Nashville Music Scene
The book lists a whole bunch of small clubs and live music venues, but if you've only got one night in Nashville you have to go to the Grand Ole Opry.
The Opry has performances on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday nights (with a Classics concert on Thursdays at the Ryman), and our schedule made it possible to catch a Tuesday show. Now the catch is that they often don't announce the performers until the week of the show, and I love to pre-buy as many tickets as possible, just to make sure everything is ready for the trip. We totally lucked out on the line-up, though. Alan Jackson was the primary performer, with Little Big Town, Thompson Square, Jimmy Wayne and Josh Thompson.
I bought the cheapest tickets available and combined it with a backstage tour immediately after the show. I was a little worried that we'd have terrible seats, but it turns out that there are no terrible seats at the Opry.
Little Jimmy Dickens (a country music legend, I'm told. I thought this would be the least exciting part of the show, but he was actually pretty funny.)
Little Big Town:
Thompson Square - I went in to this having no feelings one way or the other about Thompson Square, but this performance solidified my dislike for them, and his douchey outfit and facial hair, and she seems ... less than the brightest bulb.
Alan Jackson - He started out by singing "Drive" which is one of my favorite of his songs.
He was also a little discombobulated when he was introducing his band - they way the stage was arranged meant that nobody in his band was standing where he thought they'd be. It was kind of funny, and nice to see him laughing at himself as well.
Me in the famous circle.
Because the backstage tour started immediately after the concert there was still a lot of activity going on backstage. The roadies (Are they roadies, still called roadies if they work for a venue?) were breaking down the stage and putting all the equipment away, and we saw the douche from Thompson Square carrying out a tiny little dog.
The artist's entrance - big doors rolls down ceiling to floor on either side of the corridor so the artists have a private entrance. Our guide said that since so many of them live in the area that they mostly just drive themselves and park in the back lot.
This is the high water mark from the floods a couple of years ago.
The Opry Post Office. You can write any Opry member and send their mail to the Opry House and they'll deliver it directly. Our guide was saying that Alan Jackson hadn't been there in a while so pre-show his mailbox was stuffed full, but he'd picked up all his mail by the time we got there.
They have these giant guitar picks inlaid in the floor in front of all the dressing rooms.
And yes, sometimes people just get a locker and have to change in the hall.
All the dressing rooms have a theme ... this is the Blue Grass room.
The "It takes Two" dressing room - for duos.
The Wagonmaster, and yes that couch is purple, and that chair is fringed.
This is the family room. It is exactly what it sounds like - a place where all the artists and their families can hang out, chat, whatever before, during and after the show. The Opry serves artists complimentary coffee, tea and water only. They used to serve more adult beverages, but discovered the alcohol and a live radio show makes for some less than professional results. The rail along the wall is another high water mark from the flood.
We had such a fun time at the Opry, and if I'm ever in Nashville I'll go again. I may even make it to some of the other venues mentioned on The List.