Hey it’s Geno. It’s so good to be back in Tampa, but we had a blast in Las Vegas for the ACMs. This was my first time going to the ACM Awards. Hopefully you were able to join me throughout the weekend via social media. If not, let’s catch you up on the 10 moments that I’ll never forget.
#10) Talking about Vanilla Ice and Tone Loc with Jerrod Niemann!
This is what happens when you’re at a bar and have a few too many. I saw Jerrod, who does some of my favorite country songs ever like “Lover Lover.” But what did I end up talking with him about? Tone Loc. Turns out his family ran a roller skating rink back in the day so we were talking roller rink music.
#9) Being a dork.
If you know me, you know I’m weird. Everyone takes selfies and performance photos… but hey nobody else gets a pic of Jake Owen walking into the ACMs bathroom. And while all the other DJs there were talking about new singles coming out or touring, I like to bring random unique stuff into interviews. Since Jake went to FSU, we compared best chicken finger spots in Tallahassee. Guthries is good, but Jake’s with me that Chubby’s Chicken Fingers is where it’s at. If you’re ever up in Tally, go try ’em!
#8) The ACM Awards performances – one country icon after another
I’ve been to hundreds of concerts over my lifetime. It’s a great perk of the job. But I got to check off almost my entire “must see in concert” bucket list just by going to an awards show. It’s kind of overwhelming but in a really awesome way. Seeing Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Alan Jackson, Reba, Brett Young and Jason Aldean in one hour is crazy.
#7) Finally getting to talk to Brantley Gilbert.
I’m lucky with this job that often I get to meet QYK artists, but rarely do I get a chance to sit down and interview them. Brantley was one of the first artists to get me into country music. When I joined QYK 5 years ago, honestly, country was lost on me. But hearing “Kick It In The Sticks” made me realize country could rock. That song never went to #1 but it’s one of my favorites for starting my transition into a country music fan.
#6) Walking in to the ACM Awards
This was my first time going to an awards show and I wanted to show you what it’s like in case you haven’t either.
#5) Getting Jason Aldean to do an Elvis impression
Again. I’m weird. I could ask him about his new single or tour. Or I could ask him to hear his best Elvis impression when he told me he thought about The King when he was on stage for the first time at the Opry back in 2005. [Hear the interview here.]
#4) Late night party with Jake Owen
You don’t get sleep in Vegas. And even if you’ve been up since 5am doing interviews and then drinking all night, if there’s a midnight party with Jake Owen playing for a small crowd in a bar, you’re going. The line to get in stretched forever and it was mostly an invitation only thing. But the good thing was those in the casino were able to enjoy it since there were no windows. And Jake played just as much to them as he did us. Super cool dude.
#3) Just being in Vegas.
After what happened last year, it’s great to see Vegas still going strong. We’ll never forget those we lost in that senseless act of cowardice. But Las Vegas is still a great place to escape and live life.
I’m definitely old. Or stuck on East Coast time. Or both. Midnight Friday and Geno is going to bed. Good night Las Vegas. Tomorrow’s #ACMs guests: #KaneBrown #OldDominion #DierksBentley #Christian #Sugarland #Locash #RandyHouser #BlakeShelton #ChaseRice #BrettEldredge #JasonAldean #MarenMorris #MaddieandTae #BrantleyGilbert #DustinLynch #BrothersOsborne and last but not least Chumlee from #PawnStars.
#3) Paparazzi moment.
In a weird way I know now what it feels like to be Gwen Stefani. When Blake Shelton came by to talk to us, I couldn’t even count how many cameras were snapping away.
#2) Getting Darius Rucker to do his “Nature Boy” Ric Flair “Wooooooooo!”
If you’re not a pro wrestling fan, this may be lost on you. But when I found out Darius dropped $30,000 on a wrestling robe Ric wore (it was for charity), I had to call him out on it. And I couldn’t believe (nor could he) I got him to do the trademark Ric Flair “Wooooooo!”
Highlight of the #ACMs so far, talking pro wrestling with Kip Moore (Lex Luger fan) and Darius Rucker (paid $30,00 for a Ric Flair robe). Only way to appropriately end the interview was to have Darius do the Ric Flair “Wooooo!” . . . #ricflair #dariusrucker #lexluger #kipmoore #wcw #acmawards #westwoodone
#1) A special moment with Cam
I’m not much of an emotional guy, but I’m a mama’s boy. I lost my mother a few years ago and she used to sing Patsy Cline songs at the top of her voice while she did housework. The first time I heard Cam’s cover of “Sweet Dreams,” it took only 2 or 3 seconds to almost bring me to tears. I shared the story with her and she told me the same happens for her as she thinks of her grandmother she lost. By the end of the chat, we both were close to tears. Such a unique talent. If you’ve never seen the clip I’m talking about from The Opry, enjoy. [Hear the interview here.]
I’ve got a TON of pictures, video, and audio from our backstage interviews I still haven’t had a chance to share yet but will all this week on the show and on my social media. If we’re not friends yet, look me up! –Geno