Last summer I lived in suburban Maryland and had no car. For a recently turned 21-year-old (or really for just about anyone), I was often bored out of my mind. I love relaxing and don’t need much to entertain myself (sitting in bed reading all day is my paradise), but even I was going stir-crazy. It was less about not having much to do, but the feeling of being so limited by the lack of available transportation. I spent lots of time at the mall, went on some lake-side runs, and spent one-too-many days in bed watching TV…but my real saving grace was that I lived right.across.the.street from Merriweather Post Pavilion. It is an amazing concert venue that just so happened to have a spectacular summer line-up of country artists.
I am not really a concert person. I love music, adore certain artists, and like sharing my love for the same artist with others, but for some reason I have only been to a handful of concerts in my life. Until last summer. I went to a concert the day after I moved in (the night before my first day of work…oops) and continued to go back for the rest of the summer, each time with different friends. I got to see Thompson Square, Darius Rucker, Zac Brown Band, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Lady Antebellum (who just came out with their new album, Golden! I’ve been listening to it all day…while wearing my cowboy boots).
There has always been something about country music that screams summer to me. When the weather gets warmer, all I want to do is turn on Rascal Flats and hang out by the pool with friends while drinking lemonade and eating a burger.
Country music concerts, I’ve discovered, are the epitome of summer lovin. When you get a bunch of happy-go-lucky, liquored up patriots together you end up with a crowed of loud, tan, fun-loving folks who just want to drink beer and celebrate life with their friends and family. Everyone I met was insanely friendly and just happy to be alive. And that’s what summer is about, right?
Andy, Dave, and I grilled tonight because the weather is finally shaping up (after cutting our senior spring in half). When they asked me if I had any music preferences, I didn’t even blink before the word “country” was out of my mouth. In fact, I had a playlist already prepared for such an occasion.
My “Country Summer” Playlist
1) Beers Ago, Toby Keith
2) Knee Deep, Zac Brown Band
3) Angel Eyes, Love and Theft
4) Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not, Thompson Square
5) Time Is Love, Josh Turner
6) Springsteen, Eric Church
7) History In The Making, Darius Rucker
8) Wild At Heart, Gloriana
9) Footloose, Blake Shelton
10) The Long Way Around, Dixie Chicks
11) Chicken Fried, Zac Brown Band
12) Independence Day, Martina McBride
13) Always The Love Songs, Eli Young Band
14) You Ain’t Dolly, Ashley Monroe
15) Stuck Like Glue, Sugarland
16) Ticks, Brad Paisley
17) Downtown, Lady Antebellum
18) Barefoot Blue Jean Night, Jake Owen
19) Like Is A Highway, Rascal Flatts
20) Cruise, Florida Georgia Line
21) Barton Hollow, The Civil Wars
22) Summer Nights, Rascal Flats
23) Dirt Road Anthen, Jason Aldean
24) Felt Good On My Lips, Tim McGraw
25) Tattoos On This Town, Jason Aldean
26) I Don’t Want This Night To End, Luke Bryan
27) Honky Tony Badonkadonk, Trace Adkins
28) Drunk On You, Luke Bryan
29) We Owned The Night, Lady Antebellum
30) Old Alabama, Brad Paisley
We made awesome burgers with grilled pineapple, but I didn’t have my phone on me to take a picture. That’s the other thing I love about summer. It’s the time where people leave their technology behind to go out on the boat or sit around a bonfire and tell stories. Not that every season shouldn’t be like that, but there is something about summer that makes you want to disconnect and just be free. Plus, we ate our burgers so quickly, I don’t think I would have been able to snap a picture anyways. Here’s to warmer weather and more grillin, y’all.