BIG NIGHT AT OPRYLAND
The Big Night in Nashville has arrived! Excitement filled the air as brother-in-law Willie pulled into the parking lot of The Inn at Opryland on December 31, 2018. Anticipation of the sights and sounds we would experience filled the air, but more importantly, it filled our hearts. Christmas decorations smiled and waved at us, food smells touched our nostrils and hotel attendants greeted us with broad smiles. Not only would we “rang in the New Year” in Nashville, we engaged in the “countdown” at the Convention Center in one of the hottest shows there: Big Night in Nashville.”
Country Music: The Soul of Nashville
For those who may be in doubt, the heart and soul of country music begins and ends in Nashville. Having been a lover of country music since childhood, hearing stars like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn and Kris Kristofferson, I was all in. I also consider myself a connoisseur of country music—super good country music! The advertisements of Big Night Nashville showcasing a few musicians who would perform, was what got me there. My imagination soared with the idea that stars like Darius Rucker, Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkston or Scotty McCreery would be on the ticket!
Exploring the Convention Center
After dumping the luggage in waiting hotel rooms, we set-out to discover the world of Opryland on the hotel shuttle bus. Near the Center entrance, a “neat” little restaurant was discovered for a delightful breakfast! Afterwards, the helpful waitress pointed the best way to begin our tour. It led to a view of the magnificently decorated Grand Hotel, shops, eateries and a guided boat ride of the entire Center. Sister Shirley nudged us to take a walk to the Convention Center where Big Night Nashville would be held. As it turned out, that was great advice because it was easier for us newcomers to find it later that night—without Shirley and Willie.
The Big Night in Nashville Began
Arriving back at the hotel, we rested our aching feet. At 7 PM, we were ready for the Big Night at Nashville. A cab dropped us off at the Center entrance and we were well on our way. After checking in and handling personal registration, we took the escalator to the floor where our big night would begin. The first “wrinkle” in the night was the too early arrival. The entrance sign said, “The show begins at 9:00 pm, see you then!” The only choice was to wait until the doors opened. But…where would we sit? The long day was beginning to wear on the legs of “yours truly,” and standing for another hour was not a pleasant thought. Quick thinking from my companion, led to his entering a door to a room down the hall, requesting a chair… and my weary legs were rested!
Promptly, at 9:00 pm, the doors swung open and we entered Big Night Nashville! Since we had VIP tickets, we were guaranteed seating, dinner, drinks and the ability to party in all three entertainment rooms. A total of nine (9) professional musicians and DJs, dazzled guests with rap, rock-n-roll and country music from 9 to 2 pm. We were surprised at the variety of genres played at the event. Our vision was…only country music would be played. The food was excellent—hats off to the chef! At 11:59:55pm, the countdown began for the incoming year—2019!
NO BIG NAME STARS AT BIG NIGHT IN NASHVILLE
As I mentioned earlier, being a lover of country music, the greatest “let-down” was the entertainment. The big name musicians were not there! They were professionals, but not superstars, good, but not great, and for over TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS ($200.00) a ticket, I believe at least ONE (1) superstar should have been on the stage. So… here and now, let it be said to the planners of a future Big Night Nashville,” our attendance will be withheld unless you say in advance, a country music superstar will be performing!
LET IT BE COUNTRY AT BIG NIGHT IN NASHVILLE
Further…we went to Nashville because we wanted to immerse ourselves in country music…not rap and rock-n-roll. We could have visited Detroit to do that! However, having said that, if I were to rate my visit to Opryland Center, it would be a 10…my enjoyment at Big Night Nashville… 7!
Planners, please…work on it for Big Night in Nashville 2019!