Being from a suburb of Atlanta country music is popular but Honky Tonk is not a thing. Two stepping is something that is well known from the rap song “2 Step” by DJ UNK. So this last weekend I ventured up to Dallas/Fort Worth and got to experience the world’s largest Honky Tonk, Billy Bob’s Texas. It was nothing like I could have ever imagined. The place was huge and full of people. When we first got there we went right into the bull-riding arena. The arena was just buzzing with excitement. Only two of the riders made it to the full eight seconds, however it was so thrilling to watch. The atmosphere that the arena brought was crazy. When the bull-riding was finished we moved to the dance floor to people watch. And let me just say Billy Bob’s attracts all different types of people. From old people to young people, all different types of ethnic groups, couples to just groups of friends, it was a very good people-watching scene. Some couples were such good dancers my friends and me were in awe of them, while others were just awkward and uncomfortable to watch. The good ones would work the whole floor doing dips and spins. Although at one point things got really weird, when a hired dance company called The House of Horrors, came on stage to perform a zombie version of a “Fifty Shade of Grey” dance. They were clearly promoting the release of the new movie this weekend but the dance was awful, uncomfortable to watch, and felt very out of place.
Sara Evans was the performer for the night, which I thought was huge because I grew up listening to her music. However, neither of my friends seemed to know any of her songs. My two favorite songs of hers that I listened to growing up were “Suds in a Bucket” and “Cheatin”. The first song she played was also her other big hit “Born to Fly” it was performed beautifully and she had the crowds full attention.
We did not stay for her whole performance because we also wanted to walk around the stockyards. It was so different from what I had expected, because we had been in downtown Fort Worth for dinner so when we arrived in the stockyards it was nothing I could have imagined. I felt like I had stepped into a small old country town and was not still in one of the biggest cities in Texas. Obviously, it was late at night at this point so we window shopped at the closed stores and peeked into the other bars to get a feel for what they were like. They all seemed very similar with people dressed to the nines in their boots, belt buckles, and cowboy hats. It was so interesting because even though everyone was dressed similarly there still were a wide variety of people everywhere. We left the stockyards and went to explore West 7th Street in downtown which is suppose to be the college area, and it was a drastic change as to where we had just been.
4 Responses to Making Memories with New Experiences
First off, I am SO jealous that you got to see Sara Evans live. I grew up listening to her on the radio and her albums (all of the songs you mentioned are some of my favorites). Secondly, I almost cried when you said your friends didn’t know any of her songs. Coming from out of state, it never fails to surprise me when people from Texas don’t know some of the big country artists like Sara Evans or Garth Brooks. I mean these are the people that I grew up on. As a country music fan I kind of just assumed that everyone knew who they were and some of their hit songs because they are such big names; but then I’m sure those who were born and raised in Texas think I’m crazy for not knowing any Josh Abbott Band songs.
I remember when I went up to Fort Worth for college tours is a couple years ago. Everyone talked about Billy Bob’s. Being someone who loves country music and dancing I knew this was a place I wanted to go. After hearing about your experience I know I just have to find my way up there now. People watching is always fun but I would be excited to get out on that dance floor. The dance performance you described does sound a bit odd but maybe it was just going along with the theme of the weekend. Anyways, you’re lucky to have experienced a great trifecta of the country life: rodeo, two stepping, and country music.
I am glad you got to visit Billy Bobs — I still haven’t been. Gaby, I think you’re right about the country music “trifecta.”
I have never heard of Billy Bobs, but I have definitely heard of Sara Evans. “Born to Fly” is my favorite song of hers and I listen to it all the time. I love going to country dance halls and I secretly want to try riding a mechanical bull one day. I love watching the older more experience two steppers at dance halls because they can do moves I could only dream about. After reading this post I really want to go to Billy Bobs and see how it compares to places around Austin, like Coupland Inn and Dance hall.