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. Ticket window: Shania Twain, Chicago, George Benson

    Music & Concerts

    Tickets for the following events go on sale this week:

    LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 01:  Singer Shania Twain performs during the debut of her residency show "Shania: Still the One" at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on December 1, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
  2. Plan your weekend Aug. 25-27: Craig Morgan, Wearable Art 13, SNL's Pete Davidson, Rodeo Fest

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    USF

    Pete Davidson: Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson will headline this year's University of South Florida Round-Up Comedy Show, a back-to-school tradition at USF. Expect to hear about his recent trip to rehab, since he's known for his confessional …

    The 12th annual Wearable art Fashion Show was held at the Dunedin Fine Art Center on Saturday evening, August 27, 2016.
DAVID W DOONAN | Special To The Times
  3. Pasco Events for Aug. 25-31

    Events

    25 Friday

    Feeding Pasco's Elderly hosts inaugural Leadership Breakfast: The Pasco County Elderly Nutrition Division/Feeding Pasco's Elderly will host this east Pasco event to mirror the Ambassador's Breakfast fundraising event that has been held the past two years on the county's west side. County …

  4. Local craft beer of the week: Cherry Pastelitos, Coppertail Brewing Co. in Tampa

    Bars & Spirits

    On Saturday, Tampa's Coppertail Brewing Co. will celebrate its third anniversary with a Florida weisse festival, showcasing densely fruited tart wheat beers from more than a dozen Tampa Bay area breweries including, of course, many of its own brews in this summer-friendly style.

    Center: Coppertail Brewing’s Cherry Pastelitos. Flanking it are Coppertail’s BOMP (blood orange, mango, passionfruit), left, and Pinky Swear (pink lemonade-flavored).
  5. 'Smokey Joe's Cafe' opens run at Show Palace Dinner Theatre

    Stage

    The Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson takes a nostalgic swing through the 1950s and '60s with its production of Smokey Joe's Cafe, which opens Aug. 26. The local offering of the longest-running rock 'n' roll revue in Broadway history features the legendary pop tunes of hit makers Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber. …

    A local production of the 1950s and '60s musical revue "Smokey Joe's Cafe" opens Aug. 26 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson.