Warning: long post, but worth it.
Now, let's talk about my brother for a second. He is about as perfect as they come, and I'm not saying that because we are blood. He is humble, funny, super smart (hello salutatorian and 4.0 in college!), athletic, caring, giving, and he entertains all my silly ideas because, well, blood.
Last week I discovered Sam Hunt. If you've been living under a rock like me then maybe you've never heard of him, too. I've heard his songs and can sing all the words, but I'm the worst at knowing who sings what...unless it's Taylor Swift because she is Taylor, duh. Anyways, in my spare time (which happens to be everyday from June 5th to August 13th) I ran across Sam Hunt's tour dates and realized he is touring with Hunter Hayes and Lady Antebellum, both whom I love! I then saw they were going to be in Austin Thursday, July 16th and I got an idea.
Here comes the part where my brother entertains all my ideas.
Really living on the edge, I called my brother and asked if he'd be interested in going to the concert with me. He is a fan of all the bands playing, so he was on board. We saw Lady A about five years ago together, so we thought it would be fun to see them together again! I looked up tickets while on the phone with him and we discovered that there were still pit tickets left.
That's when I got the genius idea to try and be in the front row! Sam (my brother) laughed and obliged to my crazy idea. I think my texts to him later included the hashtag #yolo more times than I'd like to count. We booked the tickets and were ready to check an item off our bucket list: be front row at a concert.
Wednesday night my Dad was staying at our house and, to my sweet surprise, when he showed up, my brother was with him. Sam is in college, so he came rode up with my Dad, so he could ride with me down to Austin the next day.
We left Dallas Thursday morning and got to Austin around lunch. We went downtown to pickup tickets I had won to the concert (yes, I bought tickets, then won some!) and then ate on South Congress before making our way out to the amphitheater.
Important part of the story here: we were there three hours before the gates opened.
Since we had talked the whole way down how buying pit tickets isn't worth it unless you're in the front, we were bound and determined to be front row.
We pull up and saw a couple girls in line at the will-call booth. I hop out and go stand in line. At this time it is about 3:30pm and the gates open at 6:00pm. There are already fan girls lined up at the gate dying to be first in the amphitheater.
Around 4:00pm the will-call booth opens, I get our tickets, Sam goes and parks the car, and we get in line to get in the concert.
We are surrounded by SUPER FANS. Like some of these girls had gone on this scavenger hunt to find meet and greet passes to see Hunter Hayes, some of these girls had followed the band around on their last four tour stops, and some of these girls had shirts on that said, "Future Mrs. Hunt." I should also add I was the oldest one there, and I'm not even old.
We are standing in the front of one of the four lines for about an hour and fifty minutes total. As we are standing there we overhear all the fan girls talking about how they are going to run a certain direction when they get through the gates. I then ask the guy who looked in charge if we can get to the pit by going left or right and he said, "Yes you can, but you better run!"
Sam and I looked at each other: RUN?!?!?!?!
If you know my brother, you can only imagine his laugh at the thought of this. Our conversation after we heard the fan girls went a little something like this:
Sam: "Sarah, we are not running..."
Sarah: "SAM WE ARE RUNNING BECAUSE I DIDN'T STAND IN LINE FOR TWO HOURS TO NOT BE IN THE FRONT ROW."
Sam: "Hahah, okay, okay!"
Sarah: "Plus, you're the only guy here and can beat everyone, so you better save us a spot."
Sam: "Sarah, look around, YOU can beat everyone here."
Sarah: "True. Good thing I've been running at the gym lately."
So, as we are standing in the 100 degree weather, talking about the direction we are going to run, Sam keeps double checking that "we are for-real running?!" YES.
It is around 5:50pm and we can see all the concert workers getting in their places and I can sense that at any moment the guy would announce the gates would open and I'd be in a race with girls ten years younger than me for the front spot at a concert I don't really about (at least don't care THAT much about being in the front). But, the decision was made. FRONT ROW.
"GATES ARE OPEN!"
It was like the gun went off at a track meet. I barreled around a couple of ladies and took off in a dead sprint for about 400 yards until I reached the pit. I looked back and Sam had stopped, but there was no way I was not winning this race. Now we are at a race instead of a concert because I'm not competitive or anything.
I look around and I am SO FAR ahead of everyone all I can think is, "I've still got it! I'm not old yet!! The college athlete in me is not dead!"
I make it to the pit and I'm the first one. FIRST ONE. Sam comes a couple minutes later and says he cramped up (excuses). We had the choice to stand anywhere, so we picked our spot, bought some water, and waited for the teeny-boppers to flood in with sweat pouring down their face and their eyes filled with lust for the bands. It was hilarious.
We were standing by some girls who were infatuated with Hunter Hayes. I'm talking in LOVE with him. Sam and I were the oldest in the area and got a kick out of girls literally crying when they saw Hunter. CRYING! It was amazing.
I got a pick from Hunter Hayes and gave it to the girl next to me and she started crying. Once again, CRYING. And, once again, it was amazing.
At the end of the concert Sam and I decided it was a night we would never forget. It was totally worth the waiting in the heat, the fending off of fan girls, and the dead sprint that I am still so proud of because just when I was thinking my prime was long gone, I feel like it's back...and for a former athlete, that made the whole concert worth it. Ha!
Will I ever stand in the pit again at a concert? No, probably not. But, it was the perfect concert to do it at. No drunk crazies (because everyone was 15), it wasn't sardine box crowded, and of course seeing the three bands up close and personal makes the experience totally different than seeing the stage from afar.
I got to touch Sam Hunt's hand, Hunter Hayes' hand, and Charles and Dave of Lady Antebellum's hand. Sam and I got on the big screen several times and Charles Kelley of Lady A took a selfie with us. So, although I didn't shed tears of joy like some of the girls around me, it was still one of the best experiences I've ever had and I'm so happy I got to do it with my brother!
|The girl I gave the pick to!|
|Charles Kelley sat right in front of me!! Then he took a selfie with us!|
|My hand is the one in front...|