It finally happened. I met Brett Eldredge.
The Bring You Back Tour kicked off on Thursday, October 3 at Brick Street Bar in Oxford, Ohio. As I’ve mentioned before, I bought tickets to the show last month along with VIP packages that would get me backstage to meet Brett.
In order to get the timing right, I came home from school on Wednesday afternoon. I picked up a friend from Ball State around three o’clock on Thursday, and we arrived in Oxford just before five. That gave us an hour to kill before we had to be at the bar for VIP entrance. It was one of the longest hours I’ve had in a while.
Finally, a band rep came and got us. He distributed our laminates and gave us a rundown of how this was going to work, and then we were left to wait for Brett to arrive. There were only thirteen of us there, all in pairs or small groups. We chatted excitedly with two girls who went to school at Miami until the door opened and there he was.
Brett Eldredge, in the flesh, was walking his tall, goofy self right over to us. After a few brief introductions and a couple of jokes, he sat down ready to play a song for us.
Much to my surprise and very much to my pleasure, he chose to play Mean to Me. It’s one of my favorite songs on the record, and if you haven’t heard it, I’d definitely recommend it as a way to start your own Brett addiction. Anyway, he played it while we along sang along and took videos on our phones. He sounded phenomenal. Actually, phenomenal is an understatement.
Next, they lined us up to meet him individually. I was a little more than halfway back in the line, starting to panic because none of the clever things I’d thought of saying to him were coming to mind. As we got closer and closer, I realized that I was just gonna have to wing it. I figured as long as I managed to compliment him as a writer, I’d consider my mission accomplished.
However, I couldn’t have been caught more off guard when he spoke to me. As he walked back over to me from taking a photo with the girls before us, he said something and proceeded to give me a high five. That’s when it happened. As our fingers interlocked briefly, he says something along the lines of, “Whoa, your hands are really soft.”
Yeah, I’m serious. So from there on out, my mind was blank.
I thanked him for the compliment and then we started to talk a little about school and about the drive back. Then my friend piped in about not having really heard of him before this week, and she attributed her new love of his music to me. So that helped. He signed a poster for me, declaring, “Go Boilermakers!” and wished me luck with the rest of my sophomore year. We went to have our photo taken and then I asked if I could also take a selfie with him on my phone. He agreed. I’m ecstatic.
Anyway, to keep this from going on forever, we went back outside and waited until 8 for doors to open. We went in, got all marked up for being under 21, and staked out a spot about three rows from the stage. An opening act, The Railers, came on sometime around 9 or 9:30. Brett finally came out sometime after 10.
The show was amazing. He opened with Tell Me Where to Park, and went on to play for close to two hours. He sang hits like Raymond and Don’t Ya, as well as many other songs from the album, and he even threw in a couple numbers that you’d only know if you saw his old “Couch Sessions” on YouTube. Aside from a few less-than-courteous girls in the crowd, I wouldn’t have changed anything.
Needless to say, skipping classes and coming home for this concert was definitely the right choice. It may have been the best show I’ve ever been to, and meeting Brett was a highlight of my life. I can’t wait to catch another concert and hopefully someday I’ll get another chance to tell him what a brilliant writer he is.