‘Nashville’ cast went on its biggest tour yet this year visiting 17 US cities and for the first time also the UK and Ireland. It’s very unusual for cast members of a TV show to go on the road for a music tour. Then again, ‘Nashville’ is a pretty unusual show with even more unusal people behind it that filmed in a very unusal city. The ‘Nashville’ cast tour is an opportunity to celebrate all this unusualness and what can I say? It’s pretty damn special.
So on Nashville Forever we’re doing a series of 3 articles (this is the first) about Nashville Tour. Since we’re fans and not the artists themselves, the articles are written from that perspective. How does the experience of going to a Nashville cast concert look from the eyes of a fan?
Our friend (and just overall a very cool person) Amy Wilson starts the series. For her it may all begun with a song but what it led to is a community.
“On April 30th I had a chance to see the ‘Nashville’ Cast perform at the Rosemont Theater in Chicago. It wasn’t my first cast concert, but no matter how many shows I’ve seen, I’m definitely excited to see them again! There’s always new songs, a slightly different group of cast members playing, and such a positive energy surrounding the entire night that you can’t resist going back.
One of the highlight of ‘Nashville’ cast concerts is always meeting up with other *Nashies. There is a large number of us who have become friends offline and get together for shows, which is so much fun!
I don’t know of any other TV show or fandom that has sparked the kind of connections that Nashies have with each other, it’s like having best friends all over the world. Over dinner and drinks at a nearby restaurant we shared our hopes for a season 5 renewal, our excitement for the night’s concert, and a lot of laughs before we dodged raindrops and headed for the Rosemont next door.
The show started off high energy immediately, as Will Chase, Chris Carmack, and Charles Esten opened with “Its On Tonight,” a song from Nashville Season 3. I had not yet had a chance to see Will Chase live on the previous cast tours, but I think we all officially forgave him for that “trying to steal Rayna from Deacon” business when he came out wearing an apparently self-created masterpiece of a t-shirt that said #Deyna across the front.
The bromance comedy act continued later when he joined in on a Charles Esten original called “He Ain’t Me” and had all of us in the audience rolling with laughter. It was a great reminder that when you’re watching these actors on TV they might play a role or scene that we don’t always love, but in concert they are performing as themselves. They are all amazing musicians in their own right, they don’t just play them on tv! You can see so much of their real personalities come out onstage, and it is truly a delight to watch.
Chicago being known as the original home of the blues, we definitely heard some blues at the Rosemont. Aubrey Peeples showed off her powerhouse voice on “Break it To Me Gently” and “The Book”, and one of the most surprising moments of the night was when Chris Carmack came out swinging an alto saxophone, first to back up Clare Bowen, and then to do a spectacular ode to BB King that had the audience on their feet. Clare Bowen singing “Longer” with her fiance and guitar player Brandon Young was absolutely beautiful, and she reminded us all to “never let anyone kick dust on your sparkle.” The best moment of the night by far was Clare’s ode to her brother called “Love Steps In”, which had us all teary-eyed and earned her a very well-deserved standing ovation. She truly has the voice and heart of an angel. After that the mood lightened back up a little when Charles Esten came out to sing “That’s Alright Mama” with Clare, and his original “Whiskey Lips”, as well as “Like New” from season 2.
The entire set list from the night was a broad mix of songs from the show, and originals from each of the performers. I love hearing the songs from ‘Nashville’ because it always reminds me why I started watching, and why I keep watching, but hearing the artists sing their own songs is truly where each of these musicians shine.
They put the audience through every emotion, from heartbreak and sparkle to pure soul and sass, and you feel like you get to know them a little better listening to the lyrics. Each of them is so different, each with their own style, and yet it all flowed together perfectly into one amazing night of music.
Towards the end of the show, the cast all reassembled onstage to sing “A Life that’s Good” together. No matter how many times I’ve heard this song, I can listen to it over and over again. It is more than just words. It’s a powerful lesson for all of us that you don’t need much in life to be happy, and that the love of a family prevails over all.
The evening truly was one to remember, and I am so grateful to the cast for being willing to go on the road and share their time and their talents with us. I’m also thankful for all the Nashies friends I have the opportunity to experience it with.
I’ve heard people say so many times “I wanted to see that concert, but I didn’t know anyone else going, didn’t want to go by myself, etc”. To that I say: GO! Get yourself a ticket and get thee to a ‘Nashville’ cast concert ASAP. You won’t regret it! And when you get there, don’t be afraid talk to people. You’re surrounded by people who have something in common: they’re fans just like you.
It’s always a little sad when the lights finally go up and the concert is over, but I leave with the hope we’ll all be back in the seats for another cast tour next year. And until then, we always have Wednesdays.”
*Nashies – Nnickname for ‘Nashville’ superfans (and thank you to Ed Amatrudo for penning it). Feel you’re one of them? Use the hashtag #Nashies on twitter so it will be easier for us to find you and follow Nashville Forever on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Not a ‘Nashville’ superfan? Binge watch and join us!