What I Learned At A Brooks & Dunn Concert: There’s Something About Mary
I like the music of Brooks & Dunn. I’ve listened to their hits since the mid 90’s when I lived in Las Vegas. That’s almost as long as they’ve been a country duo. Since then, I moved to Tulsa, the hometown of Ronnie Dunn. So when B&D announced they were splitting up, and their “Last Rodeo” tour was tying their horse up for the night in Tulsa, I decided to join 15 thousand cowboys Friday night in saying their goodbyes. Yes, you could say I’m a Brooks & Dunn fan. But nothing like the woman who was sitting 5 seats down from me in Section F5 Row C Seat 8.
Mary Carroll doesn’t look like she would be a country music fan. But come to think of it, not all country music fans look like they’ve just come in from the ranch, or farm, or barbeque, or tattoo parlor (If Mary had a tatt, it would have surprised me). Don’t get me wrong, there were enough cowboy hats and boots and beer and chew in that place that you’d never forget where you are… at a country music concert in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mary’s a short, sweet looking, middle-aged woman, who actually stood out from the crowd because she’s a short, sweet-looking, middle-aged woman. She came to my attention when I overheard someone say this wasn’t her first B&D concert. So I decided to find out more.
If you’ve ever been to a concert in a big arena… any type of concert… you know that striking up a conversation isn’t easy. The place is LOUD! Here’s what I learned about Mary Carroll and her love for Brooks & Dunn:
- Me: I hear you’ve been to a few of these concerts. How many?
- Mary: What?
- Me: (yelling even louder) I said how many times have you been to a Brooks & Dunn concert?
- Mary: (this is what I thought she said) Oh, I’ve seen them 9 times.
- Me: 9 times? Wow, that’s great!
- Mary: (again this is what I thought she said) No, 19 times.
- Me.: 19? That’s unbelievable! You must really like them.
- Mary: (by this time I can see she’s getting frustrated with me) No. 90 times. Nine zero.
I must have had that dumbfounded look on my face, because by the look on her face, I could tell she had finally gotten through to me.
- Me: Did you say 90?
- Mary: (she nods, with a big smile, then yells back) I saw them in Wichita last night, and I’ll be in Dallas tomorrow night.
- Me: When was your first concert?
- Mary: 1998.
- Me: Why have you gone to 90 concerts?
Mary’s answer is swallowed up by the music. But it doesn’t take a rodeo clown to figure it out. It was my second dumbest question/comment of the night. There’s a slight lull in the music so I yell out another question. It’s a question I shouldn’t have asked but did anyway.
- Me: Are you single? (I feared the answer would be “My husband died years ago, and this is how I cope with my loneliness.” I was wrong.)
- Mary: No, I’m married. My husband is back in Sacramento.
- Me: Does he ever come with you?
- Mary: No. He hates country music. He had a ticket to a concert once, but at the last moment decided not to go.
- Me: Who’s your favorite? Brooks or Dunn?
- Mary: (again smiling) I can’t tell you that.
- Me: But you do have a favorite ( a statement, not a question).
Mary nods yes. I decided it was best not to push it. I had more questions, but by then, I could tell she was losing patience with me. Besides, it was really loud. I did find out she’s met B&D backstage several times, and they know that short, sweet looking, middle-aged woman is usually out there somewhere in the sea of cowboy hats and tall beers held high in salute. And she plans to see Brooks and Dunn four more times, including their final concert in Nashville.
As I’m finishing up, I make the dumbest comment I’ve ever made in my life. And I knew it the moment it flew out of my city slicker lips.
- Me: Hope you enjoy the concert.
- Mary: (A huge grin on her face)
After 90 Brooks and Dunn concerts, is there any doubt Mary Carroll will?
p.s. Here’s a clip from the Brooks & Dunn concert. By the way, that’s Mary at the end. Enjoy.
If you have trouble viewing the above video, here’s the Youtube clip: