My mom was the biggest fan of country singer Vince Gill in the early 90's.
When she heard he was going to be performing at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, she had to go. She asked me if I would like to come along (her treat). I had never been to a concert before and liked him as well, so I readily agreed. Opening for him was going to be Pam Tillis. So one afternoon in May, mom picked me up and we headed out to Rochester. Once in town, we stopped at one of my all-time favorite restaurants, Wendy's. We talked a bit. I was looking forward to summer break from Winona State. I was still working at Sammy's Pizza at this time and had made some new friends. My mom had left her husband and moved into her own apartment with the girls a few months before.
After supper, we headed down Broadway to the state-of-the-art civic center. I remember one of the songs playing as we got close to the center was Clint Black and Wynonna's, "A Bad Goodbye". We disembarked and headed in. There were a lot of people and you could tell they were real country fans. A radio station was playing music outside. We found our seats (they weren't the greatest, but who was I to complain?) Out came Pam wearing a groovy hat. She sang her hit song, "Cleopatra Queen of Denial" as well as other goodies like "Don't Tell Me What To Do" and "Let That Pony Run".
After her set, there was a short break. Then it was time to hear the picker from Oklahoma. He came out and the crowd turned it up for him. One of the songs he played was "When I Call Your Name", a special song to me because my grandma who loved it, had just passed on a few months prior. He played "Oklahoma Swing", but tweaked it for the crowd to "Minnesota Swing". There were a lot of people who left their seats and were standing just off to the side of the stage so as to get a closer look at the sexy boy. Before the show was over, he had also played "I Still Believe In You", "One More Last Chance", and "Never Knew Lonely". I gotta tell ya that pedal steel player sure knew what he was doin'. He played it real pretty. Great show, overall.
Afterward, we headed back to little Winona to begin the summer of '93. I went to several other country shows over the next few years. I saw Vince again in '95 at the LaCrosse Center and once more for his Christmas show in '98 at the Target Center in Minneapolis. I had just got my Saint Bernard, Brandy, a few weeks before.
In the mid 90's, I saw Reba, Tracy Byrd, and Rhett Akins in LaCrosse as well as Trisha Yearwood and Collin Raye in Rochester.
In 1998, just a few weeks after going to Disney World, I went to see the Big Kahuna of country music. But I'm gonna have to save that story for another time.