Today the Roadies started the physical journey to join up with the Brothers of the Sun Tour. We woke up outside of Boston at an unholy hour to catch our plane to Tampa.
Our flight was uneventful and we landed in balmy Florida before lunch. I was surprised at the rental company to discover that our rental was a Jeep. Only once did I mention my love of the car and it was touching when someone remembered. We decided to call our red Jeep Penny, short for Pennzoil.
Instead of going right into Raymond James Stadium we grabbed our cameras and joined the party out in the parking lot.
Tailgate parties in country music are unlike any other type of music or sports game. Everyone is there for the love of the same music, but it is like a giant family reunion. It doesn’t matter if the person walking by is a total stranger. Food will be offered before you can look at the small camp stoves and grills sending delicious, smoky smells to fill the air.
The more the merrier seemed to be the tagline of the day. Everywhere we went we were welcome to join the party. I only wish the day was longer and we could have spent longer talking to people. Some have been to see Tim McGraw every time he’s come to Florida. One man told me this was his fourteenth concert. That’s a true Tim fan right there.
Before going to our seats, Sheila and I were escorted back to hear a private performance of Tim McGraw singing three songs, one of them new. His people were kind enough to put us right off stage to get pictures for the blog and see him up close. This was my first time seeing Tim McGraw perform live and he’s been added to my favorite artists to see live. Hearing him perform these songs, really feel what he is singing and projecting that out to the audience…it was amazing.
Out in the Stadium, the party that was going on in the parking lot was now going full force in the stands. People were laughing and singing along with all of the performers. The pirate theme to the stadium décor fit perfectly with the Brothers of the Sun Tour. They couldn’t have picked a better venue to launch the tour.
The stands were full and I’m not going to guess how many people came out to see this show. The field was full and the stadiums upper tiers were filled with a wall of humanity.
Tim has to be riding high tonight after the maiden voyage of The Brothers of the Sun Tour. It has been one of the most anticipated country tours of the year and it’s blown the bar away for a new standard of awesome.
The Roadies staggered back to the hotel tonight with the shell-shocked expressions of people who have had an amazing night and can’t say much more than, “Wow!”
Tomorrow is another day and we’ll be on the road before most of the world roll out of bed. Atlanta and the next stop on the Brothers of the Sun Tour beckons. I don’t know how tomorrow can outdo all the amazing people and experiences we had today.