Make us your home page
Instagram

Column: Reflecting on the height of my teenage Dierks Bentley fandom

Caitlin O’Conner and Dierks Bentley in 2009.

Facebook

Caitlin O’Conner and Dierks Bentley in 2009.

Ah, nostalgia.

It's big business these days, and late '90s to early '00s nostalgia is especially hot right now as Jay Cridlin writes in this week's cover story about the MY2K Tour with 98 Degrees, O-Town and more.

I was never a boy band kind of girl or a TRL watcher, and I'm having my own bout with (a bit more recent) musical nostalgia this week with country singer Dierks Bentley in town. Ticketmaster's issuing of free vouchers last month put me on a mad scramble to get lawn seats and a concert-going companion for what would have been my sixth (yes, sixth) Dierks show. Sad to report I got neither free tickets nor companion.

It's all good though because I've had fun just reflecting on the height of my teenage fandom, to the amusement of one of my co-workers. And five concerts is probably plenty, right?

It has been a few years since my last Dierks show in Jacksonville in 2013, but I once sat close enough to high-five him twice in three nights in 2008.

I was a fan club member for several years, which helped me land on the list of 3,000 executive producers on his 2008 greatest hits album.

In 2009 I scored a meet and greet wherein I tried not to gush too much as he autographed my CD and giggled as he commented on our sort of matching plaid as we snapped a pic. (With an actual camera. This was pre-selfie days for me, folks.)

Facebook recently reminded me that in 2011 I opined that it was the first time in four years I couldn't go to one of his Florida or Georgia shows, and I flipped my lid in 2010 when he released his bluegrass album. (Bluegrass music 4 eva!)

Fandom is a funny thing, isn't it? I can't tell you when in the last few years our relationship went from "must go at all costs" to "I'll go if I find a friend and some free tickets." But half the fun of revisiting an old musical flame is singing all the words you think you've forgotten, and the other half is wondering at the changes time brings.

Like at my big nostalgia concert of the year, from way on the other end of the musical spectrum. Underoath's reunion show at Jannus Live made me realize that at the ripe ol' age of 24, my days of elbowing moshers to get to the front row are way behind me. And as I sang/screamed every word from every song from albums a decade old, I missed my teenage-years friends who probably would have gotten just as excited-plus-misty-eyed if they could've been there.

Your nostalgia concerts are probably not the same as mine (unless you're a country-metalcore-bluegrass-obsessed 20-something, in which case, hi!), but I'm pretty sure we all get that warm and fuzzy reflective feeling. Enduring qualities of the music aside, it's a big part of why we keep shelling out to see the Rolling Stones or Journey or Hank Williams Jr. or 98 Degrees.

A decade from now, you might find me at a Dierks Bentley show again, misty-eyed while bobbing along to Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go) and somehow remembering every word.

Column: Reflecting on the height of my teenage Dierks Bentley fandom 07/13/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2016 2:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 24

    Events

    Zac Brown Band: The country, folk and Southern rockers embark on the "Welcome Home" tour in support of the album. 7 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $27.50-$77.50. (813) 740-2446.

    Handout photo of the Zac Brown Band, performing at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on 9/24/17. Credit: Shore Fire Media
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 23

    Events

    Smithsonian Museum Day Live: Museums across the nation partner with the Smithsonian to offer free admission for one day. Among them are Florida Holocaust Museum, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs.Cracker Country in Tampa, Ringling Museum of Art. Note: Dalí Museum is free for Pinellas County …

    The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is among the museums participating in the Smithsonian's Museum Day Live, offering free admission. (LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to the Times)
  3. Tampa Repertory's 'Flying' soars in some places, sputters in others

    Stage

    TAMPA — Tampa Repertory Theatre has always insisted on putting on plays that mean something. Several shows over the last couple of years have zeroed in on the social and cultural baggage that comes with being female (The Children's Hour, Silent Sky and Grounded come to mind). None of those …

    The Southeastern premiere of Flying, Sheila Cowley's play at Tampa Repertory Theatre about veterans of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, includes (from left) Holly Marie Weber, Rosemary Orlando, and Becca McCoy. Photo by Megan Lamasney.
  4. After 22 years, it's last call for beloved Ybor venue New World Brewery

    Music & Concerts

    YBOR CITY — Steve Bird spreads his tools across a patio table. He has awnings to unbolt and paraphernalia to unpry, from the busted Bop City neon by the stage to the Simpsons "El Duffo o Muerte" mural in the courtyard. He'll uproot a fountain and dismantle a roof and attempt to keep his bar intact. The …

    Various decor and memorabilia fill the walls and shelves at New World Brewery in Ybor City.
Long time music venue and hangout New World Brewery in Ybor City will be closing it's doors and moving locations. Patrons enjoy one of the last events before New World Brewery changes its location to Busch Blvd in Tampa.  [Photo Luis Santana | Times]