Side note: I still prefer to own CDs and then import at a high bit-rate for iTunes. Also, I still use my CD players for classical and jazz and there is a noticeable difference.
I did well, all things considered, and we did remain through the entire concert. When I was an undergraduate, many years ago, I went to several concerts and regularly went to Los Angeles clubs to listen to music. Because I like jazz and "American standards" (think Sinatra), the places I like most are nothing like country bars.
My ears are still ringing, slightly and my legs are sore. But, I did okay. In fact, I think I did better with the music volume than my wife. The worst thing was the mix of perfumes and colognes. I still can't get some of the strong scents out of my mind. Two women were especially drenched in perfume. Only smokers would have been more annoying. Please, people, you don't need to bathe in perfumes. It gives me, and many others, a horrible headache.
I will admit, today's trip to a mall was difficult because I'm still not relaxed from last night. I really didn't like being in the mall at all. I just wanted to get home as soon as possible. I generally do okay in the larger malls, but today it was crowded and noisy, which was too much after the concert experience.
I would rather have remained home all weekend after the concert, to decompress.
How did I manage to attend a concert in a bar? There were some careful choices made to help with the adventure.
- I slept in and did little during the day that could cause any stress. I knew concerts like this, as opposed to jazz or classical music, are loud events. It is a country bar, not a martini lounge.
- I didn't take my iPod Touch or anything valuable that could be lost or damaged. I also selected old cloth gloves with split seams instead of my favorite leather gloves. This turned out to be wise, because my gloves were lost in the coat-check room. I put them in a shallow pocket by mistake, but did secure everything else properly. (The problem with gloves, scarves, jackets, and sweaters is that you have to remove layers once inside. Everyone seems to lose something during the winter.)
- We arrived several hours before the concert began, which was at Toby Keith's Bar & Grill. This gave us time to learn the layout and adjust to the crowd and noise.
- We had dinner there, and it was good. I like simple, traditional food and it was good. Eating can be relaxing, at least for me.
- We found a position at the back of the dance floor, also a good distance away from the bar. This meant that we had open space around us for much of the concert. Only a few times did anyone bump into us, usually on his or her way to the restrooms.
- We allowed the crowd to rush out, before we did.
Overall, it was a good experience. I don't think we'll do that again anytime soon, but I enjoyed seeing a talented actor/singer in person. If I were to attend another concert, I'd rather it be acoustic.
I have to add that the crowd was great. The people were polite (I was called "sir" several times) and not the slightest bit "rowdy" considering the venue.
Though I need a few days away from people now, it was actually less stressful than public transit.