Review: Nashville Live Concert Comes to Tulsa

When I went to school in Oklahoma, I had the privilege of writing a few pieces for the university's newspaper, The Oracle. There was one piece in particular that I had a lot of fun with - it was a concert review. 

I have watched the show Nashville ever since it came out years ago, and I am extremely stoked to see the newest season on CMT in January. Last year, while I was still attending this school, the musicians of Nashville went on tour - the tour was called "Nashville Live in Concert". I offered to attend this concert and write up a review. The review is provided below and can be found on The Oracle's website here.

Charles Esten (who plays Deacon Claybourne) and Clare Bowen (who plays Scarlett O'Connor) sing and dance on stage during a duet. 

(Photo credit: Reagan Fleming)

The cast from the ABC show, “Nashville” performed a live concert at downtown Tulsa’s Brady Theater this Thursday. The actors and singers sang beautifully-written original songs from the TV series, ranging from season one up until the current season. The lineup included: Clare Bowen who plays Scarlett O’Connor, Aubrey Peeples who plays Layla Grant, Jonathan Jackson who plays Avery Barkley, Chris Carmack who plays Will Lexington and Charles Esten who plays Deacon Claybourne. The singers sang several songs never performed live. In addition, some singers including Carmack, Bowen and Peeples sang original songs, giving the audience a refreshing change.

The Brady Theater has two seated areas for the show: a balcony seating area overlooking the stage and a ground floor. The venue captured the same ambiance as the Grand Ole Opry, allowing for a more intimate and relaxed concert.

The show opened with Carmack singing a much-loved Will Lexington song, “What If I Was Willing.” The other performers came out one by one and performed a single song as their characters on the show. They all portrayed their character’s stage presence perfectly, making it feel as if the audience was watching them on TV.

The highlight of the entire night was when Esten and Bowen came into the crowd. The entire room went ballistic. Esten was the crowd favorite, especially when performing with his on-screen niece, Bowen. Bowen twirled across the stage in her bare feet and Esten impersonated Elvis with a popped collar at one point. The audience could clearly tell Esten was having the time of his life on stage; he is a natural performer.

The cast also performed covers of songs such as “Love Rescue Me” by Bono and Bob Dylan and Prince’s “Purple Rain.” The crowd gave the “Purple Rain” cover the most applause and acclamation. The entire stage took a purple hue during the song and Esten claimed the crew only practiced it earlier in the day. The crowd stood up to sing along to the extremely moving performance.

Nashville Live was the perfect concert to attend to in order to unwind after studying for hours, in spite of the loud, overly-enthusiastic men and women who screamed, “We love you!” to the performers multiple times. Each singer gave a stellar performance with crystal-clear voices, a sharp movement and spot-on harmonies. Catch the season four finale of “Nashville” on ABC, Wednesday, May 4 at 9 p.m.

Good Grief

Society teaches us that having feelings and crying is bad and wrong. Well, that's baloney, because grief isn't wrong. There's such a thing as good grief. Just ask Charlie Brown. - Michael Scott

Now, if you haven't learned something from the 9 seasons of The Office, then I don't know what you're doing with your life. This show is a gold mine (or as I once said while sleep-deprived: a land mine) of important quotes to remember throughout your life.

Just kidding, it's just a really funny show. However, part of the second sentence in the quote is right on the money: "...grief isn't wrong." Grief is not a bad thing to experience, which is a fact that I have had a very hard time wrapping my head around. It's not (despite how you may be feeling) a warning sign that your life is going down the toilet. Say it with me: grief. is. normal. But hey, not everyone hits the "five stages of grief" at the same time. I sure as heck did not. 

You can't map grief because it's not static, it's a moving target that doesn't ever fully end. - Kayla Jacobs

My sister brought this quote to my attention a couple of days ago, and it was one that really resonated with me. She texted it to me after I informed her that both of my dogs had to be put down. Let me just tell you something, readers: these dogs were adorable. They were small, white, fluffy Maltese, each with their own personalities. Here is proof: 

                                                                                                   Armani (left) & Ivory (right). 

                                                                                                   Armani (left) & Ivory (right). 

What made things way worse, was that I had these dogs when my dad was still alive. Again, Michael Scott stole the words right out of my mouth: "It feels like somebody took my heart and dropped it into a bucket of boiling tears." I feel ya, man. 

My dad died 8 years ago, and I can honestly say that I was in shock for an entire year after his death. I missed him, obviously (still do), but at the wonderfully awkward age of 12, I didn't properly grieve. It hasn't been until recently that I've been able to do so. (Hence the reason why I said that grief doesn't have a set timeline).

I am a writing major and I obviously have taken and am currently taking many writing/English classes. One class in particular that I was so excited to take in my sophomore year of college, was Introduction to Writing. In that class, near the end of the semester, I wrote a detached autobiography (only 3 or so pages) titled, "Daddy Daughter Dates." I was and still am extremely proud of this essay. It acted as a therapy session for me; I took some much-needed time to remember how I was feeling at the time of the funeral, which in turn helped me sort out my emotions currently. 

I decided to post this essay on The Odyssey Online. For those of you who don't know, I am a weekly Odyssey Online writer. Click here for the link to my site. This week, I chose to post something a little more serious and heartfelt to balance out the posts filled with funny gifs. Click here to read it.

Note #1: The cover photo is of me and my dad, and we are totally rocking the 'cheesy sunglasses' look. 

Note #2: Despite being a very smiley person now, I never smiled as a child. When you click the link, you'll see for yourself. 

Reagan Fleming