Angela, cousin Katie and friend Emily (all DBC reps in Wisconsin) spent hours preparing for their DRT (Dierks Road Trip), creating signs and home-made little white tank tops, in honor of Dierks' first number one single and anthem, What Was I Thinkin'. Here's her story:
I drove three hours with my cousin Katie, who is a brand new DB Congress rep, and my friend Emily to the Hodag Country Music Festival in Rhinelander, WI on Saturday, July 10. Katie and I have loved Dierks together since his first single came out and when we are together he's all we talk about. We both grew through our teenage years listening to him. Emily, who we picked up on the way, is a young veteran fan clubber and Katie and I met her when I had my first Meet and Greet with Dierks at the Island Resort and Casino in Michigan. Katie wasn't a rep at the time but along for the show. It was Emily's first M&G at the casino too. We hit it off and have been good friends ever since. Dierks brought us all together!
Hodag was amazing first because of the people. Everyone there was incredibly nice! And people loved our homemade "I Love Dierks" white tank tops. We got a lot of positive attention because of them.
Katie, Angela, Emily (Hodag Fest, Rhinelander, WI, July 10, 2010)
We tried to find Dierks in the campgrounds but a security guard informed us he had already left to go golfing. The day was so long waiting for our Meet and Greets. We saw a glimpse of Dierks later walking around backstage and of course yelled hi to him and he waved. At Hodag you can walk behind stage and see all the buses from behind a gate. He walked up the stairs to the stage where Jack Ingram was playing! We ran back to the front of the stage with the crowd. They did Barbie Doll together and it was amazing! The crowd LOVED IT! Seriously--best duo ever.
Before we knew it the time came for the Meet and Greet. My stomach was doing flips! We got a picture with Brittany. She wasn't sure why we wanted a picture with her but we thought it turned out cute.
For all of us it was our second time meeting him. Katie was calm and collected. Emily and I were freaking out to say the least. I can't speak for Em, but I know he's like her first love, so that's why she was emotional. For me--the first time I met him I was literally frozen with awe or whatever you want to call it so I wasn't emotional until after. This time I was purely emotional--excited and nervous to give him the illustration and show him the CW article in person.
I noticed something. It's funny how while the fan clubbers are in line there is a buzz in the air as we all talk with each other and share our experiences. But when Dierks walks in all goes silent and we are breathless for a second as we stand in the presence of our hero, our inspiration.
He laughed when he saw Emily's tank top first, saying "I love you, too! And you," pointing to Katie, "and you!" pointing at me even though my tank top was covered up at the moment by my flannel shirt.
Of course tears welled up in my eyes, my heart pounded even faster and I almost lost it right there. But I stayed calm. I enjoyed my time in line watching him interact with the other fans. He's so kind and warm and appreciative.
Finally my turn came. I had my shirt undone so he could see my homemade tank top underneath. Of course he loved it and told me I looked great. We posed for the picture and then I opened the magazine for him to sign. He said something to the effect of "wow my manager told me about this! That's so cool, so glad to meet you again!" Then he signed it.
I handed him my illustration which I had printed out at Fedex Kinkos. He told me how awesome it was and started to sign it! I was like, "NOOOOO, it's for you!" It was so funny. He apologized and then went on again about how cool it was, stared at it and turned his almost signature into "from Angela."
I said, "I just graduated from college and I'm so broke so I couldn't get this framed for you I'm so sorry." He laughed and said thats ok. I was trembling and tears began to well up in my eyes. I knew if I didn't say it now I'd be hating myself later. I didn't want it to be like last time. So I started to push the words passed my lips. Then the tears started streaming down my face. All I remember is beginning like this, "Dierks you have no idea..." I know then I paused because of my crying (embarrassing!) so he asked, "Is my music meaningful to you?"
Now I really can barely remember this. I cried and cried explaining in bits and pieces how his music has always been there for me through everything good and bad in my life including my older brother's deployment, fiancé's deployment and now my little brother's deployment. I told him how I'm a song writer starting out just like he once did and he's the one I look up to. I don't remember this but my cousin Katie told me that I kind of stepped away from him as I was crying but he put one arm around me and pulled me back into him. I do remember apologizing profusely for crying though. I could feel everyone there staring at me, at us.
This I remember. Dierks asked, "Did they make it home okay?" referring to my brothers. I really laugh at myself for the way I responded. I said "Yes Dierks, didn't you read the article?" I think my expression was like, "What the hell Dierks, you didn't even read it?" It was kind of disappointing that he actually didn't read it but I sort of expected that. He scrambled to open the magazine and actually tried to read it right there! That was short lived though because he noticed my black nail polish and I think then one of his managers told us to finish it up.
It felt like I had been standing with him there for 15 minutes, which is a very long time for a M&G. His managers had been very gracious to let it go longer. Once again I don't remember what he said but it was a lengthy thank you between the both of us, we hugged, and I walked away. The tears started all over again. Words can't describe how I felt for the rest of the night.
The show was amazing! He played his hits but also played good songs from his various albums like "So So Long" "Draw Me a Map" and "Little Heart Wrecker." He dedicated "Long Trip Alone" to the military and military families like he always does. He said "I know what you guys are going through. I just met a girl backstage who's going through it, too." That had to be me!
The crowd really got Dierks going. This was my sixth time seeing him in concert and this was by far the best. He played for almost two hours! He was so hyped up, more than usual, trust me. He even took our posters and set them up against the front amp for the crowd to see. Yay!
He had a really hard time ending the show and leaving the stage. And he even signed autographs for 20-30 minutes after the show! After it all I tweeted: "pounding headache-check, ringing ears-check, voice gone-check, best concert of my life...CHECK!"
I left an extra copy of the CW magazine with Brittany so hopefully he actually reads it. I'm so glad I got the chance to have met him again. I just hope he doesn't remember me only as the girl who cried.
I still feel like I have not expressed to him enough what his music means to me, what he means to me. Because I guess it goes even further than the music, or actually that his music is ten times more meaningful to me because of what I know of him as a person, too. I look up to him so much. I want to follow his footsteps in life not only as a great musician and songwriter but as a person. From his music to his charity work to his roles as a loving husband and father---everything about him is pure, true and good all around. I mean even learning about his terrible pre-fame job cleaning toilets on house boats is amazing because it shows he is a regular person who worked hard like the rest of us!
And the way he treats his fans is rare and precious. That is why he is my hero--he's a package deal and he never disappoints! I can only hope to one day be half the person he is.
And one thing I've realized after every show I see and especially after meeting him a second time, is that I would give anything to be able to sit down with him and talk music--to just hang out with him for a day and learn more about the person behind the lyrics, learn about what inspired him and how he comes up with ideas for some of his songs, learn about his song writing process--that would be indescribable! As a young songwriter that is one of my biggest dreams, and maybe even have a jam session with him! A girl can only dream.
I'm so glad to be apart of the DB Congress. So wonderful to be able to tell you everything! Thank you!
As for meeting Dierks it was AMAZING! This was my second time meeting him. The first time I was so shell-shocked that I was meeting him I had no emotion--just in complete shock. This time meeting him when he walked in for the meet & greet I was okay until he walked by Angela, Katie, and me and read our shirts that said "I <3 href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_BzcDrkHgo0A/TD0ordKj-ZI/AAAAAAAADEA/RDsc6lKwmkk/s1600/Dierks-hodag-July10-M_G-Emily.JPG">I made a scrap book page of the picture of Dierks and me from last time for him to sign. Dierks looked at the picture from last time then looked down at himself and says " Well I'm so glad I decided to wear the exact same shirt for you again." It was hillarious! We both started laughing!
I have to say Jack Ingram singing Barbie Doll with Dierks had to be one of the best duo performances I have ever seen live!
Dierks actually threw his guitar pick to me after a song! When I caught it I totally flipped out! You see Dierks is my favorite singer/song writer. That guitar pick is now getting framed along with my Meet & Greet picture.
Dierks is such a nice guy --very down to earth. Meeting him just makes me appreciate his music so much more. And if it wasn't for a Dierks show I would have never met my wonderful friends that I have today, Angela and Kaite.
He was so sweet to all his fans at the concert and put on a great show! The fan club meet and greet was awesome! He paid attention to each fan and was so great! He was super nice and even remembered me from the last time we met in October.
Thanks to Angela, Emily and Katie for sharing the details of your DB experience! I'm not a songwriter, but I have always wanted to sit down and talk shop with Dierks, too!