Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Big State Big Time
What: Big State Festival
Where: Texas World Speedway
This weekend we had the great opportunity to go to the Big State Festival in College Station. JC got VIP tickets from his work, so we drove down there after all of the Saturday games. As soon as we pulled into the parking field, I knew this was going to be the festival for me! We parked in a giant field outside of the Texas World Speedway that reminded me of parking at the Brazoria County Fair. The line of vehicles to get in was 99% trucks and there were cowboy hats as far as I could see. (Hmmmm...gotta love a cowboy)
This was the first year for Big State. It is put on by the same folks that do our beloved ACL festival and the line-up consisted of mostly country acts. I had heard about it a while back and was just dying to go! (My sweet sweet JC made it happen!)
We got there Saturday night around 7pm. We were able to see some of Miranda Lambert, most of Chris Cagle, most of Lyle Lovett and his large band, and the tail end of Lynard Skynard. Unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures of the first night because the batteries were dead in the camera and I didn't want to pay an insane amout of money for new ones. (*Note to self - pay the outragous amount next time.)
My favorite of Saturday night was Chris Cagle. We watched him for a while from the VIP section where we could see him from the side of the stage. One after another, he belted out songs that we all know. As it got time for Lyle Lovett to come on, we walked across the field to the other stage where we could REALLY hear and see the Cagle band and stage. He gave such a charasmatic show. The crowd was with him 100%. We all stood in the wide open space and enjoyed and laughed and danced and sang along with him. I must have said 8,000 times how I wished my Heather was with me. The girls and I danced and danced and there was so so so much love. Our three favorite songs that he sang were "What a Beautiful Day, I Breathe In and Breathe Out, and In a WalMart Parking Lot." For the rest of my forever, when I hear these three songs, I'll remember dancing and loving with my family under the big Texas sky full of stars.
The other highlight from Saturday night was catching the end of the Lynard Skynard show. It was such a thrill for our family to see them perform Sweet Home Alabama and Freebird live. Again, we were at the back of the crowd in the wide open field just dancing and carrying on. We all loved it. We REALLY love Lyle Lovett, but unfortunately, it was kind of hard to listen to his beautiful music when Skynard was blaring in the background. Good thing our whole family has seen Lovett a few times before.
We got up early Sunday morning and made our way to the show just a little after it opened. We started the day off with one of our local favorites, Kelly Willis. Boy-o-boy, can that girl sing. We really enjoyed seeing her live. Every word that she sings is given with so much passion and sincerity. She seems like the kinda gal that could be my BFF in a heartbeat.
After Kelly Willis, we went to find the best seat for our very first stock car race! Wow wee! Lady luck was on our side. We took the stairs up into the spectator boxes where the kids were standing on the back rail of an empty viewing box. A really nice fella named Cliff came up and said for us to come on in. Apparently, he was part of a BBQ cook-off team that paid big bucks for the box and all of his buddies were too hung-over to come up to watch. So there we were, up in the shaded box watching our very first race! The cars made their first lap and we all picked who we'd be wanting to win. Finally the green flag came out and they were off. The kids LOVED it!
What great great fun. You know, we are part of the NASCAR generation. Many many of our family and friends live and die by the races. What a perfect addition to an already perfect festival!
After the big race, we made our way to the Little State stage (kid area). The kids fished, decorated grass plants to bring home, got tattoos, and dyed their hair. We also really enjoyed watching the TAMU Aggie Wranglers dance. These guys and gals were truly incredible!
From there we went to look at a few other exhibits, like the Toyota Tundra experience, the Texas Parks and Wildlife booths and the Go Texan Market that featured
products made in Texas.
Next up...getting in position for the rest of the night. The three big shows that we (I) really wanted to see were all at the Toyota Tundra stage, which had a VIP viewing area. So you know we had to go on and get over there to get the best seats possible.
At 4:00pm we watched Jack Ingram. He can REALLY put on a good show. Everyone in our family enjoyed his performance. We'd all seen him once before at ACL, but it had been a few years ago. We all love his music. Sure was missin' my Amy though - cause she would have thought she'd died and gone straight to Heaven. We were SO close to the stage. We could all see him perfectly!
After Jack Ingram was another stock car race. We made the smart decision not to leave our VIP seats to go to the box and watch the race. People were really starting to pour into the seating area. It was a lot of fun to watch the race on the screen and hear the announcer.
After the race, we were getting pretty excited. One of our VERY FAVORITES was coming up...Willie Nelson. I was really surprised that he wasn't the final act. I guess he just isn't as popular as Tim McGraw..I don't know. Anyhow, as always, he was great. I feel like we need to give our kids the opportunity to see him every chance we can get. There will never be another person make a mark on country music the way that Willie Nelson has.
And he had a special guest come out and sing some gospel favorite with him (and you guys know how I feel about gospel music!)...AMY BRACE YOURSELF...it was Jack Ingram. At first Jeff said that he thought it was Hal Ketchum. I almost killed myself and a few innocent children trying to get up on the chair to see. Too bad it wasn't Hal, but I was really really glad to see that it was Jack.
I included the picture above because of #2 and her Willie bandana. She looked just like him with her red bandana and her braids. Both of the girls had their hands in the air enjoying every moment! :)
After Willie was done, we were treated to a very special event! Some yahoos in the front of the VIP section got into a fight. UGH. I've never really seen a real live fist fight before and I know that the kids haven't either. This was something! I got up on the chair to see better (I know, classy) and was shocked to see that it was boys and girls. Swinging, yelling, punching - you name it they were doin' it. It was a little unnerving at first. There are just so many people there that you initially get a little bit of shakey leg. But I knew we were all safe. We were probably 5 or 6 rows behind the really smart people - so no one was gonna bother us. One thing that makes the fight even more classy is the fact that these idiots paid $500 per ticket to get into this area. What dumbasses. The girls and I went to the bathroom before Tim came on and saw the paddy wagon coming to pick up the winners. It was a great opportunity to tell all of the kids what I hope they won't choose to do when then grow up!
Another funny thing that happened before the Tim show was that this guy was kind of standing by our chairs and people started going hog wild over him. He looked like Tim McGraw. In real life - I saw him with my own eyes. He really truly looked like Tim. Tons of ladies were asking him to take pictures with them. He was getting moved to the front - it was crazy pandamonium. Of course, I didn't have the nerve to ask him for a photo, but I did take this one of him kinda far away. The good news is that he was not taking the money that people were offering him for a picture.
And finally...the big moment. My boyfriend Tim came to sing to me and my girls!!!! Oh my heavens - that man can put on a show!!!! The crowd was going wild. For every song that he sang he had 40,000 backup singers.
Naturally, during his performance, it started to really rain. At one point he hollered out to the crowd that Texas wins the prize for the very biggest wet t-shirt contest. Of course, the crowd went wild! (Oddly enough, the last time we saw Tim it was outside in the pouring rain - remember Heather???)
Thankfully, a guy behind us was giving Tito's vodka shirts to all the cute cowgirls and saw that our kids were soaking and freezing and gave them tshirts too. Of course, they know they'll never be able to wear them again. I don't think it go over very well in our granola community for #4 to be wearing an offical Tito's Taste Tester shirt to preschool! :)
My one disappointment was that we didn't get a good family picture at the festival. :( Every family picture that we took was either blurry or too dark. I think the rain screwed with our borrowed camera. And even though the picture below is blurry, I still love it cause it's my happy family and Tim is behind us!
Everyone had a great great great time. We are so blessed to have gotten to go. All of the kids loved it and the country crowd is such a nice loving crowd to be with. So thanks to C3 and Simpler-Webb for another great event. We drove home Sunday night blissfully tired, heads full of music and love in our hearts!