What an incredible weekend! While everyone else was at the Taste of Country Music Festival in Hunter Mountain, NY, I was traveling to Gilford, New Hampshire. And for good reason:

Chad and Cold Blue Steel were opening for Trace Adkins!

And I HAD to be there! Wouldn't have missed it...even if Hugh Jackman was coming to town!

We left about 11 am and after making a few stops we arrived at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook around 3:30. We were the eager beavers...we were there first! The rest of Cold Blue Steel got there about a half hour later. Gary and Dani from Meadowbrook were working on the sound at the Magic Hat Stage and the band Blackberry Smoke was doing a sound check on the big stage.

I set up the merchandise table so Rita, Rick Turcotte's wife, Dawn, Paul Martin's wife, and Lisa Castonguay, Jason Brooker's girlfriend, would have an easy time getting ready to sell their swag. Amy, Jason Guimond's wife, and Jessica Seeley, his daughter and hung around with me. We were all so excited to see our men excited for their debut.

What was ESPECIALLY COOL was the bus. 60 fans of Cold Blue Steel took a bus down from Maine to see their favorite band and support them. Many of them were wearing their band t-shirts and winning prizes given out by Rita and Dawn with trivia questions.

At 5:30, the gates opened and they got the signal and off they went! They played nonstop for almost TWO hours and the fans stayed! They sang along, they danced and, best of all, the screams were deafening! People who had stopped by to listen to the great music stopped the guys for pics, t-shirts and coozies were sold and many asked about where they were from. They announced they were PROUDLY from Maine that erupted a HUGE cheer from the audience. Jeanie Cote of J Cote Photography was there to capture the memories and did a FABULOUS job!! You can check out her site and see the pictures she took of the show.

I cried. Yup, I sure did. I was so happy and proud of them. The best feeling in the world is seeing great things happen to great people.

Everyone went to the concert that started off with Blackberry Smoke, the Aaron Lewis and finally Trace Adkins. Then it was back to the Magic Hat Stage for an acoustic set by Cold Blue Steel.

Trace Adkins Photo by J Cote Photography

And the BEST news of all...they are INVITED BACK NEXT YEAR to open for another act!

Everyone made it home safely in the wee hours of the morning of Father's Day. It was a weekend none of us will forget.

The talent in Maine really is incredible. So many great bands and singers right under our noses. Please, take the time to go out and support them. Who knows where they might go? You can always say "I knew them when..."  Take a look at all the bands from the Tri-State area opening for the big acts. Start practicing...YOU could be next!!!

Photo from www.meadowbrook.net