I am not a fan of Country music, or at least that’s what I’ve been telling people my entire life. This past weekend I happened to come into possession of tickets to see Sugarland at the Santa Barbara Bowl in you guessed it, Santa Barbara.
First off, what to wear to your first country concert ever? I must admit, while there is an ounce of hillbilly in my blood, I’ve always dressed true to my city boy nature, so this is what I went with:
Dodgers hat from Lids (I got multiple compliments), a plaid western button down that I picked up from Crossroads and the most comfortable pair of denim I’ve ever owned thanks to Levi’s. Out of the picture are my Cole Haan “Gunnison” driving shoes. Yee haw.
Now the show…Sugarland was awesome. I can’t believe I just said that, or rather published that online. Please don’t tell anyone.
The energy was explosive. Great band, great songs. They played all of their fan favorites like Settlin’ and Stuck Like Glue, but for their first smash hit Baby Girl they brought up a 12 year old local girl to belt it out. I’ll give her credit, she was sweet and had fun with the lyrics.
Remember, this was all new to me. The guy half of the duo, Kristian Bush, had like like 25 different guitars. Jennifer Nettles, the lead vocalist, rapped Vanilla’s hit “Ice, Ice Baby.” She indeed rocked the mic like a vandal, and made the stage light up and waxed them chumps like a candle.
My favorite part of the show though was their encore. As a planned surprise, and I’m going to age myself right here, Dave Stewart from Eurythmics came out and jammed as Jennifer channeled Annie Lennox for “Here Comes The Rain Again.” Dave’s sparkle-laden stage make-up was a little…interesting…but the his guitar licks were crackling with electricity.
The Bowl was small and intimate. It only packs about 4500 people looking off to the ocean. Way beautiful and acoustics that will satisfy audio snobs. The summer line-up isn’t really my normal scene, but I think the trip up the coast would be worth the drive.
Maybe I’m a Country fan now. Maybe…
Until next concert, rock on my friends!