Determined to see Sara Evans the way most of HullabaLou's attendendees did, I climbed the three (or was it four?) levels to the general admission section in the stands. I found a spot pretty much dead center and was surprised that the view wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. She played the HullabaLou stage at 5:45 on Saturday. I've seen her videos on CMT and heard some of her music before, but I can't say that I own, or listen regularly, to any amount of country music. Still, I was unprepared for how great she sounds live, which, to me, is always an indicator of how good an artist is. Playing live is the litmus test by which I judge most of the musicians that I listen to and enjoy most, especially in a day when over-produced, and sometimes less talented acts are flooding our air ways.
Anyway, she sounded great. One thing I enjoyed was feeling the vibe of all of her fans and the zest with which they sang along with her. Being up in general admission brought a feeling of actually being at a sold out show and made me forget about the heat and all the walking I had yet ahead of me. She sang "Stronger" and "Suds in the Bucket", both of which I was gladly familiar with-it's always more fun to sing along-as well as a cover of "I Want You to Want Me". At the end, she tied everything up nicely with "As If" and "I Could Not Ask For More". I'm never going to be one of those cowboy boot/hat wearing chicks or someone who attends country music concerts, but I definitely enjoyed Sara's set and will continue to listen to her music. She's one talented lady.
Photo courtesy of Tarsha Stith