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, February 28, 2009

David Archuleta - Richmond, VA


Despite the late start to the show, David Archuleta found a very forgiving crowd awaiting him at The National in Richmond, VA February 25th. It was Archuleta's second time to perform his headlining tour and the sold-out crowd with a large number of adolescent females frequently squealed their delight and admiration for this young artist.

Archuleta opened with "Touch My Hand" from his self titled album and managed to reach out and touch the hands of a few lucky fans pressed up as close as security would let them. He seemed genuinely appreciative of the warm reception and the fact that so many people would come to his concert. He even took pictures of the crowd saying, "Oh my gosh, this is amazing - you guys are awesome! I've never been to Virginia before - I love it here!"

He was bouncy, attempting a dance step now and then as he sang songs like "Barriers" and "Works For Me" but he was obviously concentrating on his performance and the words, still adapting and getting comfortable with this new set. When Archuleta did a medley of U2's "One Love", Desiree's "You Gotta Be," Sara Bareilles' "Love Song", and "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz, he fumbled a few of the words but didn't let it stop his performance - he just smiled and sang on. His hit "Crush" and new single "A Little Too Not Over You" had a lot of folks singing along but my personal favorite was saved for last - "Angels," by Robbie Williams. David sang it with such control and power that I was completely mesmerized.

Set List:
1. Touch My Hand
2. Barriers
3. A Little Too Not Over You
4. You Can
5. My Hands
6. Works For Me
7. Waiting For Yesterday
8. Medley: One/You Gotta Be/Love Song/I’m Yours
9. To Be With You
10. Don’t Let Go
11. Zero Gravity
12. Somebody Out There
13. Crush
14. A Thousand Miles
15. Angels


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rodney Atkins - Richmond, VA

RODNEY ATKINS - The Reason I Love Country Music

I went with my brother, Eddie, to catch Rodney Atkins along with The Lost Trailers in concert at The National in Richmond, Virginia on February 13th. While Eddie is eclectic in his musical tastes I wouldn't necessarily say he is a huge fan of country music but he's always willing to listen with an open mind.

The Lost Trailers consist of five young men: Ryder Lee (lead vocals) Stokes Nielson (vocals & lead guitar), Andrew Nielson (keyboards & guitar), Mandy Medina (bass), and Jeff Potter (drums). They opened the show with lots of energy and were received warmly by the Virginia crowd. You notice Ryder's distinct southern drawl right away when he sings their hits "How 'bout You Don't" and "Holler Back." Sporting a fedora, Stokes Nielson rarely stood still, jumping around on stage and reaching out to fans, all to their fascination and delight.

The Lost Trailers left everyone smiling and in a great mood, ready for the main attraction. Fans who had driven from near and far roared their approval as Rodney Atkins stepped into the spotlight. He treated the audience to several selections from his soon to be released album "It's America." Two of the most memorable for me were "The River Just Knows" about a veteran who goes fishing and a light hearted song called "Friends with Tractors."

Rodney's smile and easy-going nature was contagious. He connected with many folks in front of the stage, giving "high-fives," shaking hands, tossing his guitar picks, and accepting gifts from devoted fans. The crowd sang along on "Watching You" with such enthusiasm that Rodney had them do an encore of sorts and even became choked with emotion as he listened.

Eddie and I had the good fortune to be able to meet both The Lost Trailers and Rodney Atkins before the show and they were all very personable, delightful young men. As a season ticket holder at The National, Eddie has been to many concerts over the past year and he made an interesting observation regarding country music artists. They make a lot of effort to connect with the audience from the stage and seem to be more accessible to their fans. Another reason why they are number one in my book!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Little Big Town - Washington, DC


My friend, Karen, and I were excited about seeing Little Big Town and the Zac Brown Band perform on February 4th at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. but when we told our kids where we were going they were less than enthusiastic. They love the venue but said two women really shouldn't travel in that area of D.C. alone at night. Since both our husbands were unavailable that evening we recruited one of my son's friends to be our chauffeur and body guard.

Mike arrived to pick us up in a '99 Dodge RAM Truck, you know, the kind you have to grab hold of something in order to climb up into. It was big and loud and Karen and I held our breath as we navigated the narrow streets in D.C. but people (and cars) certainly did get out of our way!

We made it to the 9:30 Club just in time to meet some friends and make our way to the front of the stage. The Zac Brown Band kicked off the show with their unique blend of country, bluegrass, and a touch of Jimmy Buffett. We were spell-bound when they performed their rendition of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." When they played their number one hit "Chicken Fried" I think the entire sold-out crowd was singing along. They certainly warmed up the crowd for the main act.

After opening for artists like Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and George Strait, Little Big Town has branched out and is now headlining their own tour. They opened with their current single "Good Lord Willing" and followed with "Good As Gone," "A Little More You," "Bones," and moved into a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain." Little Big Town certainly uses their versatility and harmonies to perfection. Jimi Westbrook, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, and Phillip Sweet each have the capability to sing lead or back up, weaving in and out of these roles effortlessly. It's a joy to watch. I especially enjoyed their acoustic rendition of "Lost" from their "Road To Here" album as they finished with the cover of Coldplay's "Fix You" at the end. It was beautiful.

On stage Little Big Town is energetic, encouraging crowd participation. They interact frequently with their fans and because we were so close it was easy to reach up and shake their hands. Kimberly even posed for an extended period of time so Mike could take a cell phone picture. Alas, his hand shook so badly the photo was blurred beyond recognition but he will forever have the memory that Kimberly posed just for him.

The place was rockin' by the time Little Big Town played their biggest hit and crowd favorite "Boondocks." They returned for an encore of The Dream Academy's "Life In A Northern Town" and closed with a lively version of The Eagles "Heartache Tonight."

When we climbed back into Mike's big old truck and headed out of the city Karen and I were glad to be with someone who knew where he was going as we peered out the windows at the shady looking characters along various intersections. Walking in the house into my husband's arms I found myself humming Little Big Town's song, "Bring It On Home." I enjoyed the evening but there's no place like home!