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.

There's No Right Way to Write.

Whenever I'm stuck on an idea (or lack thereof) in a story, I tend to turn to quotes from other writers about writing, and why they write. Shoutout to Google. I usually type in: "author writing inspiration," "writing inspiration," or I get very specific and type in: "(specific author) quotes on writing." 

I always knew that being a writer is hard work... writer's block is a real thing. But, the one fact that I think trumps all, is that I love to write. I think that being given the chance to tell someone's story - whether it be real life or your own fictional character - is such a cool task and honor. 

For those of you fighting writer's block this very moment, I thought that I would provide some words of wisdom that have inspired me and given me hope to keep writing:

The desire to write grows with writing.
— Desiderius Erasmus
We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
— Ray Bradbury
All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.
— Ernest Hemingway
The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.
— Kurt Vonnegut
Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.
— Stephen King
The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.
— Anaïs Nin

And my personal favorite:

Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.
— Anne Lamott

I'd like to end this with my own sage advice: create something. 

No matter the extent of your knowledge about proper grammar or the correct format of writing a book/poem/short story - whatever you have to write will connect with at least one other person in this world. What you have to say and what you have to write matters to someone. Even if it's just yourself.

Reagan Fleming