Blake Shelton and I have beef, even though he doesn’t know it. As I tell this story, keep in mind that I find myself incredibly blessed to have gotten into a position to have beef with Blake Shelton. In 2016, Blake Shelton performed at the XL Center in Hartford, CT, on September 30th. My girlfriend had gotten tickets to the show for my birthday, which were for the arena’s nosebleed seats. I was super happy to be there regardless of the seats. I am not greedy; I would’ve enjoyed the show from anywhere in the arena. Still, we had gotten to the show super early, so we decided to see if they were doing ticket upgrades. We bounced around from usher to usher, asking if anyone had information before we ended up at the ticket counter, where they told us that they were doing upgrades, however they didn’t have the tickets.
The person with the tickets was somewhere back in the arena. We went back to our section to look around, and the lady was right at our seats. We approached her and asked about the upgrades, as she had a stack of tickets in her hand. She went to hand us the top tickets, but my quick-thinking girlfriend said, “It’s his birthday, and we really appreciate this,” so the lady took back the tickets and started to look through the pile. She then handed my girlfriend the tickets and wished me a happy birthday. Keep in mind that I had not seen the tickets’ location, so I followed my girlfriend without knowing where we were going. She started walking down the bowl of the arena and to the security guard on the floor. They then ushered us onto the floor, which I expected to be in the back or the middle, but we started approaching the stage. We kept getting closer and closer. With every row we passed, I was happier and happier until we finally reached the third row of the stage, where the usher told us our seats were right on the catwalk. We were so thrilled, and that feeling alone was probably my favorite memory of a concert.
Shelton only had one opener, Raelynn, when she had just had success with “God Made Girls” and “Love Triangle” was her new song. She put on a good show, even though I didn’t know a lot about her music. Finally, however, Shelton came on and performed an excellent 90-minute set. I loved every minute of it, except a few details. Which leads to the beef about to follow.
When Shelton walked up and down the catwalk, he high five people, as artists do, and he went by my section three times. The first time he was walking down, and he high fived my girlfriend but missed my hand. I was happy for her, and a little bit bummed out, but that’s ok I’m sure he will come back, which he did. The second time he arrived, he high fived my girlfriend and everyone ahead of and behind her but dodged my hand. I absolutely believe that he did it on purpose, I’m not sure why; my hand was clean and doesn’t have any defects that might defer an artist from high fiving. So the final time Shelton gave high fives, my girlfriend switched seats with me. Finally, my hand was in prime position to touch Blake Shelton’s hand, I couldn’t believe my moment was coming. Well, he high fived the person the row ahead of me and then pulled his hand back, just like that. I said from that point forward that Shelton will forever owe me a high five. I know that Shelton won’t see this, and this is more a rant than anything, but if he does see it, he absolutely owes me.
I saw Blake Shelton once since his show, at Gillette Stadium for the king, Mr. George Strait. I didn’t get special treatment again, I didn’t get to go up to the stage, and I was ok with that. I couldn’t be let down by Blake again, I couldn’t handle it. He put on a good show once again, a little bit overshadowed by Strait, but no one outside of Johnny Cash could outshine King George. I really hope I get the chance to meet Shelton face to face, I want to lay into him, I want him to know exactly what he did to me. Then, he will try to shake my hand, but I’ll refuse. I’ll look him straight into the eyes, and say no Blake, you owe me a hug.