

I'm sorry, is that too dramatic? Well, you don't know. You weren't there. I tried to offer Maggie a million dollars to walk down the parking deck and find me a green tea but she refused.

In case you don't follow sarcasm, I should let you know that I do not live in that parking garage. We finally made our way out, returned Jessica to her car and Maggie and I were on our way, loudly singing along to a perfect playlist combination of Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, One Direction, Jay-Z, and B*Witched. 

An awesome concert with a bonus mini road trip? Pretty nice little Saturday. 

If you thought this blog post would never end, much like my experience in the parking deck, then I hate to break it to you that there will probably be many more like it. You see, I pre-spent some of my tax return to purchase the Country Music Mega Ticket with -- who else -- Anna and Rachel.

We're also going to Lady Antebellum in two weeks. 

I think I may have an addiction to concerts. 

Oh whatever. You don't know. I can quit whenever I want. 

P.S. Since I started this post, it became official: SNOW DAY. 

Because you know I like sharing videos with you in concert posts:

Nelly and Florida Georgia Line, I love you, but this video has got to be one of the most ridiculous ever. It's like a comedic parody video from The Lonely Island.

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