"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Music in "The Woods" and more "Dirty Birds"

We attended a couple good, albeit brief (for different reasons), shows this past week that are worth noting:

Sunday, August 5 - We took our first quick trip up into the White's Creek area just a little northwest of downtown Nashville to the The Woods Amphitheatre at The Fontanel Mansion (former home of Barbara Mandrell) to catch a couple of our favorite musical acts:  one of our all-time faves, and the band we've seen play live the most times, Train,  along with Nashville-based singer-songwriter, Mat Kearney opening for them.  Opening for both of these acts was young, Andy Grammer, who did a nice set as well.  The Woods Amphitheatre was a pleasant surprise for us.  The acoustics and sight-lines are very good.  The venue is not named for somebody with the last name Woods, it got its name because it's literally built in "the woods."  Surrounded by trees and facing east, the stage makes for a beautiful setting with the sun going down behind it.  Thanks to our friends Wayne, John and Monique for attending the show with us and doing a little tail-gating beforehand.

We took folding chairs in and watched most of the show from well back in the general
admission area, but we moved up to catch a closer view of Mat Kearney do his
thing.  Unfortunately, his set was shortened by an impending threat of bad weather in the
area, but he was able to play some of ours and the crowds' favorite at least.
Train played as long as they could before the bad weather to the west was too close for comfort.
We made it back to the car just before the rain clouds opened up and the lightning was
upon us.  It was a good show despite the shortened length of about an hour.
Despite the weather woes, we will definitely be back to "The Woods."
It's nice to have a permanent outdoor concert venue in Nashville again since
the old Starwood Amphitheatre closed several years ago.
Wednesday, August 8 - We attended a free concert hosted by Budweiser downtown tonight.  While not being fans of domestic, mass-produced beer, two things drew us in:  the fact that the show was at The War Memorial (a great little music venue) and that one of the three acts playing was Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, one of our favorite new-to-us bands discovered at Bonnaroo this year. 

Well, we have to give it to Budweiser.  This corporate giant certainly knows how to throw a party!  They call in the "Made in America Tour" and they are traveling all around the country to different cities with the following: unlimited free Budweiser beer, free customized event T-shirts, free local food, free live music from up-and-coming bands, and even free party favors.  The place was amazingly uncrowded despite the free admission and..hello??... FREE BEER??? So we were able to up close to the stage for all three acts.  First up was a bluesy band called Rosco Bandana who were OK.  Granted the sound engineering throughout the show was not the best, but, hey, it's a free concert.  Sister Sparrow and here eight compadres were up next and we got up close to the stage and the sound improved somewhat.  The band was full of energy and soul as we had seen before and we really enjoyed their 45-minute set.  The final band was Mountain Heart who were weren't going to stay for since we hadn't heard of them before and the fact that it was a "school night," but we stayed a little longer and caught some of their show and it was actually very good.  They are a young, jacked-up country rock/bluegrass band that includes some very talented musicians.

Sister Sparrow& the Dirty Birds rocking the Made in Nashville Budweiser party
Front row for Jim Van Cleve of Mountain Heart sawing away on his fiddle

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