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What happens in NashVegas ...

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What happens in NashVegas ... gets published in this column. Some boots are made for walking, but mine are for going to the Country Music Association Festival in Nashville.

They don't call it NashVegas for nothing. Perhaps because much of Nashville's nightlife is like a tourist attraction -- such as The Stage, Tootsies and Legends. With the exception of the dude wearing a shirt that read "Redneckpalooza" -- "Fuck you, I live here" -- the CMT parties at these bars looked like Times Square gone country.

But if you travel off the beaten path, there are jiving dives that have the ambiance of the bars on Charlotte's Montford aka Dive Drive ... and really make Nashville as fun as Vegas.

The salt to my pepper, my roommate Paige, is from Nashville and has friends in low places. My first night there I found myself piling into a Hummer limo that made me feel like I was going to prom, but instead we were going to Losers -- a favorite of locals, and apparently country stars. Miranda Lambert, Clay Walker and Jack Ingram were there singing like it was open mic night at The Evening Muse.

Immediately as you walk out of Losers, there's a massive grill with everything including grandma's baked beans for sale (beat that Pita Pit). And the cook was even willing to negotiate free food in exchange for meeting Paige.

But the hottest spot in NashVegas is The Tin Roof on Demonbreun Street, featuring a rockin' band every night. I don't know if they even have DJs in Nashville. There was live music everywhere -- in every bar and on every corner -- and the same goes for cool guys. Well, with the exception of the douche bag I had to mace for attempting to attack us.

Nashville has similar bars as Charlotte in regard to both name and crowd -- The Flying Saucer, The Corner Pub, Coyote Ugly, Grand Central and our old-school Mellow Mushroom.

But the difference with Nashville is that it feels like one big art district, as if South End, NoDa and Plaza Midwood were the pulse of nightlife as opposed to Uptown. And there's no dress code as the bulk of the bars are Honky Tonks. Especially Paradise Park, the trailer park of downtown Nashville where my hometown honkytonk house band Mia Jones and No Luv play on the regular. They were too big for a small town, and they're the next big thing.

And in other live entertainment, I was woken up Sunday morning by a Civil War re-enactment known as "Larping" in a field across the street from where I was staying.

Oh, and there was music at the CMA Festival too ... See pics and read my live review on qcvibes.com!

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