Nashville: The Grand Ole Opry
THE GRAND OLE OPRY. If you've made it to this stage, YOU'VE MADE IT. At least as far as I'm concerned.
The Grand Ole Opry is a very different experience than the Ryman Auditorium — where the original Opry show began it's notoriety.
About two months ago, I was able to use the gift certificate my cousin got me for my birthday (back in December!) to grab two tickets to THE BEST SHOW LINEUP I COULD HAVE EVER IMAGINED.
And I'm not even exaggerating.
Although it was a Wednesday night, and the show was at 9pm, it was completely worth every single act we saw.
First up: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers
Didn't actually know who they were. But I loved them so much! They were such a fantastic opening and brought so much energy!
Second: Kelsea Ballerini
She was one of four reasons I purchased the ticket. I love the song "Peter Pan" and I'm so glad I got to hear it live! She sounded like she might have been a little tired, but it didn't matter much to me.
Third: Old Crow Medicine Show
After I visited Nashville for the first time, I associated their song "Wagon Wheel" with Nashville and would listen to it late at night in my college dorm room when I was missing a place I hadn't actually been in for more than a few days. It was weird, but it was like missing home. So to hear them play this song LIVE, in front of me? In the Grand Ole Opry, in Nashville, six years later was ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. I almost cried out of joy. It was seriously better than I could have imagined.
Fourth: Carrie Underwood
Incredible. Awesome. Hard to top my genuine experience with Old Crow Medicine Show. But it's Carrie so it was a different level of amazingness.
Fifth: Henry Cho
Didn't even realize that the Opry brought comedians to perform, but they do, and it was kind of a nice break from all the music. And he was hilarious. Loved every minute.
Sixth: Bill Anderson
Didn't know him beforehand. Also awesome.
*there was an additional act, and he was a young guy, really great voice, but he wasn't in the program unfortunately so I'm not sure his name.
Seventh (& final): Thompson Square
We were so tired by the time they came out, but it was important that we stay all the way through and that I could hear them sing "Are you gonna kiss me or not" because #memories. So we made it, and they sang it, and all was well.
Basically, if you have a chance to see a show at the Opry, find a show that has at least one performer you like, and you'll be pleasantly surprised by all the rest. We went on a Wednesday night — the later show — and had this incredible line-up. So don't just check the weekend schedules.
But if you have to choose between a show at the Ryman vs. the Opry, I would choose the Ryman as a venue. It depends on who's performing too. You'll just have to weigh it out for yourself.