Sugarland Blogs: Now Featuring Rich from Chicago!
May 6, 2011
Blog by Rich
I am not one that considers himself a “blogger”. At our age it seems more like writing memoirs but for a Sugarland set sheet, HERE IT GOES! Our trip, or journey, started at least 3 years before the concert. You see, we are new country fans so it wasn’t until I heard some Sugarland songs on the radio a few short years ago did I realize the world didn’t end with soft rock. I grew to love almost no other band except Sugarland. Then I bought "Live on the Inside" and was blown away. Absolutely loved it. The thing I had to do was slowly convert my better half from soft rock, so I started a slow drip process - in the car, watching music award shows, then I showed the "Live on the Inside" DVD. I got a little stir and began to get a convert.
The next step was-yep, tickets to Sugarland. When we got the pre-sale notice I was ecstatic! Tickets to Sugarland in AllState Arena 5/6/2011, we were both sooo excited. I ran 3 computers on the presale and got in right away. We were so lucky to get Floor Section 5, Row 5, seats 1 and 2! We couldn’t believe it! You see, we had gone through some real emotional times with health issues and passing of close family members. Sugarland became my “Sky Hook”. I always had you to hang on to when climbing out of a hole. Now the planning began.
We got the hotel reservation, planned the outfits and the whole thing. We started listening to more Sugarland music and yes, the final month before concert all I listened to was Sugarland. My iPod is almost only Sugarland anyway, but I made sure those were all I heard – all 72 songs. I absolutely love the Incredible Machine but found myself hoping that we would hear so many more of the songs from the other albums, they are all so great. We watched the video clips on the website from concerts, YouTube, read the fan write-ups, and couldn’t get enough! We have all of the Sugarland CMAs and ACMs, CrossRoads and Soundstage and other country award’s shows on DVR for the past several years now and I have them downloaded in clips on my iPhone. I even have the TV show of the Incredible Machine! I have the clip from the "Divas" concert for the troops- all 3 songs Jennifer did! I still can’t get enough of them.
Then, the week of the concert all I wanted to do was get to Rosemont! We submitted our request for Meet & Greet and I started imagining what I could possibly say except stutter (no we didn’t’ get the M&G but that’s OK). We took off work and left early on that Friday. We checked into the hotel and drove right over to AllState Arena. I talked with the parking log guys getting set up about crowds and where the Sugar Pass members line would be. We found where the best parking would be. We covered all the bases. We went for dinner at Harry Caray’s, wine, chicken and lots of other Sugarland Fans! and we were ready!
We had heard Matt Nathan’s song covered by Sugarland, but never saw him live what a treat he was! Later in the show we saw “Run” and that song has become one of my personal favorites between he and Jennifer - how sexy it is! We really loved LBT and by then, the crowd was really revved up. I remember like it was yesterday - the lights going down, the start of the opening organ, the music, stage lights showing Jennifer and Kristian climbing the ramp behind the curtain, the beautiful curtain, "All We Are" starts up and then Jen’s voice taking control of the entire stadium with "Fire Like Lightning." The crowd was in a roar, screaming and jumping like I have never heard, and then the curtain dropped! Goose bumps even now! Loved Jennifer’s black outfit! Then came "Stuck Like Glue", "It Happens", "Tonight" (BEAUTIFUL as the video), "Settlin'", "Incredible Machine", "Little Miss", "Stay", "Every Girl Like Me", "Find the Beat Again".
The stage was enormous and elaborate. Jennifer danced over the bridge with that cool skirt and it swayed with her beat. The jumbotron showing the vault opening to show the “heart” pumping away like a beautiful machine. Kristian pumping those guitars, all the time smiling, knowing this concert was a great one! He is soooo cool to watch! All the time the winged heart hanging high and bold on the stage.
Then LBT Finale! The finale was special. Kristian sang the interlude to the Incredible Machine while Jennifer painted LOVE on the white flag, she handed it to the little girl who paraded it all around the crowd. The drums are beating that familiar beat. LBT came out and Jennifer announced that they were going to record and video, then sell "Stand Up" for the tornado victims in Alabama. What a thrill to be a part of! Chills ran up my back for those poor victims. I am sure Sugarland and LBT always do great songs together, but none could have topped this one! The round jumbotron showing all of us their beautiful performances on the big screen and the crowd was nuts! I very quickly realized that they really do sound as great, and even better, live as they do on their CDs. Most groups can’t sound as good live without studio affects. What a magnificent compliment.
I thank you, Sugarland, for your music because it has healed, comforted and enthused us. And this concert will always be remembered as the best I have ever attended. Thank you for letting me share just one of my experiences with Sugarland. Since then, we saw another concert in 2011 and have 3 on our calendar this year. We can’t wait!!
Thanks, Rich for the great story! View other blogs from Chicago here.