There’s a dog on the stage, singers are swilling whiskey straight from the bottle, and my husband and I are definitely the only people in this 30,000-person arena who don’t know a single word to the songs they’re singing. In fact, we’ve never heard most of them before.
We don’t even like country music. At least, I’ve never considered myself a fan. And yet, we’re having the time of our lives.
So how did we end up here? Well, at the beginning of 2017, I made a pact to try new things. Just say yes to new experiences, and force myself out of a Netflix, movies or restaurant dinner rut. So, when I was given two free tickets to a Florida Georgia Line concert one frigid weekend, Nate and I decided to say yes. I knew exactly one song of the band’s — “Cruise,” their collaboration with Nelly — but we decided to just go for it. We weren’t disappointed.
There were explosions, inflatable trees that turned the stage into a forest, and even a mini-stage set up like a campfire at the other end of the arena, so people on the far end would get an up-close performance from the country duo. During one ballad, a stream of wedding photos and videos from both stars’ ceremonies played across the Jumbotron, giving you a sense of who Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard were — even for the two of us, who couldn’t sing an entire song of theirs when we walked through the Prudential Center’s doors.
Free concert tickets aren’t a regular occurrence for us, so this isn’t exactly our new thing, but on a smaller level, that night out got us to just pick events at random and say yes. (The Mohegan Sun, for example, hosts free concerts on Saturday nights, which is how Nate and I found one of our favorite bands, Walk Off The Earth.)
There’s a certain high in finding the person in the room who’s completely into the moment — the person you can tell has been waiting months for this, who got up this morning like a kid at Christmas waiting for this event — and trying to take in what’s going on from their perspective. It gives you a whole new appreciation for the night. Or the band. Or the inflatable trees (which, let’s be honest, were pretty awesome).