Saturday, May 16, 2015

Kenny Chesney - 5/14/15

Bucket list item:  Front row for a large show at BOK Center.  Check! 

Well, it wasn't really front row but it was in the pit, which was actually in front of front row and we were right next to the stage for Kenny Chesney, Jake Owen and Chase Rice on the Big Revival Tour.

How did we get these amazing passes?  Well, this time it wasn't me or Renee that won them.  I know, -- it’s a shock!  This time my mother-in-law entered a bad Hawaiian shirt contest on Facebook from 106.1 The Twister and won them and surprised me!  Best mother-in-law ever!

So Renee and I wanted to be able to secure our spots at the stage and we showed up at 5:30pm when the doors opened.   We were the first ones to enter the “sandbar”.  I was completely surprised that no one else was there and really it didn't start filling up until about 15 minutes before show time.  We found out later that they were handing out sandbar passes to people, aka pretty girls, as they walked in for the show.  Only a handful of people actually purchased these passes and the rest were won from radio stations or given out in the lobby. 

So we picked our spot and a few minutes later another few people showed up.   Tamara and Mike, our new friends, stood next to us and we decided we would help each other through the night if we needed to leave our spot for something.  It is definitely better to make friends in that kind of situation than enemies.  It will make your night go much smoother.

It’s also good to make friends with security!  This is Malachi (sorry if I spelled your name wrong, bud).  We got to know him pretty well over the next couple of hours too.  He was a nice little resource when some girls decided to pull some punches behind us.  The kept pushing and shoving each other to get closer and when they weren't allowed to do that anymore they started saying really catty things about how ugly the girls were and how bad their hair was.  Talk about “mean girls!”  We just stood there holding our spots and laughing. 

Pretty close to 7:00pm Chase Rice opened the show.  From where we were it was difficult to hear him.  He was over powered by the music.  Not sure if it was that way for the whole arena but was an issue for us.  He had a lot of energy.  He played to the crowd well and definitely tried to get those in the sandbar a lot of attention.  We got a hand slap a couple of songs in.

He sang “Cruise” - a song he co-wrote with Florida Georgia Line, “Ready Set Roll” and “Gonna Wanna Tonight” along with a couple others.  He reminded us of Sam Hunt in his style.  Not my favorite of the 3 but he was good.  The great part was his guitar player, Brandon Autry, was from Tulsa.  It’s so nice to see hometown guys up on stage.

After about a 15-20 minute intermission Jake Owen came out.  He was a hoot to watch!  He had palm trees set up in the background and performed his whole set barefoot.  He seemed like he was truly having the time of his life with a genuine smile from ear to ear his entire set.  He jumped and twirled around and even got up on one part of the stage and laid down while the band played. 

Renee saw Jake Owen with Jason Aldean in 2012 where she purchased a license plate.  She brought it in hopes that he would sign it.  However, he ignored our corner of the stage the entire time!  We didn't even get a hand shake from him during his set. 

Jake sang all his hits including “Beachin’”, “Anywhere With You” and the very touching ballad “What We Ain't Got”, which he mentioned was his favorite song.  He ended with my favorite of his “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and mixed it with ”Theme from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”  That was a fun way to end his part of the show.

We waited another hour before Kenny Chesney came out.  He said during the show they were having technical difficulties and thanked everyone for being patient.  I found out from my niece who had seats up above us that the board to the side of the stage was not lit up and they were frantically trying to get it to work.  She said they even group hugged when it started working.

Finally at 9:30pm the lights went out and a video started.  There were very large screens to each side of the stage and a long screen high above the front of the stage.  Where we were standing we couldn't see any of them.  The first video was a lot of different people, including several celebrities, welcoming us to the show all while Kenny’s “Spread the Love” played in the background. 

After that video ended another one started.  I couldn't see what it was that night but I found a video on YouTube of another show and watched it.  It’s very hard to explain so I’ll just put a link below and you can see it for yourself.  Start watching about 1:45.

In our show it did not play on the curtain. That could have been some of the technical difficulties he was talking about.  But even as I watch it now I don’t really get it.  I know it has roots from his song “The Big Revival” talking about old time weird religions but honestly it did not fit with his whole beachy, no shoes, no problems persona.  And after waiting for an hour and then through 6+ minutes of videos I just wanted him to come out and sing.  I could have done without one or even both of the videos.

Finally Kenny came out and he did not disappoint!  I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of his but I do like most of his songs.  But if there is anything about that man, he knows how to put on a show!  His smile is contagious and you can tell he loves his job….and his fans!  Since we were behind him at times, we could see what he was seeing.  There were several times where he looked up into the crowd and picked out one person either taking a picture or dancing around and pointed them out.  He was extremely good at that audience connection that I feel is so important in a show.

He loved his front row and sandbar fans a lot!  He was constantly grabbing hands and singing to all of us.  He only came over to us twice but when he would stand in one place and sing he made eye contact with our side a lot.

His band sounded great and his bass player, Harmoni Kelley, was amazing! You don’t see very many women playing bass and she rocked it.  She also sang a cover of AC/DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie” and that gal can sing!  I want to be just like her when I grow up.

Kenny Chesney has so many hit songs it’s impossible for him to get them all into one night but he sure tried!  I knew just about every song and he sang my favorite of his about half way through – “Young”.  He ended the night with “The Boys of Fall” and then brought Jake Owen and Chase Rice back for the encore to sing “Tractor’s Sexy”.

After they finished the song all three of them took time to sign autographs for people in the sandbar and front row.  We were bound and determined to get that license plate signed!  We yelled and screamed and Renee held it up high for Jake to see.  He finally came over and signed it.  Mission accomplished!

So overall, the experience in the sandbar was one I will never forget.  However, as a concert junkie, I realized that I actually prefer to be a few rows back from the stage.  I feel like I missed a lot of the overall show.  Now don’t get me wrong, it was amazing to be that up close and personal with the guys but really all we could focus on was them.  I missed being able to see the rest of the band play unless they were walking right in front of us.  It was almost a “can’t see the forest for the trees” type of thingI truly enjoy the whole show and being in a pit you definitely sacrifice some of that.  It’s a trade-off for sure. 

Renee and I also realized that we are getting just a little too old to be standing for 6 hours on concrete in one place, fighting off girls half our age to get a hand shake or an autograph!  We would have liked to have had a seat to sit in between the acts. 

But was it worth it?  Absolutely!  It was a fantastic show and one that I will put up toward the top of my list of great shows you should go see.  Would I do it again in the pit?  If I were given the tickets, I definitely wouldn't turn them down!

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