OFFSTAGE: A New Perspective on Brooks & Dunn Was My No. 1 of ’10

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

So much of my job is about perspective. And usually, I write about music from my own point of view — what I saw, what I heard, what I liked, what I didn’t like. But at Brooks & Dunn’s very last Chicago show in August, I had the chance to watch the show from the stage. (And, yes, I tripped over about a hundred amp cords and ran into a few road cases. It’s kind of a mess behind the scenes, but a mess I could get used to.) But, man, did that change my point of view. For the first time, I was seeing a Brooks & Dunn concert from Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn’s perspective instead of my own. It was as if together, we were watching 25,000 fans respond to their songs for the last time. I get goosebumps just thinking about it again. It was a scene I’ll never forget. These fans laughed, cried, sang, screamed and carried on just like you’d expect at such a grand finale. I don’t think I’d want to watch every show this way because I’d miss seeing the artists’ faces. But doing it that one night was all I needed to remind me of why Brooks & Dunn’s music meant so much to so many. And that’s why it’s my No. 1 county-music moment of all of ’10.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.