One week ago, it would have never occurred to me that I’d never sat front row at a concert before. I hadn’t even fathomed putting that on my bucket list. Maybe it was having experienced the CMA Music Festival ‘front row’ line – that pushes you through non stop, so you have to circle around. Maybe it was the fact that I knew I’d never be able to afford those kinds of tickets… or maybe it would be a possible waste of money.
Then, last week, I sat front row at a Garth Brooks concert; the – honest to God – best concert I have ever been to. And I stood there with my mouth gaping, pinching myself to make sure this was really happening, & wondering why in the HELL I hadn’t thought of adding this to my list.
(But, let’s be honest – adding it to my list doesn’t really matter. I suppose I’m saying that maybe you should add it to yours.)
On a regular day, we were driving through Montana. My boyfriend had gotten us tickets to the 5th (Yes – FIFTH all in the same weekend) concert that Garth was putting on in Billings, MT. (Because his first one sold out, then his second, then his third… so he just kept selling out concerts until they sold out no more.) We would be the second back-to-back concert he’d put on that weekend.
Our puppy, Penny, had just cut herself on a broken flower-pot & had to get stapled, so we weren’t quite sure how much we were enjoying this trip.
For lunch, we sat down in Bozeman with my boyfriend’s parents. They had attended the first concert of the weekend & told us how thrilled they were to have been able to go – how great a concert it was… Then, my boyfriend’s mom told us all about how Garth doesn’t sell the first two rows of tickets & actually gives them away to unsuspecting fans as they enter the arena. Neat, what a great guy. And, on our way we continued to Billings, where we endured a little traffic & made our way to the crowded arena.
When we got inside, I heard a few girl’s SCREAMING behind me. Honestly, though, I was so excited about what we were about to see (I’ve loved Garth Brooks’ music for some time, & it reminds me of my childhood), I didn’t notice what my boyfriend did.
“Amy.” Tim said to me, as I was trying desperately to get to our seats… a mere hour before anything was going to begin. “Amy” he had to say again.
“Yeah?” I responded, not really even looking at him.
“That guy in the black shirt just gave those girls front row seats.”
“What?!” I said, spinning around to see.
And, before I had a second to hesitate, I mumbled something to Tim… (Maybe it was something like, “I have an idea…” or “Hold, my beer & watch this…” (just kidding, I don’t like beer) and I started walking toward this random man who I was hoping to fool into giving me better tickets. I was on a mission. I had temporary confidence, without liquid courage… & it’s all because of my love for Garth Brooks. I think.
“Excuse me Sir, you look like you know what you’re doing.” I said to him, walking up to this (manager? publicist?) of Mr. Garth Brooks himself. “Do you happen to know how to get up to the third level?” I asked, pointing up. (I honestly didn’t know how to get up there.)
“No, I’m sorry – I don’t.” He said, as I stood there disappointed that the results weren’t instant. “You must be in the VIP lounge or something if you’re up there.”
I laughed, “No, we are in the nose bleeds, section 300-something.” I said, showing the tickets.
“Who bought these tickets for you?” He asked, as I pointed to my boyfriend. “Well, you tell him you did one better.” He said, handing me AA tickets.
I – honest to God – do not remember a lot of what followed. I believe I said at one point, “Oh my God.” and then he asked me to name Garth Brooks’ new song & I was in shock & couldn’t respond. I do remember asking him, “You’re not going to take these away, are you?” To which he laughed & sent me on my way. (By the way, his new song is Ask Me How I Know, & it’s a great one!)
Then I was giddy…. but trying to figure out what AA meant. That didn’t look like front row to me. (And also, we couldn’t figure out how to get down to the floor either… so Billings, you should probably work on that arena of yours.) So, when we finally figured things out, & we were on the floor be escorted to the front row, I was – needless to say – freaking the HELL out.
Then we were told about the rules of being in front row – to which I noticed many women didn’t care about abiding by – & we enjoyed the concert (We met the wedding party that we saw screaming getting those tickets, got a selfie with Garth himself (blurry but AWESOME), & I completely lost my voice.) BEST. DAY. EVER.
If Garth Brooks himself is reading this, I hope you’re not mad that I tricked your guy into giving me front row seats. I don’t feel great about it, but thank you for the amazing concert & all that it entailed. I cried to The Dance (horribly). I sang along to Friends In Low Places with serious passion. And, you bet your ass I was the one shouting “THIRD VERSE” on the Thunder Rolls – because that’s the only way to listen to that song. And Trisha Yearwood, I love you. Thank you for being the cherry on top of that concert. Oh, and also for waiving at me.
If you happen to be part of the wedding party that had NO IDEA that they had anything to do with helping me get those tickets – I probably should be thanking you for more than just the Garth Brooks stage-selfie that you forwarded me the next day. (You guys were so great.)
So… yeah, let’s take a moment to consider what would have been on my mind during that concert if I hadn’t approached that mystery manager/publicist/ticket awesome dude. (Okay, yeah it still would have been Garth…) but afterwords, when I was off the concert high that you still get from the ‘nose bleeds’? I would have been wondering why in the heck I didn’t have the balls to just go up to that guy & say something.
I would have been hitting myself for not growing a pair & acting on it!
Seriously, once in a lifetime opportunity, & somehow… I nailed it.
What do you have to lose?