First of all, at this show I was able to meet, Suzanne a fan club member that I've been talking to off board for well over a year. She was actually IN San Antonio the same weekend I was. Joanie and I ended up going to Gruene Hall that night but our second choice was where Suzanne was hanging out.
It was great to finally meet Suzanne in person and to have someone to hang out with during the concert. Mom chose to stay on the sidelines but Suzanne, her sister Jodi and I were right up at the front. It also helped to have them there to save my spot when I had to leave for my meet and greet!!!
People have asked "how come you get to meet him so many times?" Fan Club people. It's all the Fan Club. Just submit a request and "voila" "You Get To Meet Dierks" :D
This was my second Fan Club Meet & Greet so I knew better what to expect. It was just as good as my last one. Dierks is friendly, warm and engaging. First everyone lines up and says "Hi" and get's their picture taken and an autograph one on one. Then we all sit around and chat for awhile. He answered questions about the coming album (anticipated release date: February 2009), the next single (anticipated release date: September 3, 2008), touring Canada (he hopes to be back next March or April) Cassidy, the baby and more. We commented on the plaid shirt and he said "just for you, just for you". It's a running joke between Dierks and his FC members. When he first got a record deal he wore tons of plaid. Over the years he started wearing almost all black. Lately, to the delight of fan's, he's re-introduced plaid. After the Q&A session we all pose for a group shot (I copied it off the website) and then we're done. There are only 16 FC M&G passes per show but Dierks easily meets with 80 people. He's awesome about giving FC members the most time though.
After the M&G I headed back up to the stage for Deric Ruttan's show. His set list was pretty much the same as the show in April and minus the covers of "Lot of Leavin' Left to Do" and "What Was I Thinking" (obviously). Deric doesn't a fantastic high energy show that is perfect for summer time.
He was really appreciative of the response he got in Calgary commenting "It's nice to be somewhere that really appreciates country music"
My spot, pretty much as close to the stage as you can get, was right in front of the bank of speakers so I admit the show was a bit fuzzy. By the time Dierks came on stage I had lost my hearing so it wasn't as big a deal :P My ears rang for a week afterwards. It was *so* worth it though :D
One of the interesting things about having seen Dierks five times before is that I'm starting to recognize his road crew and his set up. Also, being an outdoor show, we got to watch the crew do set up before the concert and then do the switch over after Deric's set. First time or sixth time though, this show was just as fantastic as previous ones. He again opened with "Lot of Leavin' Left to Do" and then burned through a mix of hits and album tracks.
- "Trying to Stop Your Leaving", the current single and the song that has been my ring tune for over a year
- "Soon as You Can", the runner up for the last single off "Long Trip Alone" and a fantastic song live,
- "Can't Live it Down" which contains my all time favourite Dierks lyrics and current life motto "Gonna live for places I ain’t been/Make a lot more good remember-whens/Right up to the end" as well as the tour name "Throttle Wide Open" and
- "Sweet & Wild" the fantastic new track off his Greatest Hits album that I have been listening to on repeat.
I watched his guitar tech and that poor guy was RACING the ENTIRE show. The band and crew are so finely tuned to each other's needs. Dierks will finish a song, take his guitar off while he's turning around and the tech will be there with the next one ready to go. At one point Rod (the lead guitarist in the white shirt) lost his guitar strap. Dierks himself walked over and re-attached it while he was singing without missing a beat. Dierks is really good at letting the band take the spotlight at different times too. He may be the headliner and the lead singer but you can tell that he loves those guys and wants them to get recognition as well.
All of us were hoping that Dierks and Deric would do a live version of their duet "Good Time". Unfortunately, for whatever reason, they didn't but Dierks did bring Deric out during the encore to sing "What Was I Thinking" (which Deric co-wrote) and the traditional "Folsom Prison Blues".
Even without the duet, this was still the best concert I've been to this year. D&D are my favourite singers and to have them both on the same high energy stage is fantastic.
Now I'm counting down till next spring!!!