Many years ago, when I was about 14 years old I remember riding in the minivan to soccer practice with my girls and singing along to Kenny Chesney’s “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy”. From that moment I fell in love with Kenny and have not missed one of his concerts in Washington. Since that time I’ve had many firsts with Mr. Chesney: first time learning to drive, first time falling in love, first time away from home, my first broken heart, and my first serious hangover!
Even as a teenager when my friends and I were blasting Shaggy, Smashmouth, Britney Spears, TLC, Puff Daddy, Blackstreet, and M.C Hammer through the speakers of the Toyota Corolla with the windows down – I always had a spot on the playlist for my beloved Kenny.
Kenny is not only an amazing artists, but he is also a phenomenal showman. His concerts are like a big party! I have enjoyed each and every one of them and look forward to every time he is in town. This year I was excited but also had another piece of a small emotion hanging over me. I’m not sure what it was, I wouldn’t call it nervousness, but I was conscious that this particular concert was going to be different than the others that I have been to. I would be in a wheelchair. People would look at me. I would have trouble holding my beer, getting through the crowd, and eating a snack. I knew I would have fun, I was going with great friends and I would not let anything spoil this day for me. However, it was another small step in moving forward with this new life.
We arrived a couple hours early and sat outside the KMPS tent and listened to some live music in the sunshine. My friend Dan, who I have done some volunteer work with, works at KJR and asked his buddy at KMPS to be on the lookout for us. So we met Pat who worked tirelessly to score 1 meet and greet pass for Kenny Chesney. To say I was excited is a complete understatement. I could not wrap my head around this! I have literally had dreams about meeting this man in a Walmart and wrapping my hands around him in the cereal aisle!
As we were waiting to go in we entered a few raffles and ended up scoring three meet and greet passes for Kasey Musgraves. It worked out perfectly because my three girlfriends would meet her and I would go see Kenny! Since their meet and greet was earlier than mine they headed into the stadium and I relaxed in the sunshine for a few more minutes before proceeding inside and meeting them at our seats. They said that this girl was so down to earth and a complete cutie pie! Not to mention the fact that she is completely talented!
Our seats were the perfect people watching seats. They were right on the railing of the 100 level looking down into the floor seating. There was a stairway heading up to the restrooms and food area right next to us so we got to see everyone who came up and down those stairs. Let me tell you that near the end of the night we saw many more people tripping and falling down those stairs rather than gracefully descending them as they did earlier in the afternoon. Kasey sang, then the Eli Young band sang, and then it was time for me to head down to the meet and greet area.
In line I met a sweet girl named Alex, who works at KMPS and she became my date 🙂 There were approximately 30 of us and we waited about 20 minutes on the 100 level waiting area, and then we all headed in to a press conference type room. There we waited another 20 minutes. Kenny came in wearing a black shirt, khaki pants, and a baseball hat and sat in front of a backdrop that was situated kitty corner. He was facing the corner so it gave us the illusion that our one on one was private. When he came in I was immediately engulfed by a feeling of elation and avidity! I was quite certain Kenny’s life was about to change forever.
I was near the end of the line and was getting increasingly nervous! I practiced what I would say in my head over and over and over again. There was another man in a wheelchair so when his turn came I sent Alex over to see where he put his wheelchair in relation to Kenny so that I would know where to go! The line seem to creep too slowly and too quickly at the same time.
When my turn came I wheeled up there and said in my most charming, yet sexy voice “Hi it’s nice to meet you, my name is J-J-Jessie”. He replied “Nice to meet you Jessie” and shook my hand. I peeled my eyes away from him long enough to face the camera and asked “Is this okay? I’m kind of new at driving this thing still—I want us to look good in our picture”. He laughed and said “Sure baby, that is great-you know we will!” It took everything in me at that point to act like a dignified person and not screech with delight that he called me baby. We took a picture and then I asked him if he would be willing to sign my ticket. He smiled and responded “sure babe!”. I grinned and squeaked out a thank you. As I left I wished him a great show and he replied “You enjoy the show, it was really nice to meet you”.
As I rolled out of the room I could not contain my shriek anymore and had to let it out! So amazing! A very short, but very magical moment for me.
The rest of the concert was incredible. He is such a performer, and he clearly loves being in Seattle! At one point Russell Wilson came out on stage and the crowd erupted in cheers! Century Link ended up running out of food, beer, and womens restroom facilities. Despite that, I am pretty sure that everyone in there had one hell of a night.
I have to think that my mom had some small part in this. The weather could not have been better. All four of us ended up getting some type of meet and greet pass. And during a song about rain a light mist trickled down and kissed our heads for just a moment.
Also, for the record, even in a wheelchair I was still able to score a free beer 🙂