Chastain Amphitheater: The Bizarro World of Concert Venues


“Would you like some more brie?” Those are the words I never in a million years would have thought I would hear at a Willie Nelson concert. From what I saw, Chastain Park Amphitheater in Atlanta, Georgia is the bizarro world of concert venues. You can’t take in a camera, but you’re more than welcome to take a fifth of Jack Daniels in a plastic grocery bag. That’s what one expects at a Willie Nelson concert, long hair and strong drinks. But strangely, the hippies were few and far between.

Instead of the smell of reefer, the aroma of an expensive cigar was in the air. People were geared up for this show. Not with blankets and lighters for the slow songs, but with cheese plates and chilled red wine (Chianti?!) and olives. To add insult to injury, real wine glasses. I’m a big fan of the wine, although I’ve always been suspicious of cold reds. The glasses, more than anything else, seemed really out of place. Also, people had TV trays with tablecloths and decorative lanterns.

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Maybe I’m sheltered, but I’ve always been taught that the music industry likes to cram as many people as possible in to a confined space. There isn’t room for lanterns or picnic baskets.
I think Scarlet O’Hara may have been sitting in front of me. No wonder Willie got the heck out of dodge approximately 10 minutes after the show ended.

He was on fire, though. This was my first Willie concert. He seemed like he may have been a little short of breath compared to the recorded versions of his songs. But he really did put on a great show. But Willie, if you ever read this, please play Pancho and Lefty next time I make it to a show. Thanks, man.

I’m glad I got the opportunity to see him and the Chastain culture, even if it was weird. They have a GREAT summer concert series at this neighborhood park. If you’re depending on public transportation, keep in mind there is no cabstand. You can call Yellow Cab at (404) 521-0200.