Guest blogger Dierks Bentley breaks down his Bonnaroo
I can’t believe this worked: Country Superstar Dierks Bentley is here to blog for you, PopWatchers! That is WAY better than Heidi from The Hills!! Please give him your full and undivided attention!
I’m currently staying in a hotel in Scottsdale, AZ. Yesterday I was walking to the pool when I noticed Sting was walking in front of me. Two worlds collided… the hot, crazy, and naked world of Bonnaroo and the plush and peaceful world of this quaint desert hotel. I could have said something to Sting, as having both played Bonnaroo last week would have been grounds for at least an introduction, but opted to leave him alone. I knew he was seconds away from getting germed at the pool, which he did. (“Are you Stang??” a woman asked. No, he’s just a dude that also has the same unmistakeable looks and air of an international rock star. She then proceeded to follow him and go sit down on the lawn chair next to him.) I could say with certainty that had I asked Sting the question “So, what did you think of Bonnaroo?” the word “Wow,” raised eyebrows, and a slight shaking of the head would have been the answer. And then I’m sure security would have been called…
[more from Dierks after the jump]
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But it’s hard to sum up the Bonnaroo experience with a short answer. Physically, it was dry, dusty and hot as hell out there. The fact that that stops no one from gettin’ their party on speaks of how much these people love music… or how much in fact their party is “on”… and that makes for great people watching. When we first entered the gates to the general area, no one I was with really said much for the first 30 minutes as the visual senses were in “Holy s—, a beer truck has flipped over and we’ve got to grab all the free ones!!!!” mode. Completely overloaded. Other than the fact we were wearing all black as we usually do and were completely sober at this point, my band and I kind of started to fit in with the rest of the crowd. The common thing everyone shares at Bonnaroo is the music, and we’re fans, just like anyone else. (The way our bass player Robbie Harrington morphed into a thirteen year old Guitar Center groupie when we were offered passes to watch Tool from the balcony in the stage left wings is certain proof of this.) The day was a little scheduley for me as there was a lot of press to do, but I was able to watch Paulo Nutini and the Kings of Leon; I also met Michael from Spearhead… guess he’s kind of like the godfather of Bonnaroo… great dude who was very cool to the only mainstream country act on the bill: me.
As far as our show went, we were all really blown away by the response we got, from the moment we walked on stage. The fact that some female audience members chose to use alternative methods [Ed note: “alternative”? it was spring break in Panama City out there] for expressing their appreciation was not lost for a second on me and the guys. The fun really started for us when we invited Sam Bush and Buddy Miller up on stage halfway through our set. It went from being a show– albeit at one of the coolest festivals we’d ever played– to a musical experiment of sorts, the sort that used to happen all the time down in the bars and clubs of Lower Broadway in Nashville, when we invited friends to get up and sit in. Except this time we weren’t doing it with a tip jar in front of us and 20 people in the crowd… it was at Bonnaroo, with 5000+ people… at Bonnaroo where there was an air of nervousness as to whether we would even fit in. But we did. Actually, I think we more than fit in… the show totally rocked and we left the stage with high spirits and and the hope of getting to come back again next year.
Cassidy just walked in and dropped a USA Today in front of me… turns out there are two pictures on the back of the Life section from Bonnaroo: one is of Sting and one is of me. Damn! I should have said something to him! I’m going out to the pool right now, and when I see him, I’m going to germ the s— out of him. “HEY STANG!!!”