Which one of the three concerts at the Colonial Life Arena this weekend is a must-see for concertgoers: Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood or Martina McBride?
For Sharon Binder, the answer was easy: All three.
"I just said happy Mother's Day to me, and 'I'll see you later old man,'" said Binder, referring to her husband. "'I'm going to Columbia for three days.' "
Swift, Underwood and McBride, who will perform tonight, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, will give Columbia one of its biggest concert weekends in recent memory.
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The arena estimates more than 28,000 country music fans will walk through its doors. A handful, such as Binder, who started packing last Saturday night, will see all three shows.
Binder, who lives in Ravenel, about 20 minutes outside Charleston, will see Swift by herself, but her oldest daughter, Dana, will join her for Underwood and McBride.
Binder has seen a lot of country shows at the arena. She won best tailgate in 2007 at KennyGate, the pre-concert parties Kenny Chesney fans have.
"Nothing can compare with Chesney when he did the arena shows," she said, recalling when Chesney entered the arena from the rafters in April 2005. "I have a picture of him flying in."
This weekend could be bigger for the arena in terms of activity, rivaling the March to April stretch in 2004 when Bob Dylan, Jimmy Buffett, Yanni, Aerosmith, Prince, Britney Spears and Chesney performed.
"All three of these artists have great touring road crews that we work closely with," Tom Paquette, the arena's general manager, said. "For them, it will be nothing new. It'll be a little bit of a challenge for us."
There will be a lot of music - and screams - to endure. What are people like Ann Bell thinking?
"I know," Bell said. "I think we must be crazy."
She and her husband are going to the three shows. Her daughter and two granddaughters will be at Swift's concert, as well.
"She has good music, and she's a good role model," Bell, who lives in Lexington, said. "I've admired how she's handled herself, and I hope that doesn't change."
The Bells didn't set out to purchase tickets for all three. And the arena didn't set out to host country headliners as if they were Michael Jordan's NBA championships, back-to-back-to-back.
Swift and Underwood were planned, but Sunday was the only date that would work for McBride, who had to reschedule her December show at the arena.
"We thought this was a great opportunity," Paquette said. "It's kind of the rising tide would lift all ships."
The three shows, which include openers, will be like an indoor festival. If you're going to each show, that's nine sets of music.
"It is a little crazy," Stephanie Warren, who is completing her master's degree in mass communications at USC, said. "We don't get too much in Columbia.
"I'm from Myrtle Beach, and we don't get too much down there, either."
Warren is going to see Swift and Underwood with friends, and her parents are driving up for McBride's concert.
"I don't know if he'd admit it, but I don't think he'd like to miss out," Warren said of her dad.
While the weekend shows won't inspire award-winning tailgating like Chesney's show did, parking for all three shows - $5 for McBride and $10 for Swift and Underwood - is a cost that needs to factored into expenses. (Add that to the $176.25 if you got the best seats for the shows.)
Unless you're Elizabeth Floyd, who works at the Department of Transportation, which has a parking garage across the street from the arena.
"You just don't get the opportunity to see three big stars in Columbia that often," she said when asked why she's going to all three. "It's an opportunity that's too good to miss."
Floyd is going with friends tonight and Saturday, and her mom (this seems to be a trend) is joining her Sunday.
It's definitely going to be a girls weekend, so what's a girl going to wear?
Floyd is wearing boots; she knows that much.
"What I'm going to wear with those cowboy boots, I'm not sure," she said. "I can't make that decision until right before."