Monday, August 21st everyone was super excited about the total eclipse that was happening and I’m just over here like, oh yeah August 21st we get to see Chris Lane at the Appalachian Fair. We had driven to Gray, TN back on July 22nd to buy tickets to a couple of the concerts at the fair and tonight was the first one.
Ed and I got up early on Monday morning so we could get on the road and get to a city that was in the path of totality by the time the eclipse was to happen. We drove the backroads and it was quite entertaining going through all of these small towns and seeing how crowded they were with tourists coming just to see the eclipse. We got to Maryville, TN about 1:45 eastern time and found a great spot to view the eclipse. It was pretty incredible.
Once it was over we made our way on to our hotel in Jonesborough, TN, quickly changed clothes and then headed to the Appalachian Fair. We got there a little after 6 and walked down to the concert area to find that they weren’t letting people with reserved seats in yet even though the show was to start at 7.
Two years ago we went to the fair to a couple shows and it was packed by this time. They have bleachers that you can sit on to see the show that is free and there wasn’t sitting room on those two years ago. We were very surprised that there were only a few people there this year. I thought maybe people were just running late.
We finally were able to go to our seats. We had great seats. Row 5, seats right by the stage. As it got closer to 7:00 it was not filling up in the reserved seats or on the bleachers very fast. I thought this was so weird.
Show started at 7. The announcer from WXBQ said that Chris was at the fair 5 years ago with Florida Georgia Line and it was the first time Chris met FGL. Chris and his band came out and the first song they did was “Broken Windshield View” which was the first song we ever heard Chris do. Next he did “Saturday Night” and then a cover of Tim McGraws “Something Like That”. From there we heard “Her Own Kind of Beautiful”, “All the Time” and “Let Me Love You”.
At this point he asked for a lovely lady to volunteer to come up on stage. Of course he got all kinds of yells and screams. He walked up and down the thrust looking into the crowd as if he was going to pick someone. He finally picked a little girl that was about 6 years old who had been singing along to all of his songs. She came up on stage and said her name was Addison. He had her sit down on a chair and he got down on his knees and sang “All About You” to her. It was so sweet.
It was time to introduce the band and Chris brought out Cody, his merch guy who was quite the character. He ran all over the stage, up and down the thrust. Very energetic guy. So as Chris introduced each guy Cody got to pick a genre of music for that guy to play and Chris would sing. The first guy, Cody picked Rock, and he picked Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On a Prayer”. Chris sounded great singing it….wish he had done the whole song. Next was Old Country so they picked Alan Jackson’s “Chattahoochee”. Cory, who is Chris’ twin brother and the drummer was last and Cody said he had to dance like Magic Mike. He started dancing down the thrust butChris stopped him telling him not to ever do that again.
After the band introductions Chris did “Girl Problems”, “For Her”, and ” Who’s it Gonna Be?”. He did a mash up of “I Want it That Way”, “24K Magic”, “Bye, Bye, Bye” and “All the Small Things” before ending his set with his #1 hit “Fix”.
We’ve seen Chris several times over the last few years and different points in his career. He gets better every time we see him. He’s been playing in arenas and to be willing to come back to play at this fair and put on a show like he was in an arena says a lot about him.
We had a 30 minute change over period and then Eric Paslay came out. Eric is one of those artists that I’ve enjoyed seeing live more than hearing him on the radio/CD however, tonight it was the same old set for the most part that we’ve seen over and over. He came out to “Keep On Fallin'”, then he did “Song About a Girl” which he really rocks. He did “Angel Eyes” that he wrote for Love and Theft. The very slow, but beautiful “She Don’t Love You” was next.
Next Eric did a cover that I would have never thought I’d hear him do, Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain”. I did not like this at all. It felt weird and awkward. He put his guitar down during this song and the dancing was awkward. It was definitely different but not in a good way, but props to him for doing something different. The next song was “Water into Wine”.
We decided we were going to leave. We just weren’t feeling Eric’s performance. We got up and went towards the back of our section. When we got back there I was in shock at how few people were in the reserved seats and how few were in the bleachers. This fair gets great artists every year but if people aren’t going to pay for the reserved seating and fill it up every show, I’m not sure how they can keep doing this.