Ever since the moment Chris Stapleton stepped on stage at the 2015 Country Music Awards alongside one of my favorite musical artists of all time, Justin Timberlake, it was all over for me. He and his amazingly talented wife, Morgane, brought the house down with their flawless collaborative rendition of Chris’s “Tennessee Whiskey” and Justin’s “Drink You Away“. I was glued to the TV in my parent’s living room during their entire 7 minute performance wondering, who is this guy? I had never heard his voice before, but I was hooked and I needed more. If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing what is to me, one of the greatest award show musical performances ever, watch now. If it doesn’t move you, I’m pretty sure Houston needs to be notified . . . because we definitely have a problem.
My friends, Chris Stapleton, is the real deal. While he has been writing hit songs for many years, Chris just came out with his own album last year. Every song on this debut album, Traveller, is repeat-button worthy and tonight I have the pleasure of seeing him in concert for the second time. He ranks right up there with Garth Brooks when it comes to best country concerts I’ve ever attended, and that is more than a compliment. I have loved Garth Brooks since “Friends in Low Places” monopolized country radio stations in the 90s and I finally had the chance to see him in concert last year (one of many bucket list items I was able to officially check off).
My first Chris Stapleton experience in May of this year was incredible, but our VIP seats at The Wharf Amphitheatre in Orange Beach, AL were sort of an accident. Yes, I got way too excited trying to order the best seats available as soon as tickets went on sale on the Ticketmaster site; I paid entirely too much for two tickets and got two autographed posters that I’m not really sure what to do with (hey, maybe they will be worth something one day). These (overpriced) tickets were 10 rows from the stage and when it was over, I looked at my friend Stacy and we agreed that it was worth every penny. You can feel each and every word that comes out of he and his wife in the form of melody. You can feel every chord played on Chris’ guitar as accompaniment. They obviously more than love each other, and that is more than evident. Just the way he looked at her as she sang “You are my Sunshine” gave me chills. Stacy and I sat in awe most of the time, and let me tell you it was more than amazing to experience it all up close.
Stacy is my ride or die when it comes to music, and well, a lot of things, honestly. She’s one of my (best) friends and the funny thing is, I have only known her for a few years. While this is reality, I feel like I’ve known her my entire life. We are pretty much always on the same brainwave and when we are together I can’t tell you how many people ask if we are sisters. Yes, we also look alike.
At any rate, today I am writing to you because I get to see this Stapleton guy take the stage once more, this time right here in our hometown of Biloxi at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. These tickets were also purchased via Ticketmaster the moment they went on sale, but this time Stacy was in charge of the purchases as we sat in the emergency room of a local hospital with my husband, Thomas, a few months back. Stacy, who happens to be a cardiac nurse at that hospital, was just getting off of a 12 hour night shift when we arrived. We had no clue how serious the situation was at the time, talking and laughing with Thomas as they ran a bunch of tests on him. We are so very lucky he is still with us (I will discuss in detail later) and I am lucky to get to attend this concert with him tonight. We can sing our hearts out to “Fire Away” and “Parachute“; all while I thank God he’s not only alive, but mine.
10/21/16 (morning after) UPDATE: (Barely) Made it to work at 7:30am tired as hell, quad PSL in hand. Totally should have taken the day off, but the (Thursday night) concert was well worth it. Here’s to hoping Chris can make his South Mississippi appearance on a weekend next time.
Favorite concert moment: When he asked everyone to get their phones out on flashlight mode and sing the main verse of Fire Away.
Only disappointment: He didn’t sing Parachute. (But he recovered a little with the Free Bird intro to The Devil Called Music.)
Not only did I get to experience the concert with Thomas… but Stacy came to our seats and sang/danced with me to Tennessee Whiskey.
Oh, and Thomas now has a new favorite song—His text to me this morning:
“I listened to I Was Wrong this morning. Wish it was a longer song! Ha”
It was a good night. 💜
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