The sun had already dipped below the lip of the 100-year-old baseball stadium when the sky opened and started dropping heavy tears on the heads of 40,000 people listening to Chris Stapleton pouring his heart out in the middle of his signature song “Tennessee Whiskey.” The cross-over country star treats vowels like interval vocal exercises, elongating and clipping them at will, imbuing every human emotion he can fit into a single passage. The song wore on, and the rain grew more intense. Stapleton exited, and one of the real dangers of attending an outdoor concert in Midwest America during the summer months was being realized.
Not that it mattered a bit to the tens of thousands standing in that hallowed field being soaked to the bone by the deluge from above. We had all gathered in this great American institution to pay our respects and be entertained by another great American institution. A little bit of rain wasn’t going to prevent us all from basking in the glow of one of the greatest songwriters our country has ever produced. Not when this might be our final chance to do so.