Billy Ray is Still Alive & Kicking

Take my word for it, that's Billy Ray Cyrus.

The Gay Guru doesn’t always make the best decisions, which is why we put him in charge of dispensing advice. His most recent bad decision was asking me–jokingly–if I wanted to go see Billy Ray Cyrus in concert. He figured I’d laugh. Instead, I said, “Absolutely!” So, he had to use the tickets he’d acquired, for free, through excessive gambling to bring me to a train wreck of a concert. And I showed my gratitude by being really late.

You see, I was out in Hebron, at a surprise birthday party for my friend. As it turns out, Hebron is actually even more in the middle of nowhere than I knew. Access to Route 2 was…um…not very accessible and I eventually I ended up in Willimantic staring at the Frog Bridge. (Somewhere around this time I received a text from GG saying, “I am a European car in a sea of pickup trucks.”) Eventually I got to the MGM Grand at Foxwoods and found the Gay Guru, and as it turned out, being late  was a good thing.

We ended up seeing about five songs, which was four songs too many. We watched as old men, and bafflingly young women danced and outright lost their minds. It seemed that much of the crowd was there on purpose–and not because they’re illiterate 12-year-olds who thought he was Miley.. They knew the words to songs other than “Achey Breaky Heart” and “danced like no one is watching.” What I was most surprised by was how normal the crowd looked. Other than one  guy whose chosen hairstyle prompted Billy Ray to say, “You still got yours buddy,” after “I Wish I Still Had My Mullet” the crowd wasn’t particularly trailer park-y.

Frankly, Mr. Cyrus appeared to be phoning it in. He had one ridiculously dumb costume change — which included exchanging his leather jacket for a Harry Potter scarf — and did not display any of the sweet moves he had in the early 90s. Billy Ray eventually crushed our souls when he pointed out that his daughter was hosting Saturday Night Live… and then did us the service of finally singing “Achey Breaky Heart” so we could get the hell out of there. We headed out to the bar and had a drink or two and watched as dude bros congregated together while attractive, ridiculously dressed women sat on the sidelines. It was like a bad middle school dance where the girls are dressed like hookers and the guys don’t have mothers to iron their shirts.

After being absurdly late, I had to head back to Hebron to continue the party, which was easier said than done. I once again found myself on the dark streets of Norwich, which looked like a Dennis Lehane novel should be taking place on the them. Then I took my life into my own hands by taking Route 2 to Colchester and then a whole lot of scary, dark, winding back roads to find a bunch of people who had been drinking a whole lot more than I had. And that, my friends, was more or less that.