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,

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Jack Ingram's Acoustic Motel Tour


My girlfriends and I spent the afternoon walking around the beautiful town of Annapolis, Maryland before heading into Ram’s Head Tavern for Jack Ingram’s Acoustic Motel Tour Thursday, March 25th.  As we took a seat at our table we were pleasantly surprised at the cozy atmosphere.  Jack had placed a lamp beside a leather chair on stage giving an intimate feel to the room.  The lighting was kept low and no flash photography was allowed.

Jack was comfortably casual on stage, just him and his guitar, singing and chatting with the audience between songs, telling stories and cracking jokes.  His dad was the brunt of some of the jokes as he talked about their occasionally turbulent relationship.  He wrote “Biloxi” for his dad and sang it to him on Father’s day one year.  It was not a flattering song and Jack confessed that once he became a father himself he had a change of heart and later wrote a “Biloxi part two” entitled “The Measure of a Man.”

He was especially charming when talking about his children.  I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to “Ava Adele” but I’ll never hear it the same way again knowing Jack wrote it about his daughter.

Jack also shared about his struggles as an artist beginning with his first album in 1995 and how long he waited to get that number one hit year after year, label after label, song after song.  Jack listened every week to the Top 40 count down hoping to hear one of his songs break into the top 40 and make it to number one.  It finally happened in 2006 with “Wherever You Are.”

When Jack sang “Barefoot and Crazy” he stopped just after singing “cool wet kiss” and said, “When I wrote that, I thought it was really sexy.  But I’ve gotta tell you a story...”  And he proceeded to tell about the day when he arrived at a venue and took a walk through a field to stretch his legs.  Lo and behold this good looking blond came walking toward him and he didn’t know what to say to her.  As she talked he realized she knew who he was and he began to feel more confident.  Then she told him she loved the song with the “cool whip kiss” and Jack just nodded yes but didn’t have any idea what she was talking about.  She realized by the look in his eyes that he was clueless so she pressed on, “You know...  the one about being barefoot and jumpin' in?”  “Ahhhh, yes” Jack said, “the cool whip kiss,” then he looked at us and said with a grin, “Adds a whole other dimension to the song, doesn’t it?”  and finished singing the song using “cool whip kiss” in place of “cool wet kiss” while we all sang along.

Jack continued to sing, telling stories now and then and we didn't want our evening to end.  Jack thoroughly entertained us, making us feel right at home.

Article also on Urban Country Blog

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Taylor Swift in Charlottesville, VA


Taylor Swift emerged wearing a drum major uniform as the band played and cheerleaders tumbled on the opening number “You Belong With Me.”  It looked like something straight out of High School Musical.  And that was just the beginning.  Utilizing costume and set changes and incorporating clever video montages Taylor took us on a magical journey Saturday night at JPJ Arena in Charlottesville.

We visited a high school class room where Taylor was ignored by a handsome young man who did homework and danced with someone else while Taylor sang “Teardrops on My Guitar.”

In a re-enacted interview Taylor discussed how she frequently writes songs about her relationships saying, “Guys don’t have anything to worry about if they don’t do bad things.”  Taylor sang “Forever and Always,” - a song written after a painful break up.  Then she tossed a chair off the upper level of the stage, walked down the stairs, out to the end of the catwalk, got down on her knees and reached out to the crowd.

Always appreciative of her fans, Taylor sang “Hey Stephen” in the middle of the 100 section then made her way to the rear of the arena to sing “Fifteen” and her first number one hit - “Tim McGraw.”  I noticed her mom lovingly smiling up at her as she sang.

When she walked back to the main stage through the crowd she not only shook many outstretched hands but stopped and hugged a lot of fans along the way, especially the young ones.  I guess I can’t begrudge her the long wait for the concert to continue.  After all, those little girls will remember this night forever.

The setting for “Love Story” was a feast for the eyes with a castle, lords and ladies dancing, Taylor in a beautiful ball gown and even the band members decked out in Victorian dress.

Throughout the evening Taylor was charming and flirtatious, toying with the audience like a seasoned performer.  Her vocals were excellent even though the frequent tossing of her golden tresses were often a distraction for me.

The encore held a surprise ending.  As Taylor sang “Should’ve Said No” she backed up and continued to sing beneath a shower of water like she did on the 2008 ACMA’s.

Opening for Taylor was the 2009 AMA Breakthrough Artist of the Year Gloriana – a group of 4 very talented individuals: Tom Gossin (guitar, vocals), Mike Gossin (guitar, vocals), Rachel Reinert (vocals), and Cheyenne Kimball (vocals, mandolin).  They are most known for their hit “Wild At Heart” although “How Far Do You Wanna Go” is currently climbing the charts. Their harmonies are tight and their voices blend beautifully.   Gloriana is energetic, fun and is definitely going places.

Next up was Kellie Pickler, stand out from American Idol Season 5.  She opened with “Best Days of Your Life” followed by “Things That Never Cross A Man’s Mind” and her current single “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You?”  just to name a few.  She perched on a stool to sing “I Wonder” and closed her set with “Red High Heels.”

It was Kellie’s sparkly silver 5-inch heels that caught my eye.  How anyone can walk in them is beyond me. And she even managed to walk up and down the ramps on either side of the stage, determined to connect with the audience.  Impressive!

Despite the malfunction in Kellie’s ear monitor and her self-consciousness over her snug black leather stretch pants that caused her to apologize for the view to the crowd behind her, Kellie’s performance was quite good.