You may have seen me recently advertise for my show with Old Dominion in Atlanta last week. This show was the first time I felt like I was playing in the big leagues and there were a couple factors that led me to believe this:
A. Old Dominion showed up in a shiny new tour bus (and those things are not cheap!)
B. Old Dominion's next stop in GA is the Georgia Dome Arena.
C. They brought a full stadium light show to the venue.
D. 94.9 The Bull, Atlanta's biggest Country radio station, was there promoting the show
E. A record label flew in from Nashville to scout
Once I put all these factors together, I felt like there was a lot of pressure for me to do well. In addition to the pressure I put on myself, someone came by and told me that I needed to bring my A-game with all the "important" people on the guest list and someone else told me they had another show in mind for me but we would "see how the night went." WOAH! Way to add to the pressure!
After hearing all this, I was super nervous backstage before the show. I haven't mastered the "before" the show yet. I need to find a way to clear my mind of negativity, but as a natural worrier, I usually just think of everything that could go wrong, and it didn't help that there was no room for error with this show! However, once I got on stage, all my worries went away and I completely focused on the crowd and putting a good show on for them. The audience was packed by the time I got onstage- which is unusual for the opening band, so we were really grateful! They already had drinks-in-hand and were so enthusiastic about being there. We started our set off with "Where the Black Top Ends" by Keith Urban and everyone immediately started singing along. When we got to the first original song, I thought we might lose them with something unfamiliar, but they stayed pretty with-it the entire time. When I would talk about the story behind my songs, saying things like, "this song is about a girl who used to be my friend, but then started making out with the guy she knew I had a crush on," everyone would interact and shout things like "that's just wrong!"and "boo!"--it was great.
The set went by so fast and I was really sad that our time was over, but it was an unforgettable experience. Last year, there were some shows that happened where I wasn't sure if people actually cared we were up there...but this was the complete opposite. People were so sweet afterwards telling us how much they enjoyed it, I sold a lot of CDs, and I genuinely felt like people were excited about my music. It was the push I needed to start 2015 with a bang, and it really motivated me to keep keeping on.
If you were in the crowd, I owe you a huge thanks! You inspired me more than you know.
Sometimes I think I'm crazy. But sometimes, I think I know exactly what I'm doing.