Just a quick note on the logistics of the stage. As you’ll see in the pictures (when I figure out how I want to share them), it was HUGE. 50 feet high I think someone said? Each performer’s equipment was set up on it and as each finished their set, they just removed their stuff. That meant that Blaine had a little strip of maybe 5 feet back to work in, Dierks was twice that etc. etc. After Gretchen finished her set they unfurled these large banners (I think that’s what they are classified as) so they could set up without being seen.
As you know I joined the Dierks Bentley fan club in Mid March, just before tickets went on sale for this concert. Ever since I have been reading reviews as they were posted so I knew a lot of what to expect. For example, I knew that Dierks would sing “Free & Easy” and the bluegrass version of “My Last Name”. I also knew that Kenny would open with “Summertime” and that he WOULDN’T be on the main stage. What I couldn’t figure out was where he’d be. At other concerts, including the one that Diane went to, everything was in doors. At a lot of them he shows up on a small stage on the second level and then hitches a ride on a swing type thing which delivers him to the stage. Qwest is open air so he didn’t have that option. There was a smallish stage type thing on the field behind the sound booth. I figured it was just related to the sound equipment but the whole day I kept eyeing it thinking it *might* be where he came out. Sure enough, when the music started, the stage rose up another four feet or so, then a trap door opened and Kenny rose up on a platform from inside the stage. SO cool! The lady in front of us was looking at the main stage going “Where is he????” so my friend tapped her on the shoulder and pointed :D
After finishing “Summertime” he came down a little flight of stairs and ran THROUGH THE CROWD!!! They freaked. It was pretty cool :) Of course there were a billion body guards around him but it was still really neat.
From there he made it up onto the stage and proceed to blow. me. away.
OMFSM. After sitting in the hot sun on a not particularly comfortable stadium chair for so long I was getting pretty tired. Kenny was everything I had hoped for though. He sang a bunch of songs, including all the ones I wanted to hear and even brought Uncle Cracker out for “When the Sun Goes Down”. That was *very* exciting for Crystal :)
Seriously though, that man has SO much energy. I can see why he is the reigning entertainer of the year. He *totally* deserves it. His interaction with the audience was awesome and you could tell he was just really happy to be there. I’d love to be closer next time but this was good.
He finished with "How Forever Feels" (my favourite Kenny song) and then came back out for an encore. Jenna asked "is there anything major he hasn't done yet?" I explained that he *always* finishes with "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" and that Dierks usually comes out to sing with him. I was crossing my fingers that he would. When Kenny came back out he was alone. He walked all the way to the end of the stage and with just him and the microphone and a single spotlight sang "Who You'd Be Today" (guess I forgot about that one). Then the stage exploded with lights and Dierks and John Rich came out for Tractor :D Dierks had changed into jeans and put a ball cap on and was clinging to his beer but they sounded awesome and you could tell they were having a ton of fun. When the song was done they all stayed and signed autographs and someone brought out a guitar that they all signed. Then Kenny picked a little girl out of the crowd, brought her up on stage and presented her with it. Very, very cool.
Regarding the sound, it still sucked but having over 40,000 people sing along made the words easier to hear LOL. I was telling my co-worker about the concert this morning and I realized that for this event, the music wasn’t really the reason I was there. I mean I *know* it. Inside out and backwards. I know the words, I know the story behind a lot of the songs, I know how they preformed on the charts etc. etc. For me, the point of going to this concert was to SEE the performers and the show and how they interacted with the audience. I guess that’s a good thing that I wasn’t as focused on the music so it didn’t bug me that bad.
So yeah, it was definitely worth the trip. Would I go see Big & Rich and Gretchen again? Probably not. Do I want to see Blaine again? Yes, in a smaller setting. Would I pay to see Kenny again? Heck yeah, but I want to be closer to the stage. And Dierks? Well, lets just say that January can’t come soon enough. Actually they are saying he’ll be at the Everett Events Center on December 1st. Road trip anybody? :D
~Heidi…off to figure out how best to share pictures…