Hey, Nashville! Be a Real Music City and Build an Amphitheater

17 May

Last night, we went to a concert. That seems to be a theme for us since I am a concert addict. This one had three awesome act – The Devil Makes Three, Alison Krauss and Willie Nelson. Before the show, I had planned on a post about the show and the crowd. Instead, this post is about the venue.

It is called the Woods Amphitheater and has a semi-appropriate name. The woods part is accurate. Basically, they went into the middle of the woods and put up a stage. As far as I could see, that was the only major structure around.

While calling it an amphitheater is technically correct, it is a stretch of the definition. The reserved seats were folding chairs. There were a few concession stands. There were no permanent restroom facilities. My wife refused to drink anything in the fear that she might have to use the portable ones.

After spending too much time in a concession line, I said that I would not come back if Elvis rose from the dead for one last show. And, I am a huge Elvis fan.

In short, I was disappointed with the setup. A stage with folding chairs is advertised as a major concert venue. Look, the owners are not worried about what I think. The concert was sold out, and I am sure they are making plenty of money. However, the city of Nashville should be worried. It bills itself as Music City, but it does not have a real outdoor amphitheater where people can enjoy major acts in the outdoors. There is no excuse.

On top of that, we used to have a great once called Starwood.Starwood

Last night, I started thinking about Starwood and how cool it was. You could buy reserved seats under a cover. They were actually bolted to the floor. If you wanted to bring a blanket and sit on the grass hill behind the seats, then you could do that, too. The best place to sit depended on who was performing.

Starwood was the place where I got kicked out of a Metallica concert. Actually, my buddy got kicked out, and I had to go with him.

Starwood was the place where Robert and I walked into the middle of a knife fight at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.

Starwood was the place where I saw The Eagles on their first reunion tour. They opened up by playing the entire Hotel California album.

A lot of people have some great memories of what happened on the stage and in the crowd at Starwood.

As I sat in the wannabe amphitheater, I tried to think of the people I saw perform at the real amphitheater. This is not a complete list, but some of the concerts are hazy.

The aforementioned Metallica, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Eagles in addition to:

KISS. Judas Priest. Hootie and the Blowfish. Edwin McCain. ZZ Top. Rod Stewart. Chicago. Elton John. Ted Nugent. Crosby, Stills and Nash. Motley Crue. John Fogerty. Rob Zombie. Velvet Revolver. Ozzie Osbourne. Alan Jackson. John Mellencamp. Jimmy Buffett. Def Leppard. Marshall Tucker Band. Meatloaf. Dave Matthews Band. Blues Traveler. Earth, Wind and Fire.

I have no idea how many more there are, but it is a bunch.

Starwood was not one of the all-time great concert locations, but it was better than what we have now. Nashville is a great place to listen to all kinds of live music. It has the Ryman Auditorium, which is legendary. It has an arena and a stadium for the huge shows. There are small places, like the Bluebird Cafe, scattered around town where great musicians perform every night. Heck, Dave Grohl did a surprise show there this week.

However, Nashville’s music scene will not be complete until it gets a real amphitheater.


13 Responses to “Hey, Nashville! Be a Real Music City and Build an Amphitheater”

  1. El Guapo May 17, 2014 at 19:18 #

    I’m surprised they don’t have a large venue.
    I’ve gotten to an age where I much prefer the smaller rooms to places like Madison Square Garden and Nassau Coliseum.
    Plus smaller rooms usually have cheaper tickets.

    • Rick May 17, 2014 at 19:27 #

      Nashville has large venues and small venues but nothing in the middle. I’m getting to where I like the small ones, too. As I get older, I like big crowds less and less.

  2. jcalberta May 19, 2014 at 14:21 #

    I once saw a Procol Harum concert in the basement of a convention facility with concrete columns and ans a 10 foot celling. I believe Cream (Clapton) had also played their previously. Welcome to Calgary.

    • Rick May 19, 2014 at 20:33 #

      Man, I have always wanted to see Procol Harem.

  3. DyingNote May 22, 2014 at 12:36 #

    Why would they take down a place like Starwood as you describe it?

    • Rick May 22, 2014 at 13:03 #

      It was probably showing its age and needing some upgrades. The owners thought it would be more economical to sell the land than spend money on improvements. Someone tried to turn it into a housing development, but it didn’t work.

      • DyingNote May 22, 2014 at 13:05 #

        I’ve often wondered about our notion of ‘development’ and it has left me feeling disappointed.

      • Rick May 22, 2014 at 13:06 #

        It has to be done, but it should be done carefully.

      • DyingNote May 22, 2014 at 13:10 #

        Yes, but that lack of care is what is disturbing. I’ve spent some time in the US and it’s not as rampant as it’s in places like India. Anyway, enough talk of dejection. I’m popping in a Lynrd Skynrd CD to start the evening 🙂

      • Rick May 22, 2014 at 13:26 #

        Great selection. A band named after their high school gym teacher.


  1. Letting My Fingers Do the Typing | Surrounded By Imbeciles - May 20, 2014

    […] the way, do you want to know how powerful blogging can be? In my last post, I complained about Nashville not having a proper amphitheater. The Tennessean just unveiled a […]

  2. The Great Month of May | Surrounded By Imbeciles - May 31, 2014

    […] Hey, Nashville! Be a Real Music City and Build an Amphitheater […]

  3. The Eagles Flew in from the West Coast | SBI: A Thinning Crowd - February 22, 2016

    […] got second row tickets to see them at Starwood Amphitheater and could not wait for the show. I would finally see the Eagles. Then, disaster struck. They […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: