My Country Deep Tour experience with David Nail and Sam Hunt

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the David Nail concert in association with the AT&T Country Deep Tour. I expected an amazing show complete with songs I could sing to the person next to me (singing with strangers happens to be my favorite part of shows). What I didn’t expect was how much of an experience AT&T Country Deep provided prior to and during the concert.

Country Deep Tour bus parked at The Varsity in Baton Rouge.

Country Deep Tour bus parked at The Varsity in Baton Rouge.

Before the doors opened, I had the chance to ask Sam Hunt some questions in the Country Deep Tour bus. We talked about his inspiration, his good luck charm, what he thinks about Baton Rouge and more. His energy was infectious, and I knew that he would bring everything he had to the stage in a few short hours. He reminded me of my best guy friend — funny, laid back and ready to have a good time. Click here to read the interview.

We walked into The Varsity and were immediately greeted by representatives from the Tour. We made “credential” badges before we even stepped into the venue, which made us feel even more like VIPs. Everyone loves a good selfie, after all.

We then made our way to the Meet and Greet with David Nail. The crowd was starting to grow, and we were excited to meet the show headliner.

Meet and Greet with David.

Meet and Greet with David.

The venue was now packed as the lights dimmed. Sam Hunt took the stage and sang his single, “Raised On It,” to Baton Rouge while the crowd sang the lyrics back to him. It’s been a long time since I’ve been blown away by the energy of band members. They were having an amazing time on stage, and it was obvious to everyone in the room.

From originals to covers, Sam Hunt sings a song for everyone. He explained during our interview that the band is influenced by each and every genre, which was evident as songs transformed from blues to country to R&B to rock. I wish I had a better way to describe how incredibly talented this group is, but I don’t think I’ll do justice through written word. You just have to see them live.

If you’re looking for a new artist, take some time to learn more about Sam here. His energy will pull you in, and his talent will keep you wanting more.

It was now time for David to take the stage. He sang the new, the old and the in between. It’s obvious that he wants the crowd to feel a connection to what he is playing and singing about. He pours his heart out with each song in his set, from stories of heartbreak to finding new love.

If I had to pick a favorite moment during his set, I have to admit that his acoustic intro to “Whatever She’s Got” gave me chills. This was the first time I saw David in concert, and it was a show I’ll never forget.

David Nail

David Nail

Even though I’m in the midst of my last set of finals as an LSU undergraduate, a night out to hear incredible musicianship acted as a well-deserved study break. The Country Deep Tour is a true fan experience, and I’m so grateful I was able to partner with AT&T U-Verse Country Deep campaign for this exclusive opportunity. Check out the site for the tour schedule, updates from David and Sam, and to read more about my experience in Baton Rouge.

The post was made in association with AT&T U-verse and the Country Deep Tour.

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Pay the price

This is a post about pirates and music. They do, in fact, correlate.

When I see a status, tweet, or post beginning with something along the lines of “Where is the best site to download free music from?” inquiring advice from fellow pirates (argggh), I want to respond: “If you pay 99 cents for a song, you’ll probably listen to it for a longer period of time AND you have the added bonus of knowing that your money is paying the various hardworking people who created that song.”

You see, I have used Limewire in the past. I do believe the last time I used any site to download “shared” music illegally, I was at the ripe age of 13. My desktop was infected by quite a virus, and ironically I lost all of the music, photos and saved documents. Karma bites hard, I suppose. I knew from that incident on that I would never trust these so-called friendly sites encouraging users to upload and share music. (Commonly referred to as peer-to-peer; I love euphemisms.)

The music industry has gone through some incredibly significant changes. I would argue that the most significant ones have a common thread–the creation of the Internet. Now, peer-to-peer has basically vanished. There are new ways to steal music. There is no euphemism for a thief, which is why I will refer to people who insist on illegally downloading/storing music as thefts.

Woah, statistics are following! (Watch out kids!)

  • Since peer-to-peer (p2p) file-sharing site Napster emerged in 1999, music sales in the U.S. have dropped 53 percent, from $14.6 billion to $7.0 billion in 2011.
  • From 2004 through 2009 alone, approximately 30 billion songs were illegally downloaded on file-sharing networks.
  • NPD reports that only 37 percent of music acquired by U.S. consumers in 2009 was paid for.
  • Digital storage locker downloads constitute 7 percent of all Internet traffic, while 91 percent of the links found on them were for copyrighted material, and 10 percent of those links were to music specifically, according to a 2011 Envisional study.

The above stats are courtesy of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America)

I have heard quite a few arguments about the issue of piracy. The main defense of the problem that I have heard from peers is (for example) most of the money an average person pays for one album will never be seen by the artist because there are so many people who have a cut of the profit from that individual album.

I call bull shit. In fact, this is reinforcing a problem that those who do pay for entire iTunes albums, tangible CDs or even records have to pay double. CDs are more expensive and iTunes charges $1.29 for well-knows songs. Another problem faced by those who love seeing their favorite artist(s) live is the amount for each ticket. It’s hard to come by a show that costs less than $20. In reality, if you’re keeping up with me, devoted listeners and fans are required to pay double to compensate for those who pay nothing. It’s piracy, it’s illegal and it can mean potential jail time/serious fines.

I guess people are willing to take their chances regardless. I’d rather pay my respect to artists I appreciate.

Exes are good for something

Caution: I might delve into some disheartening reality in this post. 

I have dated several types of boys/men. Let’s see, there’s the macho one, the super affluent SOB, the charismatic thespian, the immature but really attractive guy, the rockstar, etc. I don’t believe I have an actual “type.” I would rather not shove someone in a corner and ignore him because he doesn’t fit my aesthetic standards.

Anywho. My point with this post is to give these past romantic interests some serious credit. Why, you ask? For the song and artist suggestions that changed my life for the ultimate better. For instance:

  1. The Thespian: Thank you for introducing me to some of the most incredible artists of my generation. I would have never known that music like this existed in some underground world or alternate reality if I had not had the pleasure of meeting you. The first mix CD (throwback, yes) you ever made me is still in my car. I hope that makes you smile if you ever read this.
  2. The Macho One: Look. I don’t prefer rap. It’s just not my taste, I guess. For all of those who do prefer rap, I applaud you. I’ll dance to Lil Wayne at the bar and make bad decisions to Two Chainz every once in awhile, but for the most part I avoid the genre. However, you introduced me to the best old school rap my ears will ever hear. Much obliged, I say.
  3. The Affluent/Arrogant SOB: Clearly, this guy is now (in hindsight) my least favorite. But…he did have an incredible taste in music. His favorites ranged from indie to funk, and I loved getting new suggestions from him on a daily basis. We were cheesy in a sense that we would post videos on each other’s walls of live shows we wanted to see together. He was kind of an ass, though.
  4. Last but not least, I would like to sing The Rockstar’s praises: You made me realize why I love the music I love. You encouraged me to dig deeper and forget about the lyrics…really enjoy the rhythms that create the experience. I was lucky enough to share the same musical tastes as you; I remember when we would go somewhere together and hear a song that struck a chord (no pun intended) in both of us, we would just stop what we were doing and stare at each other. That seems creepy as I type it, but it was actually somewhat–dare I say it–romantic.

Thanks to these fellas and a few others, my music library houses a pretty intense variety, just like my men. (Ha ha.)

Clearly, I love live music

I don’t know what I would do without live music. I wouldn’t say that I live for it, by any means, but it does make my day go by a bit faster when I’m stressed beyond belief. 

For example, when my average day consists of a least 6 hours at work in front of a computer screen, 9 hours of classes, a few hours worth of meetings and constant multi-tasking, I need a release. 

Live music is better than any drug imaginable. The anticipation of a show doesn’t dissipate until the band takes center stage. The sounds, sights and interaction between the artist(s) and crowd is indescribable. 

My goal for this semester has been simple: (Except for the whole 4.0 thing…that can be overrated at times.) HAVE MORE FUN. 

Therefore, if there are 5 great bands in town and I want to see all of them, I’m going to do my best to make that happen. Life is too short, after all.