As I’ve said before, growing up in Elk City, America I was surrounded by the cowboy culture. Even though I’ve never considered myself to be as “country western” as a lot of my friends, or even my sister, I’ve always enjoyed the music I grew up listening to. This weekend, I had the privilege of attending the concert of country music legend Alan Jackson. Though this was my first time seeing him perform, there were a lot of similarities between his show and many others I’ve seen. Here are 8 things you experience at every Oklahoma country music concert.
These are your blue collar boys, who are typically trading their FRs and ball caps for starched jeans and pearl snap shirts tucked into their britches, with the intent to have a good old fashioned honky tonk evening with their lady friends. Their style of clothing hasn’t changed much over the last 30 years, though their back pocket more likely has a vape indention than a Skoal ring.
These guys are usually city folk who look just like the cowboys described above. However, these “cowboys” are able to be distinguished because they A). Don’t remove their hats from their heads during the songs about America and B). They don’t gripe about paying $9 for a plastic cup of Bud Light.
I think we are all familiar with the saying, “the higher the hair, the closer to God.” You may think this is because teased hair makes you taller, and thus closer to heaven. But the reality is that much hairspray makes female country music fans one stray cigarette ash away from meeting their maker.
Having been married to a metalhead drummer for the last 5 years, the concerts I attend generally smell like sweat, weed, and smoke machines. But one of the reasons I love classic country music shows is that they typically have the faint odor of Wintergreen Copenhagen, whiskey, and leather. This is not to be confused with the scent of new age “country” music concerts, which typically smell like Bud Light, vomit, and Axe Body Spray.
With song lyrics such as, “Working hard to get to heaven,” or “Now I know Jesus and I talk to God,” and the tendency for 95% of all country music fans to wear a rhinestone cross somewhere on their person, all you’d have to do is switch out the plastic cups of Bud Light draft with a chalice or two of communal wine, and you could basically dub any country music concert a church service.
You don’t see a lot of pyrotechnics or lasers in country music shows. That’s because the stage light alone bouncing off the rhinestones on the ass pocket of the Rock Revival jeans filling the venue is enough to make Alice Cooper embarrassed by his showmanship.
I’ve been poking fun at the “cowboy culture” of Oklahoma for about the last 15 years of my life. However, not even I can deny the poise of those couples down in the general admission pit two-stepping and twirling each other around the dance floor without missing a beat. It makes me wish I would’ve spent more time doing some learning at the Tumbleweed in college rather than the classroom.
For every couple gracefully maneuvering through the cowboy tango, there are about a dozen or so white women swaying back and forth while clapping at a pace about half a second quicker than the actual beat of the song.
Hayley was “dancing” all night. Follow her on twitter @squirrellygeek