A Word from Cheryl:

Thank you for visiting my Concert Review Blog. I have enjoyed attending, photographing and writing about a variety of concerts over the past several years. I hope that my reviews and photos have made you feel like you were right there with me.

At this time in my life I've taken a step back, looked at what’s truly important and have begun to prioritize my time, energy and resources.

I retired from nursing in 2012 and was then able to be with my aging father, who later passed away in June, 2013.

My family is growing dramatically! We now have eight grandchildren and I take every opportunity to be available to help when needed. I also make sure I carve out plenty of time for my husband so that he knows how important he is to me.

Because of this I don't attend many concerts anymore. I try to be selective in choosing a show and do my best to relax and enjoy the experience. I no longer stress about getting the perfect photo or remembering some occurrence so I can write about it.

If you want to view a collection of some of my favorite photos from the past several years you may find them here:
Cheryl's Pearls Photos - Concerts

Thanks again for visiting my site.

May God Bless,

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tim McGraw in Bristow, VA - June 15, 2008


While waiting at the special tent outside the gates of Nissan Pavilion to receive my pass for Tim McGraw’s private preshow party I noticed several men and women in uniform.  I struck up a conversation with one of the ladies.   Earlier in the day Tim’s band members had been at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to visit injured soldiers home from the war.   She even filled me in on the fact that the Warren Brothers were with Tim’s band and would be playing with them on stage tonight.  The young lady I spoke to said there were several students at the concert as Tim’s guest who were from the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, MD who were preparing to be physicians, nurses and scientists to care for those in harm’s way.  They were heading backstage to personally meet Tim.  I was impressed!

When I got to the preshow party I saw several wheelchairs upfront and a few more uniformed personnel milling around.  One young man in a T-shirt was declaring he’d just gotten back from Iraq two weeks ago and was inviting all the ladies to sign his chest.  I think I’ll show my support some other way.

After enjoying refreshments, everyone was ready for some music.  Tim’s band members, The Dancehall Doctors, came out with Lance Miller first, then Catherine Rainey followed by Tim McGraw.  Tim sang two songs: “Everywhere” and “Just to See You Smile” for this intimate performance.  Tim acknowledged the military and how appreciative he is for their sacrifice and service.  When it was over he shook hands with everyone in the front row.

I headed into the Pavilion and took my seat.  Halfway to Hazard was already on stage and what an energetic couple of guys they are!  Chad Warrix and David Tolliver worked hard to keep the crowd’s interest focused on the stage.   David even jumped down from the stage and walked through audience toward the end of their set.  They did their job - I was entertained. 

Jason Aldean was next and he was well received at Nissan Pavilion opening with his current single, “Relentless” then moving through several of his hits, “Amarillo Sky,” “Why,” “Laughed Until We Cried” and the lively “Johnny Cash.”  He said the last time he was in town he got a less than favorable review by the Washington Post.  In response Jason proceeded to play Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.”  He closed with “Hicktown” and had everyone on their feet with a smile on their face.

The much anticipated moment had arrived. Tim McGraw finally strode out onto the stage amid the roar of the crowd.  He began with a brand new song called, “Still”  and throughout the night he skillfully blended old and new songs to keep the momentum going.  A young boy joined him on stage for the final chorus of “Last Dollar (Fly Away)” which was very sweet.  He serenaded various women who were fortunate enough to be standing next to the stage while Tim was singing “Suspicions,” “I Like It, I Love It,” and “Real Good Man.”  I saw a couple of them afterwards and I do believe they looked as if they might faint!  One woman could hardly speak.

For me the most poignant moment of the evening came when Tim returned to the stage for his encore.  He stood there and solemnly sang, “If You’re Readin’ This” – a song about a deceased soldier’s final letter home.  I was moved to tears and, as I glanced around I noticed I wasn’t the only one.  Tears were streaming down many cheeks in the Pavilion that night.

Of course Tim didn’t end the concert there.  He closed with some livelier, upbeat songs and said how much he loved his job but quite frankly it’s that one song that remains in my memory.  That song, combined with meeting the military earlier in the day and seeing those soldiers in wheelchairs served to remind me of the more important things in life.  Thanks for the experience, Tim; it’s one I won’t soon forget.

Published in the Start Exponent 6-20-08 Not a Dry Eye in the House