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,

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rascal Flatts & Jessica Simpson in Charlottesville, VA 01-29-09


Life's like a road that you travel on, there's one day here and the next day gone Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand, sometimes you turn your back to the wind...
Life is a highway...

My Rascal Flatts concert experience was a lot like one of the cover songs they sing by Tom Cochrane called "Life is a Highway" - full of twists and turns and unexpected surprises - some welcome, some not.

I fretted about the weather canceling the show Thursday, January 29th, at John Paul Jones Arena but the snow and ice cleared by that afternoon. Then I thought I had allowed plenty of time to get to the concert but upon arrival learned I'd lost my opportunity to meet Rascal Flatts.

Once I got past my disappointment I turned my attention to our seats. My friend, Amy, and I were intrigued by the stage set up. The "cat walk" was in the shape of a diamond reaching all the way to the back of the arena. Our seats were smack dab in the middle of it. When the show started, we were great as long as Rascal Flatts - Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus, and Joe Don Rooney - remained center stage but when they split up (which was often) we had to laugh because we looked like bobble head dolls, turning this way and that as they took turns singing on either side or behind us. "Bob That Head" is actually a pretty good name for this tour after all!

I must say Rascal Flatts knows how to engage their fans - literally. During "Bless the Broken Road" a young couple was encouraged to climb onto the stage where the guy got down on one knee, pulled out a ring and proposed to his girlfriend - of course she said "yes."

Throughout the evening Gary, Jay, and Joe Don would shake fans' hands, give "high fives," toss a guitar pick, pose for an occasional photo or sign an autograph. One little fan named Noah, who appeared to be about 4 or 5 years old, sang along with Rascal Flatts as he watched the concert from his father's shoulders. He was finally allowed on stage to sing with Gary but was awestruck by the crowd and had to be coached. Gary whispered in his ear and Noah finally finished the song with "Here's to you!" - it was precious!

Jay DeMarcus sincerely thanked the fans for spending their hard earned money to come to the concert during these tough economic times. Remember they have a new CD coming out April 7th called "Unstoppable" so plan accordingly...

Rascal Flatts' opening act, Jessica Simpson, struggled a bit. She sings well enough. Her voice is strong and on pitch. She's attractive and definitely has the guys' attention but she just doesn't seem to connect with the audience. Granted there weren't as many fans to connect with since the crowd seemed to trickle in as she sang. She did a good job with her new single "Pray Out Loud." Unfortunately history repeated itself (i.e. Kennedy Center, December 2006; Good Morning America, September 2008 ) as Jessica credited Dolly Parton for her success then proceeded to flub the song, "Do You Know" requiring a "do-over." At least she stuck it out and finished the song. I understand she's under a lot of public scrutiny these days and I'm sure it's stressful. I wish her the best as she pursues her country music career.