They say whatever you're doing on New Year's Day is an indication of what you'll be doing all year long. I sure hope so!
What a great way to start off 2013--with a full hour of Dierks Bentley and his talented band performing before the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Florida (Georgia vs. Nebraska), and two-songs at half time.
The line to the pre-game Fan Fest started at 7:30 a.m., gates opened at 9:00 and Dierks was to start at 10:30, and the game at 1 pm. It was a beautiful 68 degree, blue sky, white cloud, Florida palm trees blowing in the breeze kind of day!
Jill's Cashbox opened at 9:15, a country/rock 6-man band from Orlando, whose songs tell the stories about life in the south. They played a dozen or so songs, every other one an original of their own, with Jason Aldean and Kenny/Tim woven in to ensure the crowd sang along. But they had a few local fans of their own--I saw one guy singing every word to their songs, "Somethin' Bout That" and "What We Do" I really enjoyed their set--very talented.
Dierks opened with Country and Cold Cans and never slowed down until Home, Come A Little Closer and Tip It On Back, and then picked up the tempo again for the rowdy crowd. Since both teams colors were red and white, it was hard to tell them apart, but Dierks made sure to give them both equal attention throughout the hour. A few times he asked, "what time is it? We're used to playing at 10 at night not 10 in the morning!" But they never missed a beat regardless of the early morning hour.
Just going by memory, Dierks and the guys also played Free and Easy, Feel That Fire, Lot of Leavin' Left To Do, Up On The Ridge, Every Mile a Memory, Sideways, 5-1-5-0, Am I The Only One and of course closed the show with his signature, and first number one, What Was I Thinkin'.
True to his character, Dierks spent a lot of time interacting with the entire audience and especially the front row: pointing to our DB Congress shirts and Dierks shirts (in a sea of 98 percent "red" shirts), fist bumping with the guys, and holding hands with the girls.
At one point he gave a pick to a fan and then held out his red guitar for her to play it, so she did. Then he tried to "give" her the guitar but she wouldn't take it! Not sure he really intended to give it away, but it was a fun moment.
The audience really ate up the bluegrass--when the band came out to the end of the catwalk, the entire crowd went wild, and for Sideways they were even louder.
|Brian Layson, Dierks, Cassady Feasby in 3-part harmony; Tim Sergent on Banjo|
|Dierks shows off Tim Sergent's banjo and Fiddlin' Dan Hochhalter's expert skills|
At one point the Direct TV blimp flew overhead and Dierks was distracted and fascinated by that. "Look! We're on TV!"
Ashley Figueroa (@ashfig), DJ on K92 in Orlando tweeted a picture of the crowd. Notice Meredith in the lower left corner with the DB Congress shirt on! I was just to her left (not in the picture).
The mood turned emotional and proudly patriotic when he introduced and sang, "Home."
I don't think Dierks could decide if he wanted to wear his "Stubbs" hat forward or backward:
|Steve Misamore (aka Tony) is always hiding behind that symbol!|
|Dierks tunes his new HD Dierks Bentley Martin Guitar named after him; he used it to play "Home."|
And the final bow:
|Look Up, Dierks!|
Then for the half-time show, they rolled out the stage as soon as the marching bands left the field, Dierks and the guys walked on, and they started singing right away - Am I The Only One and 5-1-5-0 (sorry I ran out of memory). It was over way too soon!
Dierks is performing in Florida again on Sunday, January 6 in Miami.