Riverbend: Gary Allan Gave The “Best He Ever Had” On Coke Stage

Saturday, June 7, 2014 - by Mark Herndon

Gary Allan is a tough cowboy!  After fighting illness the past few days and even cancelling events. As I picked up my media credentials from Bob Payne w/Friends of the Festival,  the word was his performance was in jeopardy to open on the Riverbend Coke stage.  It was serious as his website www.garyallan.com reported Gary Allan's fan club party scheduled for Saturday evening at Rocketown has been cancelled. 

Allan spent two days this week at the Vanderbilt Voice Clinic with Doctor Gaeyln Garrett. The singer is fighting a viral infection that is impacting the strain on his voice, forcing Allan to cancel the fan club party. The strain is temporary and is expected to resolve as the viral infection runs its course.  However, his Facebook posting and Riverbend Festival Facebook posting confirmed a couple of hours prior to taking the stage he was on his way and the show would go on. 

This eased greatly the concerns for Gary’s health and his schedule performance to the opening crowd of fans awaiting him.  About 30 minutes before Gary Allan was to take the stage, Dex (WUSY US 101) and Amy Morrow (Friends of the Festival Marketing Director) were covering last minute details before Dex was to make the introduction to the fans.   

As I completed my walk around the stage, I met and greeted some of the VIP fans and stage hands. Stage manage Alex was accommodating my walk, routine for the most part, and we discussed the stage setting, at the same time he was talking to Gary on the radio.  All the sound checks had been made earlier and, with the tuning of the guitars in the background, taping down a set list of songs for the band and Gary.   Alex was  to have everything ready as Gary and the band made the transport by boat to the stage.  One request I was privy to hear was to make sure there was plenty of Orange Juice on and around the stage….. Alex delivered!!  

It was a great night with the cool weather as David Glenn, WTCV Channel 9 weather and official Riverbend forecaster, put our fears to rest as his pre-stage forecast.  Gary walked down the platform right on schedule with Tough Goodbye…………. Then as the lights were panned across the riverbanks the unbelievable crowd cheered him into his scheduled 90 minutes of songs. He performed more than 20, including Tough Goodbye, Feeling Like That, Man To Man, Pieces, It Ain’t The Whiskey, Send, Smoke Rings, Sand In My Soul, Get Off On The Pain, Songs About The Rain, Radio, California, Every Storm, Bones, Man Of Me, Air Planes … then as the crowd was overtaken by him and his eight piece band to return with Best I Ever Had and Dark Whiskey….. you will notice a couple of new songs to be included in his new studio album/cd in the works.  

Thanks, Gary… after two hours of the best relaxing night as you beat the illness and the earlier threat of storms that moved around the city last night. 

This year becoming one of the official professional photographers for the Festival provides an opportunity to share with the fans and festival interest a different perspective of stage performance.  

(The photo series is Friends of the Festival management (Riverbend Music Festival (https://www.facebook.com/rbfestival )  and www.Chattanoogan.com  ways of keeping festival fans updated with events throughout the week.  Keep checking these sites and the schedule artist on all stages for event information and photos.)


Law Enforcement Impersonator Arrested In Joint Bradley County And Cleveland Investigation

Sheriff Eric Watson and Interim Cleveland Police Chief Mark Gibson jointly announced on Thursday the successful culmination of an investigation that resulted in the arrest of a man for posing as a law enforcement officer. Charges were filed in General Sessions Court by both agencies for Conley James Thomas Day, 21, alleging that at two locations he falsely identified himself ... (click for more)

Sheriff Orders Investigation After Evidence Found At Deputy's Home After Eviction

The HCSO Civil Process Department received a court order on Wednesday for a set-out (eviction) of an employee of the Sheriff’s Office at 7920 North Dent Road.   The property of the set-out belonged to a member of the HSCO. The owner of the property is also employed by the HCSO.   During the set-out, case information and packages, which also included an envelope ... (click for more)

Who's Responsible For East Ridge's Stadium? - And Response (2)

There just can be no excuse for East Ridge High School's stadium being in such dangerous condition that it has been condemned.   Where is responsible for this? I know there are a few other stadiums like this as well. And there is no excuse for this.  Building new and beautiful schools, state of the art technology. Top athletic facilities as well. Yet, East Ridge ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Five Straight Days Of Football

If I covered my first high school football game as a fledging sports when I was 16 years old, and I am now 66, I figure that’s darn near about a half-century of passes and punts. The mystifying part is that I still get as big of a kick hovering around the game as I did on my very first time so as we usher in the start of the college season with five straight days of games, here ... (click for more)

East Ridge Football: Home Side Stands Are Closed ... Four Home Games Will Be Played on Campus

The home side football stands and press box at East Ridge High School are closed permanently due to safety issues, but for the 66 teenagers who wear the orange, white and gray for the Pioneers on Friday nights it’s a small distraction and the season continues. “Playing this Friday’s game against Signal Mountain at Baylor (7:30 p.m.) is a small distraction for us, but we know ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Football Opener: UTC vs. Jax State – Saturday at Finley Stadium; 6 p.m.

Saturday at Finley Stadium at 6 p.m.  it’s No.8 Chattanooga vs. No.7 Jacksonville (Ala.) State in arguably the most anticipated and talked about game in Chattanooga football history. An important region rivalry as a pair of top 10 FCS schools meet for the 39th time in the season opener for both schools. “This should be a great game between two of the best teams in ... (click for more)