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Nashville April 9-16, 2016 – Day 5

April 14, 2016


 Day 5 we drove out of Nashville (about 90 minutes) to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. So far, this was the first activity we did that required a car (we rented one for two days). The drive was scenic and easy (3 lane interstate). On the way there we previewed Jethro Tull songs as that was going to be our evening activity.

Once at the park we wandered around a bit, had a simple lunch and then went on a cave tour.

We did the two plus hour Cleveland Avenue tour and it was pretty amazing. Approximately a football field below the surface, we then walked laterally about a mile. I have never gone caving so I had no expectations. The route we took was not particularly beautiful, but it was amazing due to the size of the cave (mammoth) – there were some huge “rooms” and the passage ways were spacious. At no point did I feel uncomfortable or cramped. The coolest part of the tour was when they turned out the lights and it was pure darkness and silence. Having done this cave I am definitely interested in more caving. However I have zero interest in the tours that require crawling and have size restrictions – that would freak me out.

We headed back to Nashville and my son DJed All For The Hall artists from the night before.

We had a dinner of Jimmy Johns in the hotel (after days of restaurant eating this was actually a treat) and headed over to The Ryman to see Jethro Tull.

This was not a normal concert. It was billed as Jethro Tull the rock opera. Using a back drop of videos, recorded performances (audio/video) and a live band, Ian Anderson performed his catalog in a way that told a story (in typical ham handed opera style). As my daughter put it “we forgot to drop acid before the show.”  It was pretty weird. But at the same time I preferred it to a legacy classic rock act playing a greatest hits show. It made the show pretty engaging.

Anderson was spry, running around stage, doing his classic stage antics, singing and best of all playing lots of flute. I play the flute myself and I really enjoyed his playing – the flute playing in this show was much more front and center than on any Jethro Tull albums.

As for the Ryman as a performance space – it was worth the price of admission for that alone. We were in the balcony and from there the site lines are great (having toured the building my guess is some of the floor seating is questionable).  I really like the wide stage and short house. As for the sound, it was just okay. I would like to see a more acoustic show. Tull was a bit over amplified which muddied the sound. I have often experienced that in acoustically great halls. So I guess I will just have to find my way back to The Ryman for a more acoustic centered show. I will point out that Anderson’s flute solos were pristine – further proof that an acoustic show is likely to be great.

I chatted briefly with the guy in front of me. He made a point of requesting me to check out the writings of his father Jim Wayne Miller.   Reading his Wikipedia page he sounds like an interesting chap so I will give it a try.

After the show we headed over to Flying Saucer which is a beer hall with a nice funky vibe. It is a big place and fortunately for us it was a slow night so it was perfect for a nice quite nightcap. Great beer selection, not much of a food selection (granted their kitchen was being remodeled, but even then it is not much), and a great vibe.

With that we went back to the hotel in time to see Golden State win number 73 and Kobe score his 60th point. A nice  exclamation mark to a great day.


From → Nashville 2016, Trips

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