A bull named Fu Man Chu

June 13, 2008 at 1:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

So, last Saturday night, in 90-degree humidity, I found myself drinking an $8 Bud Light at the Comcast Center, formerly known as the Tweeter Center, but always known as Great Woods to people who are really “from here.”  The last time I was there it was still, in fact, Great Woods, and I drove from the Cape during that crazy summer after freshman year to see a concert that might have been anyone of the following: (a) Phish (b) Dave Matthews (c) Widespread Panic.  It really doesn’t matter which; not surprisingly, I can’t remember the show anyway. 

This time around, Isabella had told her husband she wanted Tim McGraw tickets for her birthday, and he wisely concluded that she might have more fun with someone else, especially since half the fun of going to a Tim McGraw concert is ogling his massive and muscular arms (but as I told Isabella when she said for the fourth time, “Look at his arms!”, it’s his JOB to make 30-something women think he’s sexy.  How else does he sell out stadiums every single summer?) 

I have to admit that I wasn’t really going for the concert itself — I’m too old for concerts, right?  The last one I went to was Super Diamond at the Paradise (does that count?) about four years ago.  Super Diamond, for the uninitiated, is a Neil Diamond cover band with a stealth but cult-like following.  And as fun as it was, I was a bit bored after an hour of sequined pants.   So spending time with Isabella beforehand, sharing some mini-bottles of white wine by a lake/swamp across from the Center’s gates and the mesmerizing people watching inside the gates, was sort of what I went for.  Speaking of people-watching, I almost went out and bought a phone with a camera the next day (i.e., iPhone!) just because I was so bummed I didn’t have one to take stealthy pictures the night before to post here.  Apparently, here’s what you wear to a country music festival in New England during a heat wave: 

Men: Celtics jersey tank-top (if you wear a shirt at all…), cowboy hat, rope or white coral necklace.
Women:  Cowboy hat, jean shorts cut so short that the fabric pockets hang out, bikini top and/or tube top, cowboy boots or platform flip flops.  No matter what your body-type/age/weight. 

I wore white jeans and a black H&M top, and Izzy wore a linen shirt dress, although she did have a cowboy hat.  We were the preppiest people there, until we saw a guy wearing a pink Polo shirt and seersucker shorts with little whales on them.  We weren’t sure if he was trying to be ironic or not.

Anyway, it cooled off, and a crescent moon dropped over the ampitheater.  And, almost as an added surprise, the concert was actually great.  I don’t think Tim McGraw is necessarily the most talented country musician out there — as Iz pointed out, he sort of filled in a gap left by Garth Brooks in the late 1990s.  The Dixie Chicks or even Kenny Chesney are a bit edgier and have a more distinct style.  And lest you laugh that I am opining on country music, I’ll defend myself by saying that for my sixth birthday I asked for and received a Kenny Rogers album (the one with “Coward of the County”).  My parents loved country music and we grew up listening to Kenny Rogers and Tom T. Hall and Waylon Jennings.  I saw the Dixie Chicks perform in a Joey Tomato’s (think Appleby’s) in Dallas in 1990 before Natalie Maines was even the lead singer.  I do like Tim McGraw — but for the reasons everyone likes him:  sappy songs that make you unabashedly tear up (“Live Like You Were Dying”) or fun tailgating songs (“I like it, I love it”).  However, he is a great performer.  He knows he has cut arms and is always holding them out or raising them up.  His black cowboy hat (yes, covering up some bald, as my Tim wanted me to recognize) is always tipped just a bit too low (sexy! mysterious!).  The lighting and video kept the show interesting.  And the crowd was having a blast — a sold out show of Massachusetts rednecks singing every word to every song. 

While I fully admit that I am smack in the middle of Tim McGraw’s target demographic — 30-something mothers psyched for a girls’ night out — it worked!  Isabella — with whom I’ve long shared a love of country music (we saw Garth Brooks live in Central Park on a night in 1996 probably as hot as Saturday) and, of course, music in general — was as big reason for that (standing up for the whole show, “yee-hawing” as only a girl from Rhode Island at a country-music concert can…) as was Tim (and his arms) himself.


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  1. I did not know you were a c-music fan, my friend. I myself have learned that I love it as well, my station is always tuned to 102.5. The thing I love about Tim McGraw is that he sings so many of the songs I loved before I knew who sang them — like the one about the guy who falls for a girl at the county fair “a suntan line and red lipstick.”

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