So I would have to say this all began a few years back… I was a “normal” 25 year old, just minding my own business, watching my American Idol like always. Then suddenly one verse of “Livin’ on a Prayer” and I’m all like “Hellooo… is it me you’re lookin’ for?” I mean really I’m to old for this right? Apparently not! I’m just not one of those people, you know the ones that are star struck and follow people from city to city just to behold their presence. Quite frankly, with the exception of Oprah, I don’t geek out. I’m pretty much a subscriber to the belief that we’re all just people, “Oh hey Mr. President, how’s it going?” no big deal… But, when it comes right down to it I think I only love Oprah so much because of the wonderful person she is and what she stands for, not the fame that surrounds her. Fame is fleeting after all, and when it’s gone you better hope there’s some substance there, or else you don’t have much left at the end of the day! But this blog isn’t about  Ms. O now is it, so i’ll get back on topic.

I suppose I could say the same of Season 7 American idol, David Cook, there’s substance there. Big shoes Dave, it’s just you and Oprah, no pressure! I kid, but really, the last time I was this into a rockstar I was 7 and it was NKOTB so this is way out of my box. After attending a few shows you quickly learn, his fans are die hard and I think it’s because he’s just a down to earth, nice guy. After my first show we stumbled upon a group of fans waiting by the bus, I asked one “Is he coming out here?” and she said “yeah, usually.” I was amazed, at no concert I had ever been to did you find the headliner hanging with the fans by the buses, very nice! And not only did he come out, he took time to talk to and sign for people until everyone had been seen, super nice! So I suppose it’s a combination of the personality, the voice and some magic charisma that makes me want to go back for more every time the show rolls into town, or at least close to town.

I’ve never been one to care much about other people’s opinions of me, I’m a generally nice person and I do my best to live and let live, and I expect the same from those around me. With this in mind I guess I have to own the fact that I, now a 28 year old woman, get a teenage Beiber Fever like high when it comes to Mr. Cook. I keep this little portion of my life balanced by comforting myself with the knowledge that at any moment this could all change, if he say, had a complete personality shift and started acting like a complete ass. That standard makes me feel a little more normalcy in all of this somehow, so please keep on keepin’ it real David, cause I really like your work… Again, all of this is way out of my box, but the view is quite lovely out here:)

When the latest CD was released back in June tour dates were announced shortly thereafter. No shows near Atlanta, Boo! Then the heavens opened and Athens came up on the docket, that’s just 2 & 1/2 hours away, definitely doable. So I told my “always up for anything” friend Mary-Alice, and of course she said “we’re there!” (That’s just one of the many reasons I love her so!) When I went online to buy the tickets there was a VIP option… this launched much discussion between the two of us. No offense to anyone, but did I really want to pay extra just to meet someone, this was DEFINITELY outside of the box. Of course deep down, I really wanted too (who doesn’t want to hug a rockstar at some point in their life right?), but still it was hard for me to go there. I mean after all you are total strangers, it’s awkward, and what do you say? I mean there’s only so many times a guy can hear “you’re awesome!” before it gets old. Ok, so maybe it never gets old, but still. As I assume you have gathered, at the last minute with much encouragement from M-A (always my biggest supporter), we did it.

We set out for Athens last Thursday, November 10th, running late and at full speed of course. We were suppose to be there by 4pm, and after almost running out of gas and an interesting stop at the gas station, we made it! First stop, sound check, and I have to say that was pretty cool! There were only about 30-40 people there so it was kind of just like hanging out with the band for a while. When we walked in he was up on stage waving us in, it was kind of a weird moment, I felt like I was on Extreme Home Makeover when they usher the family into a private concert or something, I kept waiting for Ty Pennington to jump out from behind a chair at any moment. That is my most vivid memory of the night, I remember the oddest things most clearly:) They played a few songs, including a “Whitesnake” cover of “Here I Go Again”, which      Mary-Alice gave her 80’s stamp of approval. We laughed a lot, cause well, he’s funny! And then we all went back outside for the “Meet and Greet” part.

Now I’m not gonna lie, I was a little worried about this part… I’m not great with small talk, for me it usually ends with “Hi” and I’m ok with that, it’s just who I am, but I had to bring more than “Hi” to the table here and “I carried a watermelon”* wasn’t really an option either. So I dug deep and I thought what the heck, i’ll take my thirty30 list and we’ll see what happens… I mean he’s on the list, he should know right? Yes, I think he should! I mean really, what the heck… So, after we waited in line for a bit Mary-Alice was next, she said hi to everyone, smiled for her picture and then grabbed the camera and switched to photographer mode. I also brought my godson Chandler’s baseball to have him sign, we had a nice chat about the KC Royals and who had signed the ball (I took Chandler to a Braves game for his birthday and no one would sign it, thankfully we went to the visitors dug out and one of the players signed for him, Billy Butler, I now know). Then I told him about the list and he said “oh cool!” I said “just read #14” (Have dinner with David Cook), he laughed and said “Nice!” then signed it for me. Pretty cool! We didn’t set it up or anything but I’m waiting for the call, just name the time and place and I’m there! No really, anytime is good:)




Afterwards Mary-Alice & I grabbed a bite to eat at “The Grille” where you can find great hamburgers and some interesting yet tasty fries and this feta dipping sauce that is to die for! We walked around town, stopped at a few shops and bought some great earrings. Then we headed back to the show, it was awesome, just as I expected! It just amazes me how talented all these guys are, they always put on a great show and are super nice people. I sort of went into a concert trance so details are blurry, sorry, it was awesome is all I can say! If you want specific details I’m sure Mary-Alice or the girls next to me who kept asking me the names of songs and writing it all in a notepad could help you with that:) It was a great night and I can’t wait ‘til the next show comes to town… I’ll definitely be back for more, see you then!









Good times indeed! What’s your favorite concert experience? Please share yours… amduke25@yahoo.com

                           *(For those of you that don’t know, that was a bad “Dirty Dancing” reference)