Monday, June 22, 2009


*This one is VERY long(You may even need to take a short intermission). I'm sure you will feel as if you were there with us every minute of the day!*

We had already gotten the forecast for the weekend and it was going to be HOT! Summer peaked its head a couple of days early with temps staying around 100 degrees all day Saturday. The festival was blocked off along streets and parking lots downtown, and that only made it hotter.

Birmingham, AL is about an hour 1/2 to 2 hours away from home, and I was determined to get there early before the gates opened to claim front row for Dierks! I got things ready the night before so we could sleep in Saturday morning and not be rushed to get things together that morning, but to get there in plenty of time before gates opened. Right as we were coming into downtown I saw an electronic marquee sign that flashed up "Dierks Bentley" and was hoping I could find where it was to take a picture, but there are huge buildings all downtown and was hard to find, but we did some walking around and happened to see it.

The sign was listing names of artists who were going to perform at the festival. We got to the gate around 10am that was closest to the stage Dierks would be performing on that night. No one was around except for one guard and we were awful lucky about finding a parking spot within walking distance of the gate entrance, a park, and some grub - and parking on Saturday's at the meters are free! I went back to get our chairs and we stayed in the shade for a while.

We hadn't been there too long and we heard someone doing sound check. I tried to listen to see if I recognized the music since no on was singing at the time. I wasn't 100% sure just yet, but I thought it sounded like a Dierks song. Then a couple of minutes later I heard someone talking. It kind of sounded like Dierks, but couldn't really tell until they started singing. Yep, my ears were right and it was Dierks and we listened to his whole sound check! Although we couldn't see a thing on the stage since the gate we were at was 2 blocks away, but the whole area could hear it and they sounded great!

My Dad came with us for security reasons, and we had him to stay with our chairs while we went to find the buses haha. We found them and they were to the left of the stage and Dierks was just about finished with sound check. And what else did my little eyes spy at the buses?! Dierks' jeep of course!

I expected to see him driving out and about in it sometime throughout the day, but I don't think he ever did unless it was before we got there. There was a big, tall building so one side of the street was shaded and there was a concrete bench that was on the same side so went went and sat on it for a while and talked to the real nice guard that was at the gate. He told us that he worked at Bama Jam this year and it had 100,000+ people in attendance and we were talking about Dierks and other artists. So we stayed there a while waiting to see if Dierks or the gang would come out or take a spin in the jeep, but nothing happened. None of them in sight :( But it was okay since I had my m&g later. We weren't bored at all because we talked to the guard for the most time. he was very friendly and knew his Country music! haha. I called my Dad later on to see if people were showing up, but we were still the only one's there. People who worked at the festival were going and coming, but no one coming to line up yet. This was between 11am-12pm that I called him, and the gates opened at 1pm and no one there! I didn't think about it until then, but I was worried all week about it being a crowd of people lined at the gates before we got there, but I guess the heat kept most people from lining up early. We stayed at the buses a little while longer until it was about time for gates to open at 1pm.
There was a small crowd of people now, and it was right at 1pm, but gates wouldn't open until ticket sellers and the Ticketmaster scanning devices arrived. We all waited on them at least 15 mins, but they said the other gates weren't opened either. I was first to get our seats at the stage. Other people were going to different stages and checking stuff out, and we were the only two at the stage for a good five minutes, but I got exactly where we wanted - front and center! That's what I got there early enough for!

After we got settled down, we went to see where I needed to pick up my m&g pass. I knew it would be at merch or Will Call. I was hoping it would be at merch because it was right near the stage and Will Call was a long walk. I went to merch and I asked where I needed to pick up my m&g at and one girl said with a bit of an attitude, "Oh, I don't think he's doing a m&g tonight." Well, not to sound rude or anything, but DUH! I figured that much out myself, but that wasn't even what I asked, but I quickly replied, "No..I am in the fan club and I have a m&g for tonight." She was rather speechless after hearing that, and a guy that was there said that the passes won't be at the merch, but will be available at Will Call after 4pm. I kindly said "Thank You" and went on. It was still a couple of hours before I could pick it up and we went ahead got a couple shirts.

You could leave the festival all day as long as you had on a wrist band and we went back around to the buses for a few minutes to see if there was any activity going about. None..except for people working there. We were getting a bit hungry and asked the guard if he knew of a good place to eat, and he suggested a grill that was a few streets over, but we didn't really want to lose our good parking spot. There was a BBQ place right across the street from where we parked and we tried it out. We had to wait a few minutes because there were some ahead of us and the owner was cooking some fresh BBQ. He said he doesn't cook ahead, and oh it was sooo good! It beat paying too much for stuff inside the festival. We got a BBQ sandwich plate for a reasonable $6 each! It came with slaw on it if you wanted it and with fries...he even toasts the buns! YUM! I would definitely recommend it if you're ever in downtown Birmingham. I believe it was called North Meats South BBQ between 17th and 18th Street on 4th Avenue.

After we ate that, we went to the jeep to cool off and to put some make up on so I'd be ready for the m&g haha. You couldn't put on much because it was so hot and you'd pretty much sweat it off anyway. At the time, the thermometer in the jeep read 108 degrees! WOW! Now that was like Nevada or Arizona hot!

By the time we got cooled off and went back in the festival, it was time to pick up my pass. It felt like I had to walk 2 miles just to get it and walk through a crowd of people..crazy! I got there and I was the first one to pick up a m&g. I had to sign and inital by my name saying that I picked it up and noticed that there were 15 other names on the list, and knew the m&g was full. I came back with my pass and listened to some other artists that came on before Dierks. I never heard of any of them before, but they were pretty good.


It was still day light at 7pm when I had to go back for the m&g. I met a couple earlier at the porta-potties who said they had m&g's too lol. And I think they saw me leaving and it looked like I knew where I was going and they followed me. If I hadn't asked security or some guy earlier about where to go then I wouldn't have had the slightest clue either due to weird directions haha. They and their friends had on brown passes and I was the only one with a red FC pass, but I almost didn't have a pass a couple of times because it wouldn't hardly stick from the moment I put it on. Luckily, a couple of people were warning me that it was about to come off. There were about 30 others who were in line, but theirs were just big white stickers with date and artists names as a pass. So they went first since there were just a few of us. There were supposed to be 9 other FC members beside me for the FC m&g, but they didn't ever show up. :S I saw Dierks coming was in a blue plaid top with that backwards cap...yes! Those 30 workers quickly went through line and then it was time for us 5! Dierks signed the others items and tooks pics with them, and then it was my turn! He asked me how I had been and greeted me with a hug. I told him that I was doing good, but was trying to stay cool..that was hard to do lol. By 7pm I was already burnt, and I had worn my LWTT so my upper arms and shoulders are now red and sore. He noticed my LWTT was from '04. I told him we'd been there all day and I was already burnt. He noticed and carefully put his hand on my arm and said I was hot lol. I had him to sign my FTF cover and he put his arms around me again and I hugged back for the picture...finally a huggy(?) picture haha!

I read an article on Friday night where they highlighted Dierks being mentioned by Forbes magazine and I printed that off to show him. He read it and he thought it was cool. I had made DBC buttons to pass out and I had a few extra with me and I quickly thought to give him one lol and I told him that Friday night we had a big accomplishment, but I'll share what that is soon in the next blog! ;) I told him thanks for doing the video for the DBC website and he said it was no problem at all. I was fixing to turn to leave and he gently grabbed my arm and hugged me again and said thanks for all the support! After we both talked for a few minutes we got the other 4 in and took the group picture! It was just posted this morning on the site and I can't believe how great it turned out!

I easily made my way back to my seat through the crowd with a huge smile on my face. We met a couple of girls that afternoon who sat by us who were fans of Dierks. Lynn's husband is a soldier over in Iraq and I'm not sure what her friend's name was(sorry). We watched Matt somebody and Corey Smith perform before it was time for Dierks. I had heard of Corey because he comes to the area pretty often, but had never seen him live, so I didn't know whether I'd like him or not. After a couple of songs, me and Momma both decided that he was not our cup of tea. (Sorry if there are any fans of his reading this.) Finally it was about time for Dierks to come on and perform! Right before he did though, people who were setting up the stage were looking into the crowd and the security in front of us were too. I thought that someone passed out due to the heat, but we asked and said it was a fight. Security opened the gate down below us and got in there to break it up. When they came out and escorted the two was two girls who had gotten in a fight. That shocked me because I figured it was a couple of guys. After that stupid little fight about 20 police came through and stood between the stage and us(and the gate). I was so aggravated because they were all right in front of us and I was afraid that I wouldn't get one decent picture without their heads being in the way. Well, most of them still stood around, but they moved off to the side..thank goodness.

Right before the show started, I felt something hit my leg, but didn't pay attention right then. I looked down and in front of me on the ground looking at me was the famous db logo on a pick! I got excited, but also wondered where it came from. I jokingly said that it fell from the sky, but I looked around and noticed that Jay was throwing out Robbie's purple and yellow-ish guitar picks. I bet he threw out 50-100 of those things and the guard in front of me got me a few that I couldn't reach. It was soo funny. I could see him throw them, but couldn't see them when they got near me. Jay even ended up hitting that guard and he almost hit me in the eye and head a couple of times lol. But he wasn't meaning to of course. It was like a game once people figured out what he was doing and what he was throwing. Thanks Jay! :)

Dierks came out...still in his blue plaid shirt and backwards ball cap on! I was soo excited and I was totally a different person when Dierks and TLB hit the stage! I felt like I was 16 all over again. (Ok..I know that I'm not old at almost 22 yrs now, and I still look 16 to most people lol) But I was just all giddy and jumping up and down singing every word to every song! This show was as if Dierks was headlining all over again, and that was exciting that he got nearly an hour 1/2 to perform!! The teeny boppers and others around us would look at me from time to time because I was having the best time of my life that night! After 10pm, it was still hot and Dierks didn't even act like it bothered him a bit! He had that energy like he always does - running back and forth on stage while singing, but man the sweat was just rolling off of him and I didn't even see him wipe it off a time!

He did sing all the hits except for MLN. I kind of wanted to hear DL&C, myself. I had made a few signs and even a big "DB Congress <3's>

Right before they left, he looked at Lynn to get her sign. He held it up on stage and motioned for her to come up with him. The guards helped get her out and on stage with him. Dierks gave her a hug and took her back stage with him. She was so happy and I know it made her night! I got a few pics of her and I think her friend was too excited as well and didn't get any pictures. I passed out some DBC items and cards before and during the show that had my DBC email on it and yesterday when I got back home she had already sent me a message because I told her that night that I took a few pics. She wanted to know if I could send them to her so she could send them to her hubby and of course I was more than happy to! I know Dierks just got a couple of fans for life after that! I didn't get a set list...almost did, but one of the guys on stage took it and wadded it up and then threw it out. Sorry, but that was stupid if you ask me. I did manage to get a drum stick after yelling Jay's name a few times. Dierks didn't have any picks lined up on his mic but only had a couple he threw out during the show. Well, they're black and I couldn't see where either went, but I knew one went above my head, but that was it. I didn't get either one. I had put my signs in my chair during the show and I while I was asking Jay about a set list and drum sticks my Momma told me to come to her. She had picked up my signs and asked, "Look! What's that?!" And I reached over to get it and could not believe what I saw! One of Dierks' picks that he threw out in the crowd landed in MY chair of all places! I got so excited and squealed like a little pig haha! I bet those guards didn't know what to think of me, but I'm sure they knew I was a huge DB fan before the first song was over lol. We waited and let the crowd of people leave before we left and others were looking through the trash on the ground and was finding a couple of picks. I looked and found about two more. I heard something fall on the ground and noticed it was a pick. I wondered why someone would just throw it, but I looked and saw that Jay was throwing a few more out to those that were around. For some reason, I think he meant to throw it at me lol. Earlier when he was doing it before the show, I couldn't catch or see where they were going and he kept trying and trying to get them at me lol. After the crowd cleared out, we met my Dad outside the gate and we put our chairs and things up. As we were coming out the gate, there was this curly headed guy not far from us and my Momma kind of thought it was Dierks, but he turned around and it wasn't. I said, "Why would he be out here at the gate for anyway?!" lol. I mean the guy was seriously wearing something like Dierks would! We made our way back to the buses again and about 3 or 4 people were there...even Fake Dierks! Haha! He seemed a bit drunk, but I could not help but to laugh at him!

The girl said that someone had told them that Dierks had already left. She told them that his jeep was still there and that meant that he was too. That person didn't really have anything to say after that because he knew too that Dierks was still there. A few minutes later she saw Dierks and yelled for him. She had a good eye because I almost couldn't tell that was him if it hadn't been for his cap. He was making his way over to us, but some guy stopped him to talk. While Dierks was talking, some blonde girl came over to us and said that Dierks isn't coming over or something another. She thought the guys were trying to come in the gate when they or no one really was. :S She was just rude - whoever she was. A few minutes later, Dierks did come over to take pics for the few of us.

The girl that was there said she had a 3 yr old son who loved Dierks and asked if he could do a video for him real quick. He did, and it was just so sweet! The girl was from GA I thought she said and she is a DBC member - I rememered her name as soon as she said it, but I can't for the life of me recall what it was right now. When it was my turn, I just wanted to tell him thanks for everything and he surprisingly said that he loved my DBC sign! I didn't think he really saw it during the show, but that proves how much I know haha.

Chris just came out of no where! I honestly didn't see where he came from because he wasn't around until after Dierks got there, but he took pics for us all. I had Dierks to sign my pic from January's m&g and I couldn't believe what he wrote! I was watching what he wrote and I about started to tear up right then and there because I was in such awe.

When it was time to take my pic again with Dierks, he put his hand on my shoulder - and if you remember I mentioned that I had gotten sunburned - well for some reason I put my hand over his and moved his hand off of my shoulder because I told him it kind of hurt. Ok, to be honest, it really didn't hurt THAT much...I don't know why I did that because any other time I wouldn't have done anything like that, but it made a funny moment for sure! He was like oops and said something like that I was hot and I was a hot woman haha! I'm telling you that I was definitely feeeling the fire just from my burnt shoulders alone..they really were on fire! And then he said, "How did you make it back up front after the m&g??" I said that it really was easy and I had no problem. And he motioned his arm to elbow someone. But nah, it really wasn't bad at all to get back up there because although it was a big crowd, they were kind of spaced out a little at the time, so I didn't have to "swim" through the crowd by knocking them with my elbows haha.

I didn't really get to meet any other DBC members. Kimmie Jo was there, and we texted before and and after the show, but it was so hot that she left early and it was packed by the time Dierks came on that she couldn't get right up there with us and a couple of others didn't make it for certain reasons. Wish y'all could've been there! It was one awesome night!

People who I socialize with outside the DB and Country music world probably think I'm crazy for how much passion I have for Dierks, Country music and everything else that relates to that, but the things Dierks says and does for all of us fans just amazes me. Time and time again, he unintentionally proves himself to me why he's still my favorite artist. He goes out of his way all of the time for us. I feel that by promoting him any way I can - requesting songs, buying albums/tickets/shirts, handing out cards, etc. - is a way of giving back to him for all the kind things he does and the friends I've made through him, but sometimes I feel the things I do aren't near enough. Saturday night made me fall in love with the DUDE even more(I don't know how that's even possible), and I thank him over and over for the wonderful memories over the years. (Ok, I better stop because my eyes are getting watery again!)

Thanks Dierks, TLB, & Crew from the bottom of my heart! MYSELF & THE DBC LOVE YOU!

-Amanda Morris (Mississippi Rep./DBC Secretary)


  1. Wow! Such an amazing review! I read it without even stopping! hehe :) Great photos, thanks for sharing!

  2. No intermission for me, either! LOVED every minute of it. Especially the DB sign in lights above the building, your M&G and the fact he stayed after and took pics. That was so great he saw your sign--do you have a pic of that sign?

  3. intermission?! Kudos to y'all and anyone else who did the same!

    No picture of the sign, but I'll take one tonight to add here.

  4. That was wonderful Amanda!!! Read it without stopping!! Sorry I didn't get to make it but thanks for taking me through the whole experience!!! That's why we love Dierks-he is always so sweet!!

  5. Amanda, that was an awesome review, beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing it, especially the last paragraph!

  6. I read it with an intermission, but ONLY because I was at work (shhh, don't tell on me)!

    Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

  7. Wow - super review, Amanda! Loved all the details & photos.

  8. Beautiful review Amanda!!
    The last bit got me all teary!! =P
    I didn't take a break either!! Read every single word ;)

  9. Great review and pictures. Thanks! :)

  10. Now THAT'S a review!! Sounds like a great time Amanda!!! Great pics too!!! I also, like everyone else, took no breaks in reading! lol! Thanks a million for sharing! Felt like I was there!