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, September 28, 2010

Sugarland with Little Big Town - Bristow, VA

As a member of Sugarland’s Fan Club I had the unique opportunity to be one of the few fans selected to attend their afternoon sound check in Bristow, VA before their performance that evening.  About 12-15 of us were checked through security and led to our seats in the pavilion.  No cameras were allowed so I’ll do my best to paint a verbal picture for you.

The band members were already warming up when Kristian Bush casually walked on stage wearing a white t-shirt, torn jeans, flip flops and a ball cap.  He waved to us and proceeded to discuss songs with the band.

We were treated to instrumental renditions of “Little Miss,” Every Girl Like Me,” and “Tonight” – all brand new songs from Sugarland’s “Incredible Machine” album to be released October 19.  They discussed measures and counts and at one point Kristian turned to us and said, “See, we really do work!”

With 15 minutes left in the sound check Jennifer Nettles arrived barefoot in a khaki colored jumper over a sports bra.  She and Kristian adjusted their wireless mics and ran through the song “Settlin’.” Kristian played guitar and Jennifer walked through the steps on stage.  They worked out a dance move and did a hamstring stretch to warm up.  As they rehearsed “Incredible Machine” Jennifer walked over to Brandon Bush (Kristian’s brother) on the keyboard, picked up a pair of drumsticks and began playing to the beat.

The last song they rehearsed was “Sigh No More” – one of the encore performances they do with Little Big Town.  Finally they bid us good bye and said “See you at the show!”

Having seen Sugarland perform the week before in Charlottesville, Virginia, I was truly looking forward to experiencing their concert again.  Every time you go to this show you see something different and new.  It is evident a lot of thought went into creating the set with its machine-type mechanisms and contrasting romantic, Victorian feel with lamps, lighting and visual effects.

Sugarland is energetic and fun.  Jennifer Nettles is such a joy to watch, playfully toying with the audience, cracking jokes with that deep southern drawl of hers and casually moving from song to song.  She has a way of embodying the music – it seems to come from a place deep within her.  She can be graceful as a ballerina one minute and funky as a street dancer the next.

Kristian Bush is a wonderful side kick for Jennifer.  His face is always full of expression as he plays guitar or mandolin and sings.  When he’s not mixing it up with Jennifer he’s frequently moving about the stage and interacting with the audience.

If the songs “Stand Up,” “Incredible Machine,” and “Stuck Like Glue,” performed in concert are any indication of the new album coming out in October, I think Sugarland has a huge hit on the horizon.

Sugarland’s opening act, Little Big Town, played several songs from their current album “The Reason Why.”  They opened with the harmonious “Why, Oh Why” followed by “Little White Church,” as well as “Runaway Train,” “The Reason Why,” “Shut Up Train,” and “Kiss Goodbye” which is lovely and will be their next single off the album.  They also performed some crowd favorites “A Little More You,” “Bring It On Home,” and the ever popular “Boondocks.”

Little Big Town returned during Sugarland’s finale to perform London-based folk rock quartet Mumford & Son’s “Sigh No More.”  The harmonies were beautiful but personally I preferred their Charlottesville finale performance of “Walkin’ In Memphis” with Sugarland.
The final song of the night was Sugarland’s rendition of The Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive,” which received a tremendous response from the audience and appeared to have everyone up on their feet singing and dancing.  I left Bristow with a smile on my face and a bounce in my step.

Thanks for the incredible time Sugarland!

Additional Photos the Bristow Concert here

Published: Star Exponent

Monday, September 6, 2010

Josh Turner at the Shenandoah County Fair


As Josh Turner sings in his song “All Over Me,” – “Well the weather man said it’s gonna be a hot one, heard it on the radio…” it was indeed blisteringly hot on Wednesday, September 1, at the Shenandoah County Fair in Woodstock, VA where Josh brought his “Haywire” Tour.  Lots of folks were overcome by the 95+ degree heat (myself included) and I’d like to personally thank the Woodstock Fire and Rescue department for their prompt assistance.  All I can say is when it’s extremely hot and sunny outside be sure to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate if you’re gonna be out there in it!

Aside from the heat, the concert was most enjoyable.  Josh sang a mixture of old and new songs in that deep, rich baritone voice of his that sets him apart from anyone else.  Familiar songs like “Everything is Fine,”  “Firecracker,” “Would You Go With Me,” “Long Black Train,” “Me and God,” plus songs from his new album: “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” “As Fast As I Could,” “I Wouldn’t Be A Man,” “Eye Candy,” “All Over Me,” “Haywire,” and “The Answer.”  It’s refreshing to hear an artist whose songs consistently reflect his convictions on family values, love and faith.

Josh introduced his wife, Jennifer, who plays keyboard with the band and is currently pregnant with their third son.  I noticed the two of them exchanging eye contact and smiling at each other during the concert.  It was sweet to see.

The crowd was very receptive to all the songs Josh played but it seemed to me that his spiritually based songs got the most enthusiastic response.  Josh was warmly embraced in this rural area and he appeared to be grateful for it as well as humbled by it when acknowledging the standing ovations, frequent cheers and applause.

Photos of Josh Turner at Sheandoah Co. Fair by CWalker

Published: Star Exponent