My First Rodeo

998x484-crop-singapore5 years ago, I would have never ever thought about going to Auburn, Alabama for a rodeo. I’m from a small city in SouthEast Asia called Singapore. Singapore is the most expensive city to live in followed by Paris, according to BBC News. We have a population upwards of 5 million, and it takes about 20-25 minutes (without traffic) to drive from one side of the island to the other. As you can see, Singapore is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

17290545Singapore has a very diverse culture. It holds the one of, if not, the biggest beach party in the world called “Zouk Out“. Every year, famous artists such as Afrojack, Alesso, and Avicii etc. will come and perform, along with others. It’s kinda like ACL except it focuses more on house and EDM, whereas ACL hosts a larger variety of artists.

As you can already tell, I haven’t mentioned the words “country music” a single time. Well, if you’ve jumped to the conclusion that country music and Joseph Schooling can never be found in the same sentence, you’re right! I used to despise country music. I always thought it sounded awkward, and it seemed like every country song I heard either told a tale about God or stereotyped cowboys.

22612__mg_4644fHaving said that, I moved to the U.S. in the summer of 2009 and slowly started to hear a hint of country creep into my life. Fast forward to the Spring of 2015… right after NCAA’s, a group of guys (Kip Darmody, Will Glass, and John Murray) and myself decided to drive 13 hours to Auburn, Alabama to the Alpha Psi Rodeo, where the guest singer was none other than Brad Paisley. I was kinda reluctant to drive all that way to a rodeo, but I thought, “hey 4 close friends on a long ass road trip to the deep south. this could be a story to tell in the future!”

So we journeyed 13 hours on Friday after class, drove 10 hours to Mobile, AL and crashed in Will’s place for the night, and continued on to Auburn the following day. We got to the venue at around 9am, set up a tailgate, and started pounding beers. To be honest, I didn’t get my hopes up too much before the trip. I didn’t think a city boy like myself could handle being at a rodeo with people roaming around in cut out shirts, boots, and jorts. To my surprise, I had a blast! I mean, I’m sure all the beers and bloody marys definitely helped get through the day, but seeing a live Brad Paisley concert wasn’t all that bad. We got to meet a ton of new people, and I started to appreciate country music in a way I’d never thought could be done for myself. I’m almost glad Kip convinced me to go on that trip with them. It gave me a broader outlook on life, and it taught me not to be so naive. So for that, thank you, Kip!


Filed under Blog Post 2, Concert, Live Music, Rodeo

7 Responses to My First Rodeo

  1. Very interesting article! I had absolutely no clue Singapore was so expensive to live in. That was a great way to pull the reader into your article. I am sure “Zouk Out” is a great party to be able to attend; I need to go to something like that to diversify myself. I grew up only going to country music concerts, so I feel going to a concert like that would be a learning experience for me, kind of like your story. I’m glad you were able to have a little fun down there in Auburn. The southern community tends to be a welcoming and friendly community.

  2. Julie Kleberg

    Great post! It’s funny how the environment you grow up in really does shape your likes and dislikes. I for example can’t stand screamo music because my parents and siblings all hate it. You probably were just never around country so you didn’t know you could like it. I will say, Brad Paisley should not have been your first experience with the magnificent genre, there are many better country artists out there, but it’s a start. I bet now that you live in Texas you will grow fonder and fonder of country music. It may surprise you. I also would love to go to an Alabama rodeo just to compare it to the many Texas rodeos I have been to. I bet it was quite an experience. I encourage you to look into some other Country artists, there are some great ones out there.

  3. Shira Yoram

    This blog was really interesting to read. I can totally understand why it was hard for you to get into country music. But as you can see, its not as bad as you think! Rodeos are so much fun! If you really want to have a full Rodeo experience though, you should definitely go to Houston in the month of March. The Houston Rodeo is the largest Rodeo in the world. Not only would you hear some of country musics biggest artists, you would also see the actual bull riding, barrel racing and calf scramble part too! Its really quite an experience.

  4. Mackenzi McAfee

    “Wow!” is all I can say after reading this post because I cannot even imagine a day without country music being embedded in my life and part of me as a person! I am THRILLED that you went to the rodeo in Alabama and learned to sort-of like Brad Paisley and get introduced to what country music is about. If you do some research and find a sub-genre of country music that really interests you, you would be surprised to find music that isn’t mainstream at all! I strongly suggest you listen to Ryan Bingham, who is considered country but definitely has a rock aspect to his music. He is incredibly talented and you might really enjoy his music! I too, like Shira, have grown up going to the Houston Rodeo (I’m from the Houston area) and have loved every second of it. The rodeo is a blast, a chance to get away with your friends, drink a lot of beer and watch an awesome rodeo followed by a country concert. Definitely check it out if you have the opportunity!

  5. Drew Scherger

    This was a very interesting read, Singapore and Mobile, Alabama really are two completely different worlds. That road trip through the deep South sounded like a great opportunity to see “the real America” (good and bad).I can see how from the outside looking in most country music appears to be about religion or trying to be a cowboy and how that could be hard to get accustomed to.

  6. What kind of music DO people tend to listen to in Singapore? I’d be interested in knowing how country music stacks up against the songs that people there tend to listen to.

  7. Max Holter

    Sounds like a pretty neat adventure. I’m guessing Mobile and Auburn are a lot different than Singapore. I liked the embedded video because it really let me get a look into what your first experience was like from an outside view. I would have liked to hear more about how Brad Paisley was as a concert other than not bad. Overall it was a light fun read, and it was cool to get to hear about an adventure outside of the pool.

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