I have been listening to the music of Rascal Flatts since the band released their first album in 2000. That was 10 years ago, back when I was a senior in high school. How old do I feel saying that? The chart-topping, award winning country music band is celebrating their 10th year, and I finally made it to one of their concerts. It seems like every time they were in town, I couldn't go for one reason or another. When I heard they were coming to the New York State Fair, I decided that this was the year, no matter what was going on, I was going to be at that show!
I asked my honey if he would be my date, even though he isn't as big a fan of their music as I am. So we made the drive to Syracuse, NY, home of the oldest fair in America, in its 167th year.
The concert wasn't until 7:30pm, so we spent the afternoon walking around the acres of rides, food vendors, animal exhibits, and battling the crowds. Dark clouds loomed over the entire day, but the downpour that was expected didn't make an appearance. So thankful for that!
We only went on the ferris wheel. At $4 per person, we figured it would give us the opportunity to take some cool overview photos. How can people afford to take their whole family to the fair with those prices?
There was so much to see.
It was a sea of tents, RV's and cars. The grandstand and stage in the distance, where the concert would take place.
Now for some animals. Row after row of bunnies. One cuter than the next. It's sad to see them caged. I can't imagine that they enjoy being stared at and poked at by spectators for 12 days. Hopefully it resulted in many good homes for them.
There were unique birds. Pigeons, doves, chickens, swans, ducks, roosters.
Big pigs, baby pigs...
and fast pigs. We made sure to watch the pig race. They were so cute!
A horse of course.
Even a giraffe. It seemed quite unnatural that a towering giraffe would be kept under a circus tent, but it was cool to see one. He or she seemed to enjoy eating out of people's hands.
There were a few alpaca. Funny creatures they are. Their fur makes crazy warm socks!
The goats are one of my favorite animals to see.
I also like the sheep.
It must have been hair cutting season, because so many sheep were getting sheared. A lot of them had "coats" or blankets on.
This group cracked me up - they look like gymnast lambs, in their spandex leotards!
Row after row of cows. Very large cows.
There was an amazing sand sculpture in one of the other buildings. This one is for you Beatles fans (Kristy).
I couldn't go to the fair without getting some funnel cake. It was delicious. Isn't everything that's deep fried delicious?
Funny story about my funnel cake experience. They had a table with different powdered sugar and cinnamon shakers, so you can put on as much as you like. Well, I was having trouble getting the powdered sugar to come out. And there were some very high winds. Unbeknown to me, as I was rigorously shaking the powdered sugar, which was missing my funnel cake, it was going all over the back of a little boy. My husband saw the whole thing and was laughing and pretending not to know me. I had no idea! Poor kid. As you can see, I got some on myself as well. Powdered sugar + high winds = total mess.
I dusted myself off, and it was finally time to head to the concert!
Chris Young opened the show and sang a few songs, including his hit "The Man I Want to Be."
Then Kellie Picker performed a number of her songs including "Red High Heels." She is just the cutest and sweetest girl! I'm glad she made it big after her start on American Idol.
Finally, it was time for Rascal Flatts! I could not wait to hear them sing live.
They definitely had great lighting effects and visual elements. The one thing I could have done without though, were the 2-story high dancing silhouettes during a couple songs. Really? I got some good shots with my digital elph, but unfortunately the big camera was not allowed into the show.
The moon backdrop was for "Praying for Daylight."
Great typography for "Mayberry."
This cross was shown at the end of "What Hurts the Most." In the middle of the show, Gary, Jay and Joe Don talked about their beginning in church singing gospel music. Prior to the start of the show, they spoke briefly about their faith during a video interview. On stage they played "Oh, the Blood of Jesus," which I thought was really awesome. They later joked, "You can take the boy out of the Pentecostal, but you can't take the Pentecostal out of the boy." Each time I buy one of their albums, I always read their credits, because they give thanks and praise to Jesus Christ for their ability to do what they do.
They sang favorites like, "Life is a Highway," "Here's to You, and "Summer Nights."
The National Anthem was played on the guitar.
Rascal Flatts played a lot of songs, a little from every album, as promised. When you have as many hits and beloved songs as they do, it must be a challenge to pick which ones make it into the set. They played a couple of my favorites. I wish they had played some others, and I was surprised by a few of their picks. I guess I'll just have to go to another one of their shows! I am definitely looking forward to their new album, coming out November 16th, 2010.
It was such a fun and memorable day, that I had been looking forward to for so long! I'm glad I got to share it with my sweetie, who lets me eat funnel cake, see the animals and ride the ferris wheel. Just like a kid!