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Concerts Make Great Memories

KJ Mushung


Bruce Hornsby, the Williamsburg, Virginia native who rode high on the charts with songs like “Mandolin Rain” and “The Way It Is,” recently performed in Fredericksburg at Celebrate Virginia Live.

As much as I love Hornsby, I didn’t go because I was holding out for the Richmond show so I could take my dad. But, as much as he likes Hornsby, he declined. I think he’s concerned about the July heat because the venue is outdoors, even though the weather is expected to be mild today.

This was going to be my birthday present to him. Ironically it was his birthday gift to me years ago that allowed me to see Hornsby in concert in the first place.

My dad bought Sting tickets for my best friend and me for my birthday back in the day. I was in boarding school, and he wrote a note to get me out and come home. Concrete Blonde was opening. We had 10th row seats at the coliseum, and I was thrilled.

Then, near the end of the concert, Sting announced, “Ladies and Gentlemen, meet my favorite Virginian — Mr. Bruce Hornsby!”

A curtain pulled away, and there was Hornsby on piano. The crowd roared.

Together, Hornsby and Sting performed a few elongated songs that went on and on, to the delight of the audience. If I remember correctly, at least two songs were medleys of both of their music. It was amazing and to my knowledge something no one else on that tour saw. It was special, just for us Virginians.

The next day at boarding school my classmate let it slip that I went home for a Sting concert (and not a doctor’s appointment) in front of the headmistress. But she wasn’t angry. Instead, she said: “Oh, I loooove Sting!” Then I told her about Hornsby’s appearance, and I’m pretty sure she was envious.

Even before this tour, I had “Mandolin Rain” on my MP3 player. Hornsby’s songs, like Sting’s, tell stories. He writes on a higher level than the repetitive lyrics of some Top 40 pop songs. And lines like: “I’ll do my time keeping you off my mind, but there’s moments that I find I’m not feeling so strong” sink into the listener’s head because the situation is so relatable.

If you have the chance to head to Richmond tonight, there are still tickets available for the Bruce Hornsby concert at Innsbrook ( By the time he goes on stage, the temperature will have dropped. So bring a chair, buy a cold drink and enjoy because you never know when you’ll get the chance to make these memories again.

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