Bentley, Lambert concert fills the Convocation Center

Miranda Lambert performs at the Convocation Center on Thursday night.

By Deanna Frances

For many country music fans in DeKalb, Valentine’s Day was special.

On Thursday night, opener Thomas Rhett and award-winning artists Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert hit the Convocation Center stage and excited many loyal fans with their sold-out show.

The audience members weren’t afraid to show their country pride.

“I’m really excited for the country music,” said sophomore undecided major Kat McEvoy. “I love coming out and wearing my cowboy boots and flannel.”

When Bentley first sang, he excited many of the fans. He performed an hour-long set of fan-favorite songs, including “5-1-5-0,” “What Was I Thinkin’” and “Home.”

He pulled a female fan up on stage with him and let her play his electric guitar during a song. After his set was finished, he signed the guitar and handed it to her. He even answered, “Yes,” to a fan’s sign that read, “Will you be my Valentine?”

“I was so impressed,” said Molly Warchol of Chicago. “I’ve been a fan for a long time.”

Bentley also sparked the interest of many female fans in his jeans, cowboy boots and thin white T-shirt.

“He puts a whole new meaning to jeans and T-shirts,” said Sharon Seleb of Evergreen Park.

Although, when the fans were asked, “Who are you looking forward to hearing?” there was a unanimous answer: Lambert. With popular songs like “Gunpowder and Lead,” “Baggage Claim” and “Kerosene,” Lambert stands out as an idol for many fans.

“She’s a very powerful, fiery woman to look up to,” said junior chemistry major Audrina Pryer.

About three songs into her performance, Lambert took a minute to speak to the fans, mentioning that she had indeed brought “her Valentine” to the concert, sending excited screams through the audience.

Blake Shelton was shown on the big screen. Shelton did not perform, but he was seated at the edge of the stage with the crew throughout the entire performance.

Lambert was very animated and performed many of the fan’s favorite songs, and the crowds of fans were singing along with every hit song.

Bentley joined Lambert for a duet toward the end of her set. She was also called back on for an encore after the concert had officially ended, and she performed another one of her hit songs, “White Liar.”

“I thought [the concert] was awesome,” said sophomore textiles major Kayla Rowling. “I loved when [Lambert] talked about her husband.”

For some of the fans in the standing section next to the stage, the concert was completely different than anything they’d experienced before.

“I’ve seen [Lambert] three times,” said Katy Dienslake of Bloomington. “It’s totally different when you’re close.”

Country artist Rhett opened the concert performing both original and some well-known songs from other artists.

Overall, country music fans who attended the show seemed more than pleased with the Valentine’s Day concert.