Sunday, August 14th – Ironstone Amphitheatre
Sunday afternoon we headed out to Murphys, California for the Chris Young concert at Ironstone Amphitheatre. The drive on SR 4 was pretty lovely as I watched the countryside from my window. Sometimes it astonishes me how vast and open California can be and as we moved along SR 4, I understood why people drive that way to go to their cabins to get away from the Bay Area.
Thanks to my niece, I was made aware of a Groupon sale for the tickets to Chris Young’s concert. Since I was also a new user (yes, I’d never used Groupon before), I was able to get lawn tickets for not only the discounted price but also more discounted as a first-time user. Score!
In deep contrast to the concert at Levi’s Stadium, Ironstone Amphitheatre had portables as restrooms and the data coverage was spotty at best. We had lawn tickets so it meant taking a blanket and thankfully having my nieces find a sweet spot with enough room for all of us. (Thank you, nieces!) It was probably one of the hottest days of the last seven days but there was a breeze and by the time the sun had moved, it didn’t seem as hot as when we arrived. The amphitheatre was rather lovely (portables and lacking data coverage notwithstanding), set amongst trees in Calavares County.
I was in my Rich’s Bi$ches shirt and my friends were thankfully in theirs as well. I didn’t walk around a lot but after Tyler performed, my friends were stopped a few times and asked about him, which is pretty awesome. I almost forgot I was wearing it until someone later commented on it.
Tyler opened up the show and he was so good. It was weird being so far from him as he performed. I think this was the first time I was too far to see his face. It didn’t matter, it gave me a different perspective and from my place on the lawn, he was energetic and having fun. I hope at the very least he could hear us when he’d end a song because I think we were probably one of the only ones in our section who were super enthusiastic for him. Hearing him with a band behind him is also definitely something I’d love to happen more often!
I loved being able to sing really loud with him and the audience without anyone really hearing me. The band was very awesome and I should probably get to know them because when I went to the merchandise table between sets, I talked with the bassist and didn’t even realize it. Ooops! (Hi Ben Jindra, you were pretty cool!) Of course, I wish Tyler had gone on for longer but he left the stage after “California Grown” (which was probably appropriate since Jon Pardi is the referenced in the song and was the next act).
I confess, I was merely ambivalent about Jon Pardi before this show. Although I can’t stop singing along to “Head Over Boots,” I didn’t really think I cared either way about him. His set perhaps persuaded me towards his music a bit more. He kept saying he was hungover and though he sounded a bit tired, his voice was strong and he sounded great. And apparently I know more of his songs than I realized. He had a good set and I was dutifully entertained.
I’ve known about Chris Young since his days on Nashville Star. Who remembers that show? Well, he’s always been an artist I’ve enjoyed and this was the first time seeing him live for us. He was great! Such a strong voice and a great on stage personality. He talked a bit much but he was witty and entertaining. I loved being able to sing along and there were some songs I had forgotten were his until he started singing them. In the end I was so glad to have seen him.
After Chris was finished, we headed to the merchandise table where Tyler was set up to greet fans and sign and take pictures. My nieces were already in line and I joined them (probably to the annoyance of the people behind me but hey, the cars in the parking lot were hardly moving so might as well have been waiting in line for Tyler than waiting in line to get out of the venue). I didn’t mind waiting as it allowed me some time to do some people watching. A mutual follow from snapchat and a friend of Tyler’s came over to say hi to me and we chatted for a little bit. So sweet! And as the line moved, one of my fellow fans and online friend came over to say hello as well. It was nice running into people I knew! When it was finally our turn, I introduced Tyler to my nieces. They took their pictures with him and Tyler signed one of their Giants bags (I’m sure he got a kick out of that). When it was my turn, we had a quick chat then our picture taken. As always, I was happy to have a moment with him and a picture to prove it.
All in all, it was a most lovely evening spent under the stars listening to good music amongst family and friends. I don’t know when I’ve had that happen. I loved being able to catch up with my nieces, who are just the loveliest young ladies. I’m so glad I’m not the only one in our big family to like country music. It was also super great getting to know my fellow Rich’s Bi$ches. I’m so glad they’ve welcomed me into the group because they are some rockin’ ladies. I had a fantastic time with them! It was also great to finally meet Tyler’s friend after watching his snapchat all these months. I’m so glad we had a chance to chat a little. I also got to touch base with fellow Tyler fans, which is always awesome.
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