published Monday, March 5th, 2012

Off the couch: Chattanooga has slew of sold out performances

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, did you ever think we’d see the day when we’d have multiple sold-out shows in a relatively short period of time? We’re in the middle of a fairly unprecedented stretch of shows at a variety of venues either selling out or being so close to sold out that only single seats were available.

Among them were last week’s Hank3 and the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera’s presentation of “The Wizard of Oz,” and the upcoming Heartstrings for Hope (Tuesday) and Jack White (Saturday) concerts. Why, do you reckon?

LISA DENTON: Well, maybe it’s because these are all great shows. Or maybe it’s because it’s tax refund season. Or maybe it’s just spring fever. I’m sure if the promoters could pinpoint a single reason, they’d try to repeat it every week.

One thing for sure that’s happening is that people are learning they can’t always wait to buy tickets at the door. I never thought “you snooze, you lose” would ever consistently apply to ticket purchases for concerts in Chattanooga, but that’s definitely the vibe these days.

BARRY: We’ve always gotten really good acts here in town; we just haven’t always supported the shows, so this is a good trend.

Whatever the reason, it would seem to be proof that we are moving away from being hip in a Lawrence Welk kind of way and moving more toward, well, maybe Grand Ole Opry hip. Is that even possible?

LISA: You got something against bubble machines? I can’t believe you’d think Lawrence

Welk was anything less than “wunnerful, wunnerful.” I often like to count off “an’ a one, an’ a two” when I start something. Doesn’t matter what.

BARRY: The Heartstrings for Hope show will again include our friend Kelley Lovelace along with Randy Houser, Lee Brice, Rodney Atkins and Jerrod Niemann. This series has become a big hit with fans, and it benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

LISA: That’s a cool show, not only for the good music but because of the camaraderie among these guys. Plus, you may have heard that Lovelace, a Hixson High School grad, is the new host of Bethel Bible Village’s big fundraiser coming up in May.

Longtime host Pat Boone retired from those duties last year, so that leaves Lovelace to fill the singer’s white bucks at what will be known as the Bethel Classic Weekend. They’re planning a music-in-the-round concert and a golf tournament.

I’ve heard Lovelace doesn’t play a lot of golf, but he’s got the music down pat (pun intended; tee hee hee).

BARRY: Ugh. Lovelace is a good guy and very talented. He can lay claim to having written or co-written 14 No. 1 hits. Besides, not being able to play golf never kept me from trying.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or ldenton@timesfreepress.com.

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