Now I know that many of you think all I ever do is fish. And while I DO fish a lot, I actually, although admittedly not very often, do other interesting things - I just rarely ever blog about them. Cause, you know, this IS a fishing blog.
But to shake things up just this one time, allow me to admit something: I love Keith Urban. I have a "man crush" on him. He is just too sexy - not to mentioned ridiculously talented. I have more Keith Urban songs on my Spotify account than any other artist. It concerns my wife a little.
The only other person in my extended family who also likes country music is my niece Jenna. So she grudgingly agreed to accompany me to the Country 500 Music festival in Daytona (inside the Daytona speedway) this Memorial weekend. I actually couldn't find anybody else to go as my wife and kids simply don't care for country music, let alone an ENTIRE weekend of it in the blazing heat.
So Jenna was stuck with me the entire Memorial weekend at a resort on the beach and then listening to country music in our VIP area next to the stage inside the Daytona 500 track. Awful, right?
Here she is on the Daytona 500 track right before the police ran us off:
I'm pretty sure she hated every minute! She is only smiling in this next picture to placate her aging Uncle:
Did I mention the venue lineup was amazing?! Here is a list of a "few" performing artists:
Keith Urban (of course)
Chase Rice (Jenna's favorite)
Maddie & Tae
Anyway - there were more artists - lots more. It actually started Friday afternoon and ended late Sunday night. Tons of country bands!
Although she loves (lusts after) Chase Rice, Jenna and I were definitely there to see Keith Urban (sexy dude).
It was simply too hot to go to the concert at 1 p.m. when the gates opened so during the afternoons we either sat out by the pool and drank margaritas and some other type of "wine spritzers" served at the hotel pool bar, or we headed to local restaurants like Bubba Gump shrimp and ate seafood.
Once again, I'm certain Jenna hated it. Here, she is obviously thinking, "When do I get to go home and back to work?"
After lunch, we would take Uber to the concert and prepare ourselves for some amazing country music. We may have even had a beer or two at the concert each day. I'm not sure.
While there were over 50,000 people crammed in there, the cool thing about the VIP tickets was that we were allowed to go walk directly up next to the stage. Everyone else was held behind barricades. We could almost touch every performer. Like I said, the venue was within the Daytona 500 track so the entire venue was HUGE. Pictures don't do it justice, but in this picture, I am only about 50% of the distance away from the stage (At least 25,000 more fans behind me):
Now we stayed at a hotel, but many people camped in the infield all weekend. How they did that in 95 degree heat, I will never know. It was hot, hot, hot!
In addition to being able to stand directly next to the stage, we also had covered seating:
Okay, to say we were a little spoiled is kind of an understatement. Especially since we always had access to private bars and personal waitresses - and air conditioned bathrooms!
Here is Martina McBride. And no, my camera is NOT on zoom. I am only about 5 feet away.
Cameron and I love the song "Something about a Truck", which, if you haven't heard it, is about as Country as Country gets. Great song! An up-and-coming country artist named Kip Moore sings it. That guy is "ripped". Here he is:
I loved these pictures in the sunset:
Blake Shelton also did an amazing job. Favorite part of his performance: Hearing him sing his first #1 hit "Austin". Kind of ironic that our waiter's name that afternoon was "Austin".
But the real reason we where there? Yep, you know it. Keith Urban, baby!
I took a few more pictures of him! :-)
"Go ahead, take my spot. I am here to listen to Kid Rock."
Jenna got to stand right next to the stage - they even provided step stools to get a better view. Towards the end of his performance, Keith came by and shook our hands.
Yes, we touched Keith Urban. OMG! Later, I hugged the woman - twice.
Jenna, what can I say. I know you didn't have a good time. I'm very sorry about that. I will work on being a better Uncle - and less shy and introverted. I hear Keith is playing in Germany next year. Perhaps I could talk you into attending that?
Yeah, probably not. :-)
Back to fishing soon folks! Thanks for reading - all three of you.
(Thank you, god bless America and especially all our military who keep this country free - especially those who died for that freedom!)
Happy Memorial Day.