My night at the Sugarland Concert
|WOW! And that's just the first 30 seconds. After sitting through 30 minutes of some unknown guy, who was more comedien than musician, and an hour of the talented, but new, Jake Owen it was time for Jennifer Nettles, I mean, Sugarland.
She opened with "Settling" and from the first few notes it was already a magical night. Sitting through two hours of Sugarland convinces you of the obvious; Sugarland IS Jennifer Nettles. She is the consummate entertainer, always on the move, always keeping the audience hyped up. Just the energy level she maintains for two hours is inspirational alone.
Normally you leave a concert wondering why they didn't play this song or that, but not this time. Partially because they haven't been around that long, they included almost everything. Whether it was my FB campaign or not they even included "Who Say's You Can't Go Home," the song that really introduced Jennifer Nettles to my little sphere of reality. Kristian Bush is no Bon Jovi, so at parts it was a bit weak, but none of those parts belonged to Jennifer. They did not play "Just Might (Make Me Believe)" which was okay as it's not one of my favorites of theirs and they did not play "Down In Mississippi" which may not have been a big enough hit for them to include. Everything else was there.
They made it even more interesting with the unexpected. During "Everyday America," in mid song, they broke off and sang a mix of American Classics, starting with Madonna's "Holliday" and even including MJ's "Rock With You." When they resume "Everyday America" you're left wondering why anyone else had even sung those songs in the first place!
They left the stage for maybe two whole minutes before coming back for an encore. Why it's called an encore when it's planned in advance I'll never know, but the important thing is it wasn't a long wait. That started with an amusing ditty that had Jennifer playing a piano (who knew) and the audience singing "na-na-na-na-na." Then they closed the show. I sat wondering what was left to end the show with and it was someone else's song. By a strange coincidence, and purely unintentional at the time, I'm one of the few people who has seen Katrina And The Waves live, but I had trouble remembering their name when Jennifer was belting out "Walking On Sunshine."
And then it was over. There was no disappointment just a natural high and feeling of euphoria mixed with awe as we floated back to the car. At no time during the show did you get the feeling, as so often happens, that it was different live. Jennifer hit every note you hear on the radio. It was not like hearing Taylor Swift live and wondering how she ever got a contract. Mostly you wonder Why Jennifer wasn't discovered so much sooner.
When the night started I wondered why, as an acrophobe, I would ever get nosebleed seats, figuring next time I would take out a loan and get floor seats. The performance, though, makes you forget where you are, transporting you to a zone in which it's just you and the song. The night was magical and mystical but there was no mystery tour. It was all Jennifer; overpowering our senses with her voice, touching our souls with her lyrics and caressing our hearts with her ability to take on the role of the song's character. I may never go to another concert just to make this one my last, but will see Sugarland again, every chance I get, even if I have to take out that loan! For a few hours, I did, indeed, find "Something More" but the experience will last far more than a few hours.