It’s official. George Strait has retired, so Gary Allan is my new man.
Ok. Ok. These are really big words for me. Let me give you a little history lesson. Jocelyn (my oldest) has loved Gary since forever. She has three Gary Allan tattoos. She has Gary Allan t-shirts. She has loved this man for a very long time. In 2008, Gary was playing at the State Fair in Albuquerque, NM along with Blake Shelton.
The bottom left picture is from the actual concert. You can see how young the girls were, and they were not quite sure of their Mom. Can you blame them? I wouldn’t be either. We decided we would take a girls trip of Jos, Meagan, and Mindy to see him in concert. Jos hadn’t seen him live, and it’s at the State Fair…who wouldn’t go for the funnel cake alone? Anyhow, I was not impressed with his performance at all that night. And when I say “at all” I mean it. He came out in bedazzled pants. Yep! I’m serious. They looked something like these.
Later, into the concert, when he started to sing one of the few songs I knew at the time, he told the crowd to shut up, because he couldn’t hear himself sing. So, he started that song over again. I just thought his stage manners ….for the right word, SUCKED. He was cocky, arrogant, he came, he sang, he left. Since then, I have had zero nice words to say about Gary. I have teased Jos about his pants since then. I have changed the radio if he comes on. I have not been very nice. When I heard he was coming again, to a casino that is pretty close, I knew we would have to go. Was I looking forward to going? No. Was I going to have fun? No. Was it going to be the longest concert ever? Yes.
We left the house at noon. We (Meagan, Emily, Mindy, Jos, and myself) wanted to have lunch in Durango, and have some girl shopping time. That we did! We had lunch, then went to Your Flesh Tattoo. We all got pierced. It was fun, and we all became Dallas’s new BFF for the day. Dallas is the piercer. He was a good sport to say the least. After that, we did a little more shopping, then headed to the concert venue.
Doors opened at 7:00. The concert started at 8:30. We had VIP standing room only tickets. We had to be there early….and we were!
Because we had three VIP tickets, and two front row seats, we had to split the gang up. Because we were so early to the show, we decided to look at some Gary Allan merchandise on our way into the venue. By this time, Jos had perm-grin. As we were looking at T-shirts etc. there was a small sign that said…”Buy this flag, and receive a meet and greet pass with purchase.” It’s not a huge venue, so I thought if Jos was ever going to meet him, this would be the time. I bought the flag. I was also 99% sure, Jos was going to go into cardiac arrest. Her nose started to get sweaty, her forehead was getting shinny. She kept asking…what am I going to say? What if I pass out? What if I can’t talk? She was a nervous wreck. It was funny to me, and I’m sure to Mindy too. 7:30 finally came, and Jos left to meet her idol.
Around 8:00 Jos came back. She had a twinkle in her eye, a smile so big you would have thought she met the Pope. HA. Well??? Jos could barely talk. She was so excited! She showed us her boot. Look Guys, he signed my boot! Which is better than her boob. 😉
We could pretty much kiss her ass goodbye for the rest of the night, she was in a totally different world than the rest of us. At 8:30 straight up, the smoke machines started up. I was getting pretty excited to give Jos a hard time about his bedazzled pants. As soon as the fog stopped and the lights went on, it was like a vision from heaven. Gary Allan stood there in a black suit. I’ve always had a thing about a man in a suit, and at that exact moment my heart sank. I was sold. I was going to have to eat my words, and I didn’t even care!
This performer had been humbled, had been through some rough times, had a totally different attitude, and by the night end…..I was hooked! I don’t know what he had been through on a personal level, and that’s not my job to know. However, on a professional level he has come a long way! I loved the “new” Gary. I loved that he was having a good time. I loved that we saw up close his heart and soul. He did not disappoint, and I’m his newest fan. It’s amazing how time can work for us, or against us. It’s amazing how time can heal a person, or tear a person apart. It’s amazing how lyrics and music can bring so many people together, in a time when everything is getting torn apart, and for a brief moment in time….everything was good. Thank You, Gary Allan!