The CMT video awards were fun, fun, fun. Hubby and I had a great time. It was definitely worth the speedy trip to Nashville after work Wednesday and staying up way too late even though I had to rise at the butt crack of dawn and be at work at 7 o’clock the next morning. We saw some excellent performances by big name country artists, ogled at some celebrities and had a grand old time just watching people. Our seats were in the nosebleed section, but I negotiated with an usher for better seats, and we ended up having a bird’s eye view (with binoculars) of celebrity row, where the stars and their spouses or dates sat. We’d definitely do it again. In fact, I’d love to go back to Nashville this weekend for more of the CMA Fan Fest concerts at LP Field, but I have a family reunion to attend. I think Hubby and I could spend every weekend diddling around in downtown Nashville. We just love hanging around on Broadway, listening to some music at places like Tootsies and soaking up the atmosphere. While our stay in Nash Vegas was brief this time, a good time was had by all. But then again, when do the Hula-gen’s not have a good time?
An awards show is a little different from a regular concert in that it doesn’t have the same kind of nonstop intensity that a concert can have. There are commercial breaks, constant movement in the multiple staging areas and occasional instructions from the stage manager on what audience members should be doing. There’s a lot to watch at all times. Here was the set-up for the CMT’s:
The main stage is where the country stars and their bands performed. The small round stage is where bands and award nominees were announced. That square stage is where Kid Rock did a lot of his emceeing and where the winners were announced. For example, Shania Twain stood on the round stage to cue to the taped announcement of Male Video of the Year nominees and then ran (very carefully) to the square stage during the tape to be in place for the announcement of the winner. Once a winner was announced, said winner would run from the celebrity seating to the square stage to pick up his award. You can’t see it in the photo, but behind celebrity row is a multi-story platform that held the house band that played musical stings coming in and out of commercial breaks. They were waaay up there.
We had a great time looking down on the stars and picking them out of the crowd. “Ooh, there’s Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman,” and “Hey, that chick from Little Big Town has HUGE hair,” or “I think that couple is fighting.” Like I said, great people watching. Let me just say, there is no nose pickin’ when you’re in the VIP section, ‘cause the whole arena can see you.
Some general observations:
Things we loved:
-Kid Rock. He’s a hoot.
-There were a lot of great performances, but we really liked Rascal Flatts’ I Will Stand by You, Kid Rock and Sheryl Crowe’s duet and Sugarland’s Stand Up. The young girls in front of us were all about Jason Aldean’s performance at the end of the show. Goodness, that was a lot of screaming.
Things you didn’t see at home:
-All of the scene changing and running around during the show and the commercial breaks. During the break before Sugarland’s song, the people on the floor near the stages were handed flags and told very specifically when to start waving them during the Sugarland song and when to stop. They weren’t supposed to wave them before the first chorus and they were to immediately stop after the song and keep them down for the rest of the show. Well, they sell beer at the arena, and given the presence of alcohol and human nature, there were some folks who couldn’t or wouldn’t follow instructions. The stage manager probably lost 782 hairs off his head Wednesday night over those dadgum flags because he had to keep telling them, firmly, “Thank you for your enthusiasm and participation, but you must put down your flags NOW.” This went on way after the Sugarland segment. It was quite funny. It reminded me of those repetitive messages at the shuttle stands at DisneyWorld, “Stand BEHIND the yellow lines.”
-The panties someone threw on the stage at Kid Rock. Y'all caught a glimpse of them on the televised version, but let me tell ya’, they were large and orange and they stayed on stage for a quite a while. Really large. Really orange.
-The beer in Kid Rock’s hand. You could see it a couple of times on TV, but they kept it off camera most of the time. He appeared to keep it under control. We were proud of his restraint as restraint is not one of his strengths.
-Ironically, we missed the moment that had everyone at home talking, Shania Twain’s big fall. She bit the dust coming out of the tunnel and into the crowd, and it happened before she became visible to those of us on our side of the arena. It’s no wonder she took a tumble. Her heels were HIGH. In fact, every woman who appeared on stage had heels that were four and five inches tall. The lady in Lady Antebellum was wearing heels that were so high her feet were almost vertical. And she danced around like she was barefoot. All I can say is that she must have younger arches than me.
-I had no idea who Luke Bryan was before we got there. He is hot, hot, hot.
-I’m just gonna say this out loud, Nicole Kidman is better looking in pictures than she is in real life, and that’s my catty comment for the day. Well, maybe my second. Meow!
Not so surprising:
-That we all saw Sheryl Crowe’s underwear. That skirt was shorter than my attention span. I don’t know how she thought she was going to gracefully slide off that stool without showing something. Her panties were not large and orange, but thank goodness, she was wearing some.
-Joe Don Rooney is as hot as I thought he would be.
-That Justin Beiber won an award. It’s fan chosen, for goodness sakes. Every teenage girl in America has been logging in and voting for him daily since March. He was very cute, though, in that teen idol way.
-Joe Don Rooney is as hot as I thought he would be. Did I already say that?
Things I Wish I’d Known:
That you could take pictures inside the arena during that show. I didn’t take my camera in even though I had it in the car. 99% of the time you cannot take photos during a show like that, and we had to be in the arena before they closed all outside access at 6:30pm. We had a small window of opportunity to get downtown, get parked, walk to Broadway, eat a quick dinner at Margaritaville and get into the arena. I was afraid to take my camera, get turned away with it, have to take it back to the car and not have time to get back to the arena before the doors closed. Big mistake on my part. Cameras were allowed, and I could have gotten some great shots with my telephoto lens. Pffft.
-How to get in on the lottery for standing next to the stages during the show. Notice those folks were dressed mostly in black? That’s to keep them from being a distraction during the camera shots. I was standing in the guest services office when the usher led them through there on their way to the floor. I was dressed in black pants and a black top, and I was sorely tempted to just fall in line behind them and see if I could slide right in unnoticed. But then I would have had to call Hubby on the third level and tell him where I was, and let’s just say he had the keys to the car and it’s a long walk home from Nashville.
-If you are a country music fan, the CMA festival is a great vacation opportunity. The four day ticket gets you into daily concerts where you will see many, many top name performers, you get access to the stars at the autograph parties, and it’s a way to see many of them up close and personal. Plus, there are a lot of fun things to do in Nashville. Bring lots of deodorant. It can be sticky in this part of the country in June.
-At Bridgestone Arena (and sometimes other arenas), do not be afraid to ask if better seating is available if you don’t like your seats. Some upgrades can cost money, but those sneaky little ushers are often carrying same price tickets they will swap for yours. They won’t necessarily tell you this though.
-If you’re in town, you must stop by the Ryman Auditorium. It’s a great place to see a show because it’s so intimate, but it’s also neat to tour during the daytime because of the history of that building.
-Bring comfortable shoes. You will see a lot of women walking around in sundresses and cowboy boots, and while that’s a cute look for all the Taylor Swift wannabes, their feet hurt at the end of the day if those boots aren’t broken in well. It’s a casual town, and you don’t want to be overdressed at Jack’s BBQ so don’t overdress, either.
-The tickets for the November CMA awards are on sale now.
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