Around this time two weeks ago, GAC’s Suzanne Alexander was packing her bags to fly to Las Vegas for the 46th Annual ACM Awards. We asked her to share with you what it’s like to be in the thick of things out in Vegas — so here’s Part 1 of her ACM Awards Diary! Don’t forget to watch Suzanne, Nan Kelley, Storme Warren and all your favorite stars in our exclusive GACTV.com ACM backstage video interviews and browse our ACM Awards gallery, packed with hundreds of photos! Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of Suzanne’s diary — and this Friday for Part 3.
Saturday April 2, 2011: The day before the ACMs
I had a feeling that many industry folks would be on the Nashville Southwest Airlines flight to Las Vegas. I was right – every seat was taken! There were heads of labels, stylists, publicists and some band dudes on the flight out. During the landing, I mapped out what I needed to do once we got to the Vegas airport.
You see, staying at the MGM for the ACMs is great because it’s where the actual award show is held – so you can walk everywhere, no cab rides necessary. BUT the problem is, everyone stays at the MGM and checking in can be an ordeal. A little-known secret is that the MGM has a place at the airport to check in for your room, so you don’t have to wait in line once at the hotel. I thought I was the only one who knew it – but no. Turns out a handful of people did, including the former head of Sony BMG Nashville, Joe Galante…and all I could think about was, ‘How did he beat me to the check-in counter?’
While in line for the cab to the MGM I saw J.W. Harris, the 3-time PRCA bull riding champ, who was on his way to the CBR event in Vegas that night. He offered me a ride with his cab but I had a posse with me so I had to pass…
Once at the MGM, it was time to clean up, change and find food. And yep, in that order. Many of our crew were already out there, having arrived in Las Vegas the day or two before, so we were the late comers. I found the head of Country Weekly magazine, Lisa Konicki, and we went to my favorite sushi place, the Grand Wok, located right inside the MGM. From there, we had a little time to mingle before the GAC red carpet production meeting. I headed over to the Wrangler/Justin party and then spent some time with the Randy Rogers Band. They’ll be going on tour with Miranda Lambert and they’ll be in the studio with producer Paul Worley once he wraps up working with Lady Antebellum on their new CD. I also saw Lee Brice and Justin Moore hanging out.
While at the party I noticed the time, after downing two waters. Yes, no alcohol the day before the red carpet. For some reason I started that rule years ago. I guess it helps to have your system clear to look your best. Then it was off to a production meeting to get notes on what to do and where we’ll be standing. On my way out of the meeting I saw Joey and Rory, who were up for Top Vocal Duo. They had just performed an intimate acoustic set for some advertisers backstage. They were off to do more performances somewhere. It’s like a whirlwind – who’s coming and who’s going – but then for me, it was off to bed! Night one in Vegas was over, without any problems. Tomorrow, the carpet and an 8:30 a.m. makeup call. I’m going to bed!