We got up, grabbed a quick breakfast and headed over to the Opryland Hotel. I heard some positive things about the property and gardens, so we decided to check it out. It was overwhelmingly big and it turns out that it’s the largest non-gambling hotel in the world. We decided to take a Riverboat Tour of the indoor gardens that gave us a great view of all the different plants, flowers and waterfalls. Our guide was great and informed us that when the Delta River was built, the hotel requested water samples from all over the world and from every river in the United States. A “mixing of the waters” ceremony was held when the river opened in 1996.
Waterfall in The Cascades Atrium
One acre skylight in the Conservatory
View from the Riverboat in Delta Island
Christmas may be over, but this is too pretty not to share
From the Opryland Hotel, we headed over to the Grand Ole Opry House to see a little piece of history. I’ve never been a big fan of country music, but the Opry was a must-visit. To see the spot where so many country superstars have performed is impressive. I also can’t believe the venue was partially underwater less than two years ago. You would never know it by the looks of things now.
Us outside the Grand Ole Opry House
I don't think you're supposed to stand up there...whoops!
We headed back downtown for dinner and settled on Sole Mio for some Italian. After dinner, we got ready for the night and went to 12th & Porter to meet-up with Chad & Amy for the SafetySuit CD Release Party. I couldn’t have been more excited to see SafetySuit there since it’s the venue where they were originally signed.
12th & Porter
Us with Chad & Amy ready for the show
The opening acts consisted of Chasing Change and Throwing Gravity. The bands did a great job warming us up for the main event. SafetySuit took the stage and about two songs into their set, it was obvious that something was wrong. Doug (lead singer) wasn’t playing his guitar and just didn’t look well.
Ultimately, he had been battling a stomach virus all day and it took everything in him to come out and perform the 5 songs he was able to make it through. He even tried to give it another go while he used the mic stand to hold him up. He apologized profusely and acknowledged that so many people had come from all over for this event and it’s not his style to cancel a show. You could see the emotion all over his face as he appeared to be even more disappointed than the fans. Personally I can’t imagine making it to the mailbox with a stomach virus, so to see him push through tells me everything I need to know about what kind of band SafetySuit is (not that I didn’t already know).
The drummer, Tate came on the mic and said they were going to try something different. The rest of the show turned into a sing-along with members from the opening bands coming out to lead the crowd. This speaks volumes about the kind of fans SafetySuit has. While most people would have left after hearing Doug was done for the night, everyone did the exact opposite and showed their allegiance by singing and celebrating what the night was all about: SafetySuit and their new album, These Times. It was bittersweet and I’m glad I was there to be a part of it.
Us with Tate, J and Dave from SafetySuit