Even though this week was concertless, figured I could reach back into the archives for another story to tell.

Every year I feel like there’s a season for the concerts I go to, even when they’re spread pretty consistently throughout the year. So for this season, you could say we “kicked it off” with Dierks Bentley.

The first time I saw Dierks, he was one of the openers for Miranda Lambert back in 2013. I was kind of surprised to see him as an opener because I felt like he had such big hits on the radio, he was certainly big enough for his own tour – but hey, what do I know? I had won the tickets on the radio and was actually super amped about this concert because I had just been broken up with (if you could call it that?) and was ready to hate men with Miranda all night long. What I found during that show, other than being all “I’m a strong independent woman, hell yeah!” was that I really loved Dierks Bentley.

image1 this was me, being all moody and independent

I can’t quite remember if this was actually the next time, but I’m pretty sure when I saw him again it wasn’t until 2015 when he was headlining his own show with Kip Moore, Maddie & Tae, and Canaan Smith. It’s all well & good when you’re excited to see a headliner, but I get really excited when I actually can enjoy the openers, too. I’d never seen Canaan Smith or Maddie & Tae before so I’m all about crossing people off the list. Canaan was good and I’d see him again in a few months in Mexico (I really can’t wait to actually tell ya’ll that story) and Maddie & Tae was more the Maddie show, but fine nonetheless. Everyone loves Kip & he’ll definitely get his own post in the future.

Dierks was where it was at. He’s one of those where you forget how many great songs someone has until they’re performing all of the bangers and you’re like, wait…that’s him!? It takes a lot for me to commit to seeing someone more than maybe twice because you really have to put on a good show or have something to keep me coming back for more. Obviously, you know where I’m going with this.

So here we are in June, the height of summer, committed to sitting on the lawn in the Florida heat for some more Dierks. Jon Pardi & Cole Swindell being there really helped the decision-making process on this one, too. We had just seen Jon Pardi locally, where it turns out people LOVE Jon Pardi. Who knew, because I definitely didn’t. I met him accidentally probably 3 years ago in a Stevie Tomatoes in Naples, and still was surprised that people knew who he was. For good reason, though, because he can get it. I missed his performance at this show, and you’ll find out why soon enough.


Cole Swindell is nothing short of awesome. We’ve seen him as a no-name at Dixie Roadhouse, gone to see only him at the Strawberry Festival in Plant City, he was an opener for an opener at Lakeside Country Bash (which, RIP, who do I have to talk to to bring that back??), and even as an opener for FGL in Nashville. We go way back, Cole & us, and even still he’s just so great. He sings the obscure songs off of his albums that he loves, even if no one will know them. (Shout out to Remember Boys which is THE jam; go listen.) He sincerely loves the music and that translates to amazing performances.

Okay I swear, back to Dierks. When we bought tickets, the idea was tossed around that maybe, just maybe, we were going to be able to get meet & greets. Now, this isn’t common even though it might look that way. You typically have to pay a crap ton of money, win it somehow, or know the right people. In this case, my roommate knew the right people and about 20 minutes before the meet & greet we found out we could get passes and ran out of our seats to go meet him. It’s bittersweet sometimes, meeting these artists because for me, I want more than just a quick “hi, I’m Gina and awkward,” I want to know who they are as people. But alas, we got our picture and he was very nice and that’s why I missed Jon Pardi.


Top notch performance and the perfect way to kick off concert season. Every show should feel a little bit different in my opinion, because that’s what keeps you coming back for more. When you’ve seen an artist, it’s enough to cross them off the list and keep moving along. But I’m chasing those little moments of feeling a part of something so much greater than just me. When the lights go out and all you have is a melody and some cell phone lights (RIP lighters) it’s quite the high.

Thanks for reading my ramblings; I promise if you stick around next week’s is going to be a real good one.

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