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Published on April 25th, 2012 | by TLV News

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My Monday Night With Willie Nelson (and a swift kick to the back of my knee) (by Sarah Reddick)

Somebody gave me two tickets to see Willie Nelson here at the Lyric. I’d wanted to go, but $53 is pretty steep, so the gift of two tickets was a lovely surprise. I threw on a dress, boots, and some pearls, and my date and I arrived as the doors were being opened.

We went upstairs and found a spot on the railing. By the time the opening act was halfway through, people were streaming in. The place where we were standing became even more crowded and we were getting jostled around quite a bit. There were some bleachers set up a few feet behind us, and two older men had taken a seat on the edge of them directly behind me.

When Willie took the stage the place went wild. He started off with a few old favorites and encouraged the crowd to join in on songs like “On the Road Again” and “Beer for My Horses.” Several songs into his set I noticed a shift in the crowd. The crowd noise had been a dull roar but it was full-on roaring by that point. People standing around me were shouting like they were intoxicated auctioneers. I watched one girl slip and fall down the stairs. Her friend tried to help her and was dragged along for the ride. Two people to the left of us dropped their plastic drink cups over the railing and we watched as they splashed all over people standing down by the sound board.

I was just getting ready to suggest that we call it a night when one of the men behind me kicked me in the back of my knee. I whirled around to confront him, and he slurred something about the fact that I had been in his way all night. Not wanting it to escalate any further, I immediately headed for the exit. I was followed out by a few friends and a security guard. The guard wanted me to go back in and point the man out, but I declined, so one of my friends said, “Well, if you’re not finishing the show, he sure isn’t going to either!” He was escorted out shortly after.

After getting home, out of the crowd, and getting over the initial shock of being kicked by a grown man, I was just left with a feeling of serious irritation. I’m not exactly what you would call a delicate flower; I’ve been in mosh pits, I’ve crowd surfed, hell, I’ve even fallen off the bar while dancing at Coyote Ugly. But for some reason, I expected to be able to hear Willie Nelson play in my adopted hometown without all that mess.

This experience doesn’t make me want to stay home and bar my doors, and I’m not blaming any particular group of people, or the venue itself. Next time you’re out at a show and your friend (or you, yourself) is drunkenly screaming through a concert or dropping drinks on the formerly dry heads of unsuspecting patrons, maybe you could realize that your fun shouldn’t come at someone else’s expense.

As Willie would say, “Don’t you think that’s a little unfair?”

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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.



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