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Bridgestone Arena: 15 Years In 15 Days -- 2009

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
This is the 13th installment of a 15-day series that will celebrate Bridgestone Arena’s 15th anniversary on Dec. 17, 2011.

15 Years: Arena Serves As Home For Big-Name Artists

Today we look at how Bridgestone Arena continues to be the catalyst for drawing big name artists from across the globe, as well as serving as home base for superstars who reside in Middle Tennessee. Before the building opened in 1996, music stars who called Nashville home often had to leave town to play big events. Now, many artists view their Bridgestone Arena concerts as homecomings, which add a special element to the shows. The additions of huge concerts combined with Nashville Predators games have led to a strong sense of community and a steady stream of millions of people to Downtown Nashville.

Chaz Corzine (Music Artist Manager) The Year In Review Did You Know In Their Own Words

Chaz Corzine, Music Artist Manager
Chaz Corzine is an artist manager and partner with The MWS Group. The entertainment veteran resides in Middle Tennessee.

2009 Year-In-Review at Bridgestone Arena

It’s a full-circle dream situation for many musicians. The Kings of Leon realized that dream in 2009. The rock band that formed in Nashville in 1999 played to a sold-out show at Bridgestone Arena on Oct. 16, 2009. More than 16,000 fans and friends poured into the arena to celebrate the success of a local band. Among the songs the band performed were, “Use Somebody,” “Notion,” and “Sex on Fire.” Kings of Leon were part of a wake-up call for cities throughout the United States who assumed Nashville was a country-music-only town.

Local rockers Kings of Leon sold out Bridgestone Arena in October 2009

Brad Paisley has been right at home on the Bridgestone Arena stage, selling out concert tour dates and hosting CMA Awards Shows from the arena
Brad Paisley was one of the most popular musicians of any genre in 2009. And when he played his final show of The Paisley Party Tour 2009 at Bridgestone Arena on March 14, he showed why. A crowd of nearly 14,000 fans got to hear many of Paisley’s biggest hits, but they also took in his supremely talented guitar skills. The show at Bridgestone Arena was described as a much looser event than the ones earlier in the tour. Paisley performed with Dierks Bentley and Darius Rucker on stage, and there was a special appearance from Robben Ford, one of the world’s premier electric guitarists. Still, this show was mostly about Paisley, a three-time CMA Award winner for Male Vocalist of the Year.
Icons Elton John and Billy Joel had played solo shows at Bridgestone Arena. But on May 16, 2009, the two took the stage together for the first time in Nashville, and it is still considered one of the best concerts in the building’s history. The crowd of 16,842 listened to John and Joel perform for nearly four hours. The stage was simple and so was the presentation. It was clear from the start that this would be about the music, and the performances carried the night. Among the classic hits performed that evening were “Uptown Girl,” Candle in the Wind,” and “Piano Man.” The Face to Face Tour lasted about a year, and there have been rumors that another tour is in the works.

Timeless icons Elton John and Billy Joel shared the stage during a memorable May 2009 tour stop to Nashville

Coldplay rocked out to a frenzied Arena crowd in June 2009
When fans walk out of any Coldplay concert, one topic of conversation usually consists of how hard the band works throughout a show. On June 6, 2009, fans who attended Coldplay’s concert at Bridgestone Arena were sharing similar sentiments. Coldplay, fronted by lead singer Chris Martin, put on a riveting performance for Music City in front of a crowd of 13,835. It was part of the Viva La Vida Tour, and the show was described as being high-energy. Coldplay performed more than two dozen songs, including, “Yellow,” “Clocks,” and “Viva La Vida.” The band has gone on to sell more than 50 million records worldwide.
In the last few years, perhaps no band in the world has created more discussion than Nickelback. The band has millions of fans but also some fierce detractors. None of that mattered on Feb. 25, 2009 when the Canadian rock band played Bridgestone Arena. In front of a hyped-up crowd of 13,754, the band performed some of their best-known hits such as “Far Away” and “How You Remind Me.” During the encore, Nickelback played its hit “Someday” and also covered Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody.” The show was part of the Dark Horse Tour, which was promoting the band’s new album, Dark Horse. Nickelback continues to be one of the world’s hottest bands and has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide.

Canadian rockers -- and noted hockey fans -- Nickelback, took over Bridgestone Arena in February 2009

Did You Know:

  • Bridgestone Arena and Downtown Nashville are state leaders in bringing in money from out-of-town visitors. In 2010, the state of Tennessee took in more than $14 billion in visitor spending, which ranked No. 18 in the nation.
  • In the first half of 2011, there were 26 concerts held at Bridgestone Arena. In the first 11 years of the arena’s existence, the highest number of concerts for one entire year was 25.
  • There are 13 radio affiliates for Nashville Predators games ranging from Tennessee to Kentucky to Alabama to Illinois.

In Their Own Words:

"I’ve seen a lot of growth and change during my 15 years working at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators have continued to gain the respect of every NHL team that they face, and fans that I talk to across North America now think of Nashville as a hockey city. Trust me when I say that I work with some of the most talented behind-the-scenes people of anyone in professional sports. Everyone in this building, no matter how long they have played here or worked here, take great pride in what the Predators have meant to this city. I am proud to be an original Predator!"
   --Original Bridgestone Arena Employee, Terry Crisp, Nashville Predators TV/radio broadcast color analyst

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