Though everyone would like to make a rousing argument for why their favorite music is superior to others, there is no denying that one of the biggest draws of fans is live country music. Country music has seen a surge in popularity over the last few years due, in part, to a dedicated attempt by country artists to make the music connect with the “everyday man”.
Even though you may have the CDs and MP3s of your favorite country music artists, you may have yet to score a ticket to a show. As would be the case for anyone who hasn’t been to a concert, the question remains — what can I expect? Perhaps it’s best to see things not from a perspective of expectations but rather a general idea of what may come your way when attending your first country music concert. As much as the music is why you’re there in the first place, your experience will undoubtedly be shaped by the venue itself.
Here are some of the things you may encounter:
1. Alcohol – There’s no way around it. Alcohol will be present at the show. Regardless of whether it’s concert goers tailgating in the parking lot prior to the show or downing drinks while singing their favorite song in the front row, you will come in contact with alcohol. Be responsible in your own consumption, be mindful of anyone who has had too much & how that can affect your personal safety, and if you are attending the concert with a group, plan ahead as to designating a sober driver & keeping tabs on each other.
2. Cowboy Hats and Boots – It may seem a little too on the nose, but the fact remains that a cowboy hats & boots are part of the uniform for the country music fan. Oddly enough, as country music takes on a more laid-back, fraternity brother type style, the denim/tennis shoe/trucker hat has become rather en vogue for the last few years. Nonetheless, a hat and boots can be seen as markers of the wearer’s personality. For example, depending on the type of hat worn, you’re either wearing something that best fits a float down a river or a day weaning calves from their moms out on the ranch. Your boots may be a nice & shiny and best fit with a business casual outfit, or they may have the scuffs of someone who’s been working all day.
3. Families – It may seem a little odd at first, but you’d be surprised how many families are actually attending concerts together. Call it a case where parents are trying to tap into their kids’ interests or maybe an artist has bridged a gap between generations, time and time again, families are two-stepping and line-dancing their way to country music concerts together. Given the virtual minefield that you might expect from booze and general rowdiness at a show, it is nice to think that it can also be a family affair.
Live country music is an experience, and for those attending their first show, it can be the reason you decide to take in more shows or choose to stay home. By having an open mind, though, and using common sense, you can make your first country concert experience a good one.