Tag Archives: Edwin McCain

Another Night in Old Nashville

7 Jul

Recent TMZ headlines have brought to mind a night from many years back that I spent with some friends. We were crazy about concerts and would always find a way to see our favorite people. Nashville had venues for the popular performers, but there were plenty of smaller places for those on the rise. One of those was called 328 Performance Hall.Performance Hall

It is not around anymore. In fact, I drove past it on the way back from our anniversary celebration and wondered what was going on in its space. Way back when, it was a slightly sketchy part of town with a strip club across the street. These days, new development is moving in, and the old buildings are probably not long for the world.

The interior was a stage in an old warehouse. There could have been a few seats, but I never found them. The deal was to get there early and find a standing spot in front of the stage.

That is exactly what we did to see Edwin McCain, a performer with a cult following who always seemed to be on the cusp of stardom. However, he never made it over the top to the big time. Edwin was one of the numerous examples of a great talent who fell short of great fame.

The place was packed. We were up against the stage. I have no recollection of the show put on by Edwin McCain. It has nothing to do with libations. It is purely one of those things that has slipped from my mind. However, I have not forgotten everything about that night.

First, my buddy got visibly uneasy when one of the women in our group felt the need to feel him up from behind. For most of my buddies that would have been an awesome experience. The problem for this friend is that his wife was standing in front of him.

Then, there was the opening act. This young girl came out with a big smile and a guitar. She sat on a stool directly in front of us and started to sing. There was no band. There was just her, the guitar and her high voice. She sang mostly slow songs about love and heartbreak and would have been perfect in a coffeehouse. Unfortunately, we were not in a coffeehouse and wanted something more rocking. She sang a few fast songs that made her, well, jiggle, and I can remember that being a highlight.

The bottom line is that she had some good songs, but there was nothing that compared to the Edwin McCain stuff.

Fast forward to a month later. I am flipping through the radio when a familiar voice singing a familiar song comes through the speakers. It takes a second, but I realized it was the girl from 328 Performance Hall. We had seen her live, and, suddenly, she was the biggest thing around. The radio and the listeners could not get enough of Jewel.Jewel

Jewel had several hits in a short amount of time, then she married a rodeo star. Now, TMZ says they are getting divorced. I wonder if she will start touring again. I also wonder whatever happened to Edwin McCain.


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.