Riverbend 2011: Alan Jackson

I may have mentioned that the week before we left for vacation was consumed with packing, cleaning and Riverbend.

In the Miranda Lambert post, I said we had one more act to see to close out Riverbend 2011 — if we weren’t rained out.

Luckily, the rain held off and we were able to see country music legend Alan Jackson. This was particularly a big deal for the husband, who grew up on the lake listening to songs like “Chattahoochee,” “Livin’ on Love” and “Little Bitty” (we dedicated this song to Isabel aka Itty Bitty).

It’s not that I don’t like Alan Jackson. I do. I grew up listening to ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin and Lynard Skynard. I didn’t even know who sang Chattahoochee when it was released. I just knew they played it on the radio and I liked it.

Now, though, I can truly appreciate what an incredible talent this man is. He put on an amazing show, and I realized I actually knew quite a bit of his music despite only recently beginning to listen to country music.

This was a perfect way to wrap up Riverbend 2011, at least for us. The jury’s still out on whether or not we’ll attend Riverbend next year, but I’d say there’s a good chance we’ll be there.

Gunpowder and Lead

Guess who we saw at Riverbend this week.

Go ahead.

I’ll give you a minute.

She’s only one of the biggest names in country music right now.

I also kind of love her.

And her husband.

Do you know who we saw?

Miranda Lambert!

Unfortunately, we also saw a lot of storms that day with tons of rain and plenty of hail, but I’ll get to that.

The husband set up the chairs as soon as the gates opened at 4:30 Wednesday afternoon. We learned last weekend if your chairs aren’t set up early, you’ll never see anything.

Picture taken previous weekend

As I’ve mentioned before, the main act at Riverbend typically hits the stage around 9:30. We had been monitoring the weather and Riverbend Facebook page from home trying to decide whether or not she would even be able to perform. The storms had been on and off most of the afternoon, but when they were on, they were really on. I’m talking dime-sized hail.

We finally decided to just go for it decked out in our rain jackets, which, by the way, is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. We arrived around 8:45 to find a man telling everyone entering the festival (in the pouring rain) that Miranda wouldn’t go on until 10 that night.

What to do?

Well, we did what most rational people do; we ate ice cream at a place up the street and waited out the storm a bit longer.

We made it back to the festival around 9:50 and met up with some family who told us Miranda always plays, no matter what time. So, being the rational people we are, we sat in our soaking-wet chairs in our soaking-wet clothes and waited.

When I was just about to give up, they started clearing the stage. The rain had stopped long enough for the show to begin.

Miranda was only able to perform for about an hour, but it was so worth the wait. She’s such a fun performer to watch. She had a pink microphone, guitar, and tambourine. But she kept it “real,” and at one point said, “This weather sucks!” I agreed. We all did.

Before she had to clear the stage (I’m assuming because of the massive amounts of lightning), she told us she would come back to Chattanooga and really put on a show. I’m going to hold her to that.

I’ll leave you with a video from Miranda Lambert’s official YouTube channel. Enjoy!

p.s. We have one more act on our list to see this week, but more storms are already in the forecast. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Weekend Recap: June 10, 11, 12: Riverbend and McKay

This weekend was a bit more low key than last weekend. There’s a music festival in town. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

This is the first year the husband and I have gone to the Riverbend Festival together. We managed to squeeze in a quick visit Friday night to see Huey Lewis and the News after some grocery shopping. It was much too hot to stay for very long, though.

Riverbend is a 9-day festival on the waterfront in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. Each night a main act plays on the Coca-Cola stage around 9:30. In order to get into the festival, you purchase a pin you wear on your shirt. Once inside the festival, there are games, rides for children and many musical acts to see. It’s a huge event for our area that draws a large crowd every year. This year some of the main performers include The Beach Boys, Miranda Lambert, Brian McKnight and Alan Jackson.

Riverbend Pin

Riverbend Pin

Saturday was spent cleaning the house and running errands. So exciting, I know. I was able to squeeze in a quick trip to McKay. If you’ve never been, you must go. Especially if you’re an avid reader like I am. More on McKay here.

Sunday was spent cleaning the house (again!), and then it was date night for husband and me. We planned to go to Riverbend and finally see the new X-Men movie since we didn’t get to see it last weekend.

We learned Friday that in order to see the main act for that particular day at Riverbend, you have to set up your chairs early in front of the main stage. So, that’s what we did. We also tied our chairs together with the bags they came in to ensure they wouldn’t be separated and labeled them with our name.

Then it was off to see X-Men. The movie theater is walking distance from Riverbend, which made for a perfect date. We got to enjoy some air conditioning, while our chairs held our place. After the movie we had a quick dinner and then headed toward the river[bend].

The Machine (a Pink Floyd cover band) was playing with the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra (CSO). Our view was mostly blocked, but the show was still pretty great. The show even featured a pretty sweet light show. What we could see of it was pretty sweet anyway.

Our View

Our View at Riverbend

I even found a video of The Machine (not from Riverbend Festival.) Enjoy!

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