The twang of guitars and a swarm of people surrounding street performers set the scene in downtown Nashville as the weekend began. I ventured to Nashville to attend singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s concert at the Bridgestone Arena.
Having seen the British import several times, I understood the level of dedication within his fan base. Therefore, in order to secure a good spot in the admission line, I arrived in the city on Friday, a full twenty four hours before showtime on Saturday.
In retrospect, this plan, or lack of plan, had many flaws. Not only did I have no where to stay, but I also had nothing to occupy my time. After casually roaming the streets of downtown for almost an hour, a couple approached me. They proceeded to ask if I planned to attend the concert that evening. In all honesty, I was unaware of any show other than Ed’s on Saturday. I nodded my head “no” and was immediately offered floor seats to see Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Journey…for free.
Naturally, I seized the opportunity and spent the evening dancing to classic rock hits such as Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock and Roll,” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.” The atmosphere of the concert was unlike any musical event I have ever experienced. With a lineup of fairly old acts, the audience ranged from elderly individuals to young fans. Regardless of age, music proved to be a uniting force.
Being in the concert venue provided the ideal opportunity to obtain a spot in line for the next day’s event. I simply walked out of the arena and set up camp. Now all that was left to do was wait. Spending the day in one location had its ups and downs. I was exhausted but endured the time by bonding with other fans over our shared musical interest.
Once again I found myself on the floor section of Bridgestone arena, this time in the front row. Sheeran’s performances differ from most musical acts as he does not utilize a back up band. Instead, he performs with only his voice, guitar and a loop pedal on stage. With little equipment, he managed to fill the arena, singing his own tracks as well as a few covers. The amount of energy behind each tune led to multiple broken guitar strings. Nevertheless, the show continued.
Though the weekend left me without a voice, I satisfied my musical needs for a while. There is an old saying: the early bird gets the worm. Well, in this case, the early bird got free concert tickets, a front row view and a thrown guitar pick.
Emily Isaacs is a junior at UT majoring in journalism.
Edited by Jessica Carr