The Nashville cast tour expanded for the first time this year to the UK. There was no shortage of Nashies love there for the show, the cast and the music and thanks to CMT and Hulu who saved Nashville from cancellation, the UK concerts turned from a bittersweet farewell tour to one big Nashville party.
There are good things and there are bad things about sharing your hobby with you daughters.
I’m trying to remember when these now 11 and 15 year old girls, started watching Nashville as well. I think it was when I re-watched season 2 during the summer before season 3 began (2014). They were watching it for the first time, having caught up on season 1 on their own.
That was the summer before we all went on vacation to Nashville in the fall and they became as infatuated as I was, not only with the show and it’s mesmerising music, but with Nashville in general as well as with some other country music darlings. I remember hearing such fabulous songs and asking my 15yo repeatedly: ”who’s singing?” and the answer was always the same: Ashley Monroe.
So one good thing is the music and that now we just love the same brand of it. There is never any fighting in the car on what to put on – we take turns choosing and enjoy the sound while waiting for our own definite favourites to come on.
The favourites do differ of course. One would love to play Black Roses over and over again and keeps belting out her own a cappella version of Change Your Mind everywhere. Another one (me) can’t get enough of the best of breakup songs If I Drink This Beer or The End of the Day.
The bad thing about this is, well, we are not always together listening to music from the same device. When everybody’s increased music affection had me super-annoyed one time too many when the music in my ears is repeatedly stopped while out on one of my brisk walks, it was time to get additional Spotify subscriptions.
The good thing is I now have the company of my girls watching the latest episode of Nashville each week. Sitting on the couch in the evening with my girls and a bowl of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge or Peanut Butter Cup is pretty great.
On the other hand, the bad thing is I can’t sit hovering over my laptop at 4am watching in real-time with those US guys and tweeting like crazy – and needing toothpicks to keep my eyes open the rest of the day.
Season 3 was really where we started watching the show in real-time together and having someone to discuss the show with at home was fun and interesting since we all love and related to different characters. Rayna, rational in her thinking and somewhat reserved – and also being married with two daughters practically the same age my daughters are – was easy for me to relate to. My oldest daughter, the introvert, immediately felt a connection to Scarlett, while the youngest, and let’s just say I’m not surprised, admires the strong-minded diva, Juliette.
Then of course we all love Deacon…Not true. Somehow the Deacon magic does not work on younger girls and the nick name he goes by in that part of the household is cry-baby. I think they overuse it a bit to annoy me, but that is what kids do, right?
Maddie in general and her latest storyline in particular has been much debated, but I must say this have served me well, which is another good thing about sharing this hobby with the girls. I have truly enjoyed Maddies character from the start, recognising the ever mood-changing teenager provoking her parents and sometimes being more than a tad mean to her sister. Watching together has definitely sparked some self-reflections on both sides. “At least I’m not that controlling” and “I’ve never been that harsh to my sister” are some of the questions arising and the answer to both are apparently “yes, you are”.
Another great thing is you can treat your kids to a perfect schools-out celebration to see ‘Nashville in Concert’ in London. The bad things is you might have to go to London twice in just as many months to do so (maybe this is a good thing too actually). When planning a spring vacation we considered New York, but deemed it too far away for a 4-day holiday and small chances to nail the date of a potential Nashville cast concert (not going for any last minute flight tickets). So we opted for London instead.
Not long after we completed the planning for that trip, the Nashville cast concert dates were announced and yes, we would have nailed those New York dates and I was utterly, utterly regretful (non-refundable tickets). Fortunately the UK dates were announce soon after and there was only one thing to do – throw myself at internet to get those pre-sale tickets and book a second trip to London to catch the evening show at London Eventim Apollo on June 18.
When checking out the place the evening before, the excitement for the show and the possibility of actually getting to meet the artists took a hold of the girls, but come Saturday I was the one most jittery for sure, totally wired with a short circuit just waiting to happen. No wonder of course when all these brilliant moments were ahead of us, like:
- Hearing that familiar intro of I’m On It (reminding me so about the Streisand/Gibb tune Guilty). It’s one of my favourite songs from the show on it’s own, but also the moment on the show – with Will whipping out his guitar and joyfully belting out in that song on the radio station on 3×14 – is pretty much when my Chris Carmack crush was born.
- Chris Carmack playing the saxophone. Are any words needed? Yes, the video short and unfocused, and I get so excited I can’t hold the camera still, but I just want to prove my point.
- Funny Clare joking about the relation between her height, that stopped increasing around the age of…9, and the length of her feet, that did not.
- Clare bursting into My Song after Sam and Brandon getting the auditorium clapping crazy (this song is the absolute highlight according to both girls)
- Clare and Chip’s rendition of Elvis’ It’s Alright Mama, which has a special place in my heart, both stage version (which I also got to experience at The Arcada outside Chicago last year) as well as that scene on the show, because of how it lit up their lives for a moment in the middle of all the heartache that had taken place and all that was yet to come.
- Realising Sam and Clare actually exists in real life (also from the girls, they were not quite sure before)
How they detected this was due to Chip, the nicest guy ever, who let us enter the backstage gate to say hi…and I thanked him by more or less immediately whisper in his ear if he thought there was any chance my girls could meet Clare and Sam, since they are really not that into him. He took it well and generously went hunting for his cast mates. To my daughters delight we got to meet Clare inside just after admiring her fabulous tambourine backstage. The younger one managed to mention without any stuttering just how beautiful she thought that Clare looked, while the older got totally star struck or otherwise she would probably have conveyed just how much she enjoys her singing.
We bumped into Sam on our way out. He could easily fall back on being a model since he was just born to effortlessly pose his tall body in front of the camera with adoring women and girls he just met. Chip told him about my daughters preferences, but was also quite sure they would acquire better taste when they got older. I’m not sure they will, but they will forever remember this concert and be grateful for getting to meet everybody. I myself was very pleased about meeting Chip again and even more in awe now, when he so impressively pronounced my last name, L-i-l-i-e-d-a-h-l. I think he may had practiced.
We also met backstage Nashville’s welcoming guitar master, Danny Rowe, who let us peek at the set list back stage (so I knew I’m On It was coming) and see how the stage was prepared for the show.
Let’s stay on the subject of guitars for a moment. You know how most concerts, shows or events tend to have the (female) artists changing outfits every five minutes? Well on a Nashville show every song and every musician needs a new beautiful guitar – I’m not sure if there were 20, 30 or more different ones waiting in the wings and on stage to get ushered into the hands of the fabulous guitarist Colin Linden or any of the other guitar players on stage – and no wonder if it is a full time job making sure they are ready to get played.
As you also have noticed, if Chris did not distract you, I have some practicing on my own to do on shooting videos, but this video still manage to capture some of my favourite things on the show. It has Chris being awesome on stage with his guitar and Colin showing us how that constant guitar-swapping is done. It has Sam’s charming accent when going about that chummy chit-chatting with Chris between songs and then one of Sam’s awesome, original songs.
It was funny how the daughter, who two years ago claimed that she wasn’t even that into music, when I tried to persuade her that Nashville is a good vacation destination, now says that one of the best things with the show was to hear so many new songs from the cast. And it was! Clare sang one beautiful song, not written by her, but for her and another one of Sam’s was Wake Me Up in Nashville that was preluded by this bittersweet story about his grandfather (that one I did manage to get on video too).
Leaving the concert hall that evening we were nothing but happy and content after just a fabulous evening turning into a fabulous weekend with shopping, eating out, meeting idols and just having an awesome time together. So you might wonder what the bad things about sharing your hobby with your daughters actually are. Well, after our family vacation there, I went back to Nashville once again by myself last year last year going to the superb Tin Pin South Songwriters festival. I would love to come again to Nashville, to this amazing festival, to see more concerts and to savour that particular Nashville atmosphere.
So would my girls. They would actually never forgive me if I went on another Nashville trip without bringing them and that means any travel plans have to be adapted to school holidays and it would always entail plane tickets for 3. So the answer to the question is – my hobby just got so much more expensive.
But there is nothing to do about that, the girls wouldn’t mind seeing those talented sisters Lennon and Maisy and I still have a mission to get to meet Mr Carmack. You see, that was one thing I did not dare to ask Chip about.