Friday, April 24, 2015

ACM Awards: In Real Life vs. From the Couch

I know it's been a few days since we attended the 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, but I had to give myself a few days to digest it all...and to watch the DVR'd version on TV to compare the differences between being there in person versus watching it from the couch.

It was such a cool experience to be there in person for the show, but there were SO.MANY.RULES because it was on live TV.  Here is a screen shot from an email we received prior to the big event:

Since we had to be IN OUR SEATS by 6:30 pm and we were advised that traffic could be a disaster, we left our house at 3:30 to head to AT&T Stadium.  Traffic wasn't nearly as bad as we expected it to be, but we did have to make nearly a full circle around the stadium before we found the correct parking lot for our parking pass. By the time we took a few pics and walked to the stadium, it was about 5:30 when we got to our seats.

Everyone except the pregnant lady enjoyed a few beers before the show...I sipped on a $5 bottle of water. I didn't drink much though because I was terrified that I'd never make it to the bathroom and back during a short commercial break. Turns out, they weren't too strict with that rule of not letting you back to your seat after the live broadcast had started. {Phew!}

Before the live broadcast started, they announced a bunch of instructions on when we should clap/cheer, how people should use the light-up bracelets attached to their seats, etc. I guess I'd never realized how important crowd participation is at a live-TV event. Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan did come out for a few minutes before the show actually started and instructed everyone to take and post a selfie so that the show would be trending on social media.  #ACMawards50 #ACMselfie

Blake's & Luke's selfie to get the party started.

I thought that the huge screen would show exactly what was being played on live TV, but that wasn't the case. {Obviously that wouldn't have worked since the huge screen was shown on TV so many times...duh!} The big screen featured anyone that was performing or presenting on one of the main stages, but if someone was talking from somewhere else {in the crowd, from the pick-up truck, etc.}, we could hear them but couldn't see them on any of the screens. When an award was presented, the screens just showed the video of the artists/songs nominated and then showed the winner's acceptance speech. We couldn't see any of their reactions to nominations/winners {which I missed, so I was glad to have it on the DVR at home}. 

The music sounded much better in person than on TV. It was like being at a concert with a million different performers. However, sometimes it was hard to clearly understand the presenters/winners when they were speaking. It wasn't terrible though, just more clear through the TV. I doubt I'll ever have the opportunity again to see so many A-MAZING artists perform on the same night, at the same venue. Definitely something I'll never forget!

Our seats were in the 3rd level, so we missed a lot of the details going on down around the stage. For example...
  • We didn't see any of the fabulous {funny} shots of the crowd...or celebrities {Taylor Swift} dancing.
  • The stage props and lighting were clearly designed for TV production because we didn't get the full effects in person {at least not from our seats}. So many cool details..and SO.MUCH.FIRE!!!
  • I would have missed the H.U.G.E. feather earrings worn by the wife of one of the Florida Georgia Line guys if it weren't for my DVR'd version of the TV broadcast. could her ears hold these?!!? I guess they were "light as a feather."
  • We knew the stars were speaking from somewhere around the red pickup truck in the middle of the long commercial breaks, but we could only see a bunch of lights around that area. Nothing was shown on the big screens during those times.
  • I didn't know the soldiers came in and lined up during Garth Brooks' performance {just a little sidenote, I'm LOVING the song he sang, "All American Kid"...such a good tune!}, but it was pretty cool to see the audience participate in the creation of the American flag.
All in all, it was most definitely an awesome experience to be there in person! It is pretty cool that it was a record-setting crowd, but I can understand why awards shows might want to limit the number attending...if it had been in a smaller venue, I'm sure the crowd would have caught more of the details shown on TV.  But of course, EVERYTHING IS BIGGER IN celebrating the 50th anniversary in style at Cowboys Stadium was definitely the way to go. I'm so grateful we got to be a part of it...along with 70,000 of our closest friends!