Today I did not want to get out of bed, and I was a very bad girl and did not go to the early sessions of the conference that brings me to Glasgow. My bad. I awoke in final form about noon (oops!) and read news on the internet for a while before heading over to the conference site to register and get details sorted out. I then saw a sign, pointing at the covered walkway in front of the conference center, that said “city center” so I decided to check it out. I knew I was close to the center of Glasgow but I had no idea where I was going, as I had quite unusually not had a chance to buy a guidebook for this foreign place. I went into town with a mission in mind, to buy a guidebook and figure out what I needed to see.
As I was walking down Sauchiehall Street, I saw the announcement for a concert, for the band Sugarland playing here in Glasgow tonight. This is where I stepped outside of my normal personality to be a bit adventurous. After all, Sugarland is one of my very favorite bands, especially since I got the country music bug living in Virginia, and when would I have the chance to see them again? So I went into the venue and asked about the concert, is it here? Are there tickets left? And I was stunned to find that there were indeed tickets and they were only £17.50. I handed over a twenty pound note and got my ticket. (NB the concert t-shirt I bought was £20 so this was an amazing bargain!) I asked the lovely cashier where the closest taxi stand was–I had walked there from my hotel but knew I would not want to walk back at night alone. The concert was set for doors opening at 7 pm, this was just before 5. I went a few blocks away and had a lovely dinner at an Indian restaurant I had spotted, then went back to stand in line for general admission at about a quarter to 7.
The venue was just a big room with a stage and a bar at the back, and the bar had American beer on tap (Miller!) so I grabbed one and went to stake out a place as close to the front as I could. It turns out that worked fairly well. The opening act was Holly Williams, a daughter of Hank Williams, Jr.
She was okay, but needs to learn a few more chords on either the piano or guitar. That’s not to say that I won’t buy her albums–the vocals were great but a bit on the simple side, and started to sound repetitive even in the short pre-game warmup. Then came the main event: Sugarland.
It was a high energy, fun and generally amazing show. I had befriended the people standing around me, clearly up near the very front (hooray general admission tickets!) and we had such fun taking photos. Thank goodness I was in tourist mode and had at least my minimalist camera with me! But oh, can I say, these two are sexy… he rocks the guitar and mandolin…
And she makes me wonder if my affection for “Kissing Jessica Stein” is outside hetero- boundaries…
All I kept thinking at the show was that “my sister would be so proud of me” for doing something so brave and unexpected as to take a spur of the moment chance to see such a concert. And I kept thinking in other moments that I can’t believe I’m seeing these two American country stars in the UK when I never managed to see them in the states even though I can sing along with every word, and “whoda thunk” I’d see country music in Glasgow, with no fair warning. It was an amazing concert, “Totally Brilliant” (that’s written with a Glaswegian accent).