Off the Beaten Path
Join me on an adventure. Where will we go today?
Until the show aired, we, the audience, were sworn to secrecy. Only a handful of people knew that after work and meetings on January 24th, my friend and I hustled up to Franklin, Tennessee, in the late afternoon.
It started with a short notice on the For King & Country Facebook page, which generated an email from Cathy. She got a response requesting that she apply for a slot in the audience for Country Music Television’s series Crossroads, taping with For King & Country with Jimmie Allen. She forwarded it to me, and I applied as well. We waited until the 23rd. She received a response that evening, and she was in the audience! I waited. Waited. Waited. After lunch, I received a ticket to attend, so we were good to go. I couldn’t leave my meeting fast enough to hit the road!
Instructions included no oversized bags, no food, just water, and no flashy, standout prints or sequined. We arrived around 6:00 pm CST to check in and snagged one of the last available parking spots at The Factory in Franklin, Tennessee. The place sprouted trendy shops and restaurants. Many had steampunk and industrial decor and were closed, saving me untold money. The line was long, but the crowd was boisterous and friendly. Security checked all bags then a person came through to discuss vaccination status, covid exposure. Another followed carefully, checking names against the list. Another placed bands on our wrists, allowing entry. The noise level rose as each person made their way down the line of a couple of hundred people.
We entered the facility to cool red lights and fog that diffracted the lights. The crowd was arranged several times by a stage manager. We started on the second level overlooking the stage but eventually moved to the back of the crowd. Everyone was friendly, joking, and complimenting each other on their western attire. Well, not me, as I was just in a solid shirt and jeans. If this happens again, at least I will spring for a fringed shirt.
The music was fantastic. The harmonies were smooth, and the musicians were top-notch. Several musicians played multiple instruments throughout the night, and even the singers played percussion during the show. Jimmie Allen is like an energizer bunny bouncing all over the stage for the two hours that night. For King & Country also bounced and danced around the stage, and the audience with them, waving hands, jumping up and down, and clapping along to the beat. We all sang along and screamed encouragement between the songs. I lost my voice for a couple of days afterward.
The songs performed were from Jimmie Allen: Best Shot, Down Home, and Freedom was a highway. From For King & Country, songs were God only Knows, Joy, and What are we waiting for. The audience was more familiar with the second set of songs, and What are we waiting for chorus rang through the rafters.
Most of the audience were experienced Crossroad attendees and followed cues. We just went with the crowd as it was our first time. It was a lifetime experience. I am thrilled we drove up there on such short notice to experience this adventure.
You can see Crossroads on any service that carries CMT. I watched it on Direct TV. You can see the back of our heads in a few shots. Since we were taller than several of the young ladies as well as later to arrive, we were in the back of the audience. It was a great view! It felt like we were all in the pit in front of the stage. Afterward, several of the performers mingled with the audience. It was a late night getting home, about 2:00 am EST for me, and worth every second of lost sleep.