A couple of Tuesdays ago (August 27th), was probably one of the most exciting nights of my life. I got to see Parachute. No, not a parachute, but the band Parachute. My favorite band, actually. Granted, many of you probably have never heard of them aside from their most popular song, “She is Love”. Anyway, they are an indie pop-rock band that started producing music in 2008. I may or may not be one of their biggest fans. One day, over the summer, I found out that they would be making a tour stop in Knoxville. So obviously I wasn’t going to pass up a chance to go see them in concert, especially since they typically don’t tour this area. I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty much fan-girling.
After completely fan-girling for a few seconds, I had a total breakdown. I realized that I had a late class on Tuesday night, and I wouldn’t be able to go. NOOOOOOOOOOO! I was absolutely not okay with this revelation because I am one of those people who refuse to miss classes. I checked my schedule on WebAdvisor, the self-serve web interface LMU students have access to, with wishful thinking. When I logged on, I noticed that my lab that used to go until 5:45, now ended at 3:25. This was the most perfect thing ever. I could go see my favorite band. IN PERSON.
LMU is in definitely in a great location. As I had mentioned in my first post, the school is located in the beautiful Appalachian region of East Tennessee. This area is pretty quiet and low-key, which leads to a more laid back, peaceful environment. Harrogate isn’t a typical “college-town”. It’s more of a “home away from home” town. This being said, it’s only a short walk or drive away from some really great, and more fast paced, areas.
Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, is literally within walking distance from LMU. In fact, there is a completely paved path leading from the school to the town. My friends and I often frequent this path. Whether we’re walking, biking, running, or just visiting the coffee shop, it’s always a fun break from classes. Did I mention there’s an awesome coffee shop?!
The campus is also a 5-7 minute drive away from Middlesboro, Kentucky, our own little metropolis. A quick ride through the Cumberland Gap Tunnel and you arrive in a land rich in fast food, grocery stores, and shopping galore. Fun fact time: There is an outdoor store in the Middlesboro mall that sells many popular brands like The North Face, Life is Good, and Patagonia!! Even more fun fact time: LMU students get a discount if they show their student IDs!!
Morristown, Tennessee, an area a little more fast-paced than Middlesboro, is only 30 miles from the campus. This area is very similar to Middlesboro, but it has less of an Appalachian feel to it. It has the fast food, movie theater, grocery store, and a slightly larger mall. The town does have a more “modern” movie theater, but that means ticket prices are also more pricey. The theater in Middlesboro has $4.50 movies. As a college student, you certainly can’t pass up a deal like that.
Now for Knoxville. It’s pretty much the biggest town in the vicinity of LMU. We even have two extended campus sites there: our Cedar Bluff campus and the Duncan School of Law. The town is so large that there are various portions, each with its own unique atmosphere. The range of these going anywhere from posh shopping districts to a gorgeous historic downtown district. Which leads us back to my awesome concert story!!
The day of the concert came so quickly. This is partly due to the fact that classes started on August 19th, only 8 days prior. Literally the entire day leading up to the concert, I was ecstatic. I had management of wild game birds at 9:30 and my 1:00 Ichthyology (the study of fish) course was cancelled because my professor had an emergency to take care of at home. What a perfect schedule for a concert day! As soon as I was out of my class for the day, I headed to my room to get ready. Naturally, I chose to wear my cat dress.
I went with a friend from school, and we began heading to Knoxville around 4:30, so we could grab dinner before the performance. On the way there, we jammed to really loud music and sang our hearts out.
After a quick stop at Chick-fil-a we moseyed on over to The Bijou theater, a really nice, historic auditorium in downtown Knoxville. Upon entering, I went straight to the merchandise room. I bought Parachute’s new album that had come out on the 13th, which I had to resist buying until I could get the autographed copy at the concert, and a t-shirt.
Once I had commandeered my goodies, my friend and I hurried into the auditorium. I eagerly anticipated the dimming of the lights, the hum of the sound system kicking in, and the instant change of atmosphere that happens at concerts.
After the two opening bands, there was a slight intermission so that Parachute’s instruments could be placed on the stage. This was probably the slowest 10-15 minutes of my ENTIRE life! Then this happened….
I spent the remainder of the night singing at the top of my lungs, dancing like nobody’s business, and taking millions of picture of the band. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life, and definitely proof that college kids still have fun. I’m really thankful to attend a school in such an awesome location. It’s not too close to the hustle and bustle of a big town, but it’s not too far to keep you from enjoying the perks of city life.
And here are some photos from the night of the concert to end the post: