“What’s your favorite music genre?,” is one of the most commonly asked questions when getting to know someone. It’s not typically one of those types of questions that can make or break a friendship, but to some it just might be. For plenty of people, country is the cringeworthy genre of the music industry because they believe it is defined by its guitar strummin’, ‘Merica lovin’, dirt road cover, when it is much more than that. It’s an inclusive, heartfelt, wild genre for kids and adults of all ages. Just like every other music genre, country songs are written about heartbreak, spending time with friends, falling in love, hardships, and family. There are songs for when you’re feeling happy, sad, angry, hurt, blissful, and every other emotion in between, and each one you feel can be matched with a song or even an artist within the genre. Country has been my go-to for those blissful moments in life. Listening to it is like the feeling you get when you’re in a jeep cruising down the highway on your way to the beach with your friends singing throwback tunes the whole ride; or that first day on vacation feeling when you realize you finally get the chance to relax. It may not give you that same impression, it certainly didn’t for most of my friends the first time around but now I have texts from most of them asking to attend upcoming country concerts all the time.
Not only are the concerts fun as hell, but who doesn’t love a good tailgate before the show? Each and every concert played at a stadium, amphitheater, or arena, guaranteed has one with EVERY attendee grilling, listening to music, and drinking like it’s the last chance they’ll ever have. Didn’t bring a grill or literally anything at all? No need to fret, look for the hardcore tailgaters that bring not only a grille and food but a huge tent. Those guys will welcome you with open arms because they for sure know that they have overestimated how much food they would eat… yet again. And the best part? Kids love these concerts too, especially those sitting front row on the floor. They’re bound to have an unforgettable interaction with the artist. The inclusivity and neighborliness at these shows are unlike any other. One minute everyone’s a stranger and the next you’re sharing a beer with Cheryl and Tim, the owners of the parked truck next to you. Everyone is there to have a good time and it most certainly always is a good time.
It may seem that I am trying to convince you to become the next biggest country music lover, I promise I am not. However, if you are one now, then great, welcome to the family! If not, my goal is to make you want to give country music a chance before deciding that it makes your ears bleed. My challenge for you is to give it a shot. Start by listening to more than just five seconds of a song and if you really don’t like it by midway through, try another song. If you like it, then try checking out the artist’s album. Or if you’re someone who likes hearing music live for the first time instead of on your phone, head to a dive bar, and if you really want to get a good feel for the genre, attend a concert! Some people listen to an artist because they dig their personality and style, or because they can relate to their emotions. Others listen to certain genres for the vibe they give off and the energy that kind of crowd has. Whatever your reasoning may be, I encourage you to expand your horizons and be open to listening to country music, and maybe don’t stop there; listen to all sorts of other genres you aren’t a fan of because you may be missing out.
Post and photo by Sam Kerrigan (Instagram l Website)
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