My first thought was, I've never seen this many born again folks skipping Wednesday night church together.
I've been in Nashville for a couple days, and I'm kicking back in my hotel room now. The three-hour extravaganza known as the 38th annual Gospel Music Association's Dove Awards was held at the Grand Ole Opry House last night.
Another big night for Chris Tomlin. Aaron Shust stepped up to the platform several times to receive awards as well. A full list of winners is here.
Highlights: Prior to this event, I'd never seen MercyMe live except at an "unplugged" KSBJ Brown Bag show. They we're good there, but they sounded incredible last night. You can't go wrong with TobyMac and Kirk Franklin performing together. Stellar Kart, Aaron Shust. And Chris Tomlin and Christy Nockels leading worship together? Awesome.
A couple of the bands that I would have really liked to see live, Leeland and Family Force Five, were shown on screens via video hookup from another Nashville live music venue. At first I couldn't tell if we were actually watching live footage or if it was taped, but it was a nice touch.
Natalie Grant, Brian Littrell and Donnie McClurkin were great as hosts. The presenters were excellent, too. The unfortunate thing is that the televised version isn't going to be quite as entertaining as the live version, because some of the absolute funniest parts of the show turned out to be mistakes and behind-the-scenes stuff. Donnie McClurkin stumbled through part of an introduction, and there was a portion with Dino and two other presenters that was hysterical.
"Top of copy."
I guess the message there is you need to see the show live.
I wasn't sure how rare it was for someone to come in from out of state for the Doves. This was my second year to do so. After chatting with some people seated near me, I discovered they had come in from Pennsylvania -- and this was their eighth year to visit Nashville for the event.
Larry the cucumber and his tomato friend were something else. I'm afraid I need to come clean about some thoughts I had last night. Do you remember when the video was playing and Bob and Larry were being led out by flashlight across the dark stage?
Stagehands were working so hard to keep that cucumber standing upright, and to get him up on the platform. I kept thinking how funny it would be if the cucumber fell over. I know it's just wrong to want the cucumber to fall down, but that thing would have required four people to pick it up.
I'm sorry, Lord, but you know that would have been entertaining, too.
And I realize she was hosting, but Natalie Grant should have sang. Great show!!
I got out of the Grand Ole Opry House, came back to my hotel and found a total blackout. I heard conflicting reports as to what had happened (it had been raining), but my hotel and several square miles around it was completely in the dark. The lights didn't come back on until after midnight.
So, it's not quite time to leave Nashville yet. I've got to figure out what to do this evening. I imagine it would only be proper for me to find a place to watch the Rockets playoff game. There must be a place in this big bad city that is airing the game.
I got a real treat the other night when I had some "authentic" Tennessee Mexican food. I'm serious. A guy at the gas station suggested I check out this Mexican food place. At first I was apprehensive because I eat more than enough Mexican food in Texas, but when I drove by the restaurant and read the sign that said "authentic," well, I just had to check this out. I have to be honest and say it wasn't too bad. The guy at the counter even called me "amigo." I walked out thinking, "Man, I'm an amigo of God."
I went downtown the other evening. Nashville has a beautiful skyline at night.
You can drive just 15 or 20 minutes from downtown and find yourself practically in the country. Big hills and lots and lots of trees. It's very pretty here.
I'll be back in Houston tomorrow in time for the Astros game at Minute Maid Park.