Rascal Flatts

The Rascal Flatts concert last Thursday was awesome. First, dinner. Lori and I ate (both of us for the first time) at Carrabba’s Italian Grill. Both of us being kinda picky eaters and with so many things on the menu being hard to know what it was, I, in a very un-characteristically Heather move, asked the waiter for a recommendation. He recommended for me the Polla Rosa Maria — “Chicken stuffed with fontina cheese and prosciutto, topped with mushrooms and a basil lemon better sauce.” The mushrooms I pushed to the side, but the rest was wonderful! I’d definitely get it again.

The concert being at 8, we started to leave the restaurant at 7:30. I mentioned to the waiter how much I enjoyed his recommendation and that it was our first time eating at a Carrabba’s restaurant. Apparently your first time at Carrabba’s you get free dessert because upon hearing that he offered us free dessert — two scoops of vanilla ice cream with pecan pralines and some butter wine sauce. Mmmm. How could we pass up free dessert? Well, we couldn’t.

Dessert made us just a few minutes late to the concert. We walked in just as Darius Rucker (aka “Hootie” from Hootie and the Blowfish) was opening. He was really great, too! His set included a few songs I knew from the radio but that I didn’t know they were his — Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It and It Won’t Be Like This For Long. He did several Hootie songs (Only Lonely, Only Wanna Be With You) and covers of Hank Williams Jr.’s Family Tradition and Prince’s Purple Rain. Quite an interesting mix but very entertaining and fun!

Rascal Flatts kicked off with Summer Nights, which is my favorite Rascal Flatts song, so that really got the party started! (Lori told me later she had looked up the playlist online and knew the first song was Summer Nights, and knowing that would make me happy she didn’t tell me so it would be a surprise. Thanks!) We were second row from the catwalk stages where the guys walked out to during some of the songs. They performed most of my favorites — Bless the Broken Road, Mayberry, Prayin’ for Daylight, What Hurts the Most, Here Comes Goodbye — and really rocked the live music. One of the reasons concerts are so great is I get to see, with my own eyes, the musicians “do their thing” — see the hands play the piano, the fingers pluck the strings, the bow pulled on the violin/fiddle. It’s miraculous to see talent like that put to use!

The encore closed with Life is A Highway, which was probably the first Rascal Flatts song I ever knew because it was in the Cars movie. The one song they didn’t do that I wanted to hear was Every Day, but that was OK. At least I got to hear My Wish, a close second.

I had such a good time I wanted to do it all over again right then, or drive to the next stop on tour just to relive it. Kinda like when I flew in reduced gravity last summer — for 24-48 hours I could still go to that place, still imagine what it was like and be able to “feel” it. The Rascal Flatts concert was kinda like that, but on a much smaller scale. The morning after, though, I listened to Summer Nights and mentally it was like I was back in the arena. Like the feeling of weightlessness, I was able to accurately imagine myself back there. Hearing them live made their music come to life for me.

I made great memories that night that I’ll not soon forget, from a fun girls-only night, to the great dinner and dessert, to getting to know Lori better, to sharing the concert with a friend. I even cherish the memory of the craziness when I ordered tickets, calling Lori early on a Saturday morning, an hour before tickets went on sale, to see if she wanted to go and helping my sister score two sets of floor seats also. It’s all part of the experience.


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