Peru, Nebraska – Stephanie Holmes, Director of Field Experiences/Certification Officer has been attending Keith Urban concerts since 2014, with her close friend Pam, or her husband. Pam attended the first concert with her eight years ago.
As Stephanie reviewed Keith Urban’s “Without You” concert schedule back in February, they agreed to see him as many times as possible. Pam lives in Denver. Stephanie lives near Kansas City. Three concert dates were booked: September 16th in Denver, September 29th in Kansas City, and October 7th in Nashville, Stephanie’s husband’s birthday.
Preparing for the frenzy of Keith Urban concerts, she shared her excitement with co-workers and Dr. Dwayne Chism, Dean of Education at Peru State College. “As September approached, our minds were on CAEP (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation). I made sure I attended the CAEP meetings that weekend and rushed back to finish the visit. Keith Urban’s concert in Denver was amazing. We were seated close to the front to the right of the stage. However, we did not make any signs. We watched a fan get pulled up on stage for a sign that said, "26th Show, Can I get a Selfie." I thought I could top that. Then Pam said, "Stephanie you know we are in the front row at the Kansas City Concert." I said, "then we are making a sign and getting on stage."
The Kansas City concert was right around the corner. Stephanie started to brainstorm with her boss a catchy sign for the next concert. She said, "We have to pick a good sign for me to get on stage." Stephanie said, “I was telling Dwayne how Keith also gives a guitar away at each concert and how could I get on stage.” Dwayne said, "How about, I bet my boss I couldn't get a selfie or guitar."
Pam picked up Stephanie the day of the concert. They stopped at a local store to buy supplies to create a sign. “I now realize it was the best $17.00, I ever spent.” Upon arrival in Kansas City, they met with their friend, Emily, at the hotel. All of us wore matching shirts for the concert that said, "Wild Hearts.” It is one of Keith Urban’s singles.
At the hotel before the concert, Pam constructed her first sign, "These Wild Hearts. Can We Get a Selfie?" Then we made another sign. I told her about betting my boss to get a selfie or guitar. We did not want to put the guitar option on the sign as I did not want to seem too greedy. Pam added a few lines to the sign to spruce it up, "My Boss Made a bet that I couldn't get a selfie with you! I need gas money! Can I get a selfie?”
At dinner before the concert, Stephanie told Emily and Pam "I just feel lucky tonight! One or all of us are getting on stage." Stephanie explained, “We were first to arrive and find our seats in the front row. When the time came to show the signs, my adrenaline was kicking in. I was in such a hurry when I got picked that I tripped climbing up to the stage! The security guard was so kind and told me to slow down. There is no rush. It was so exciting and nerve-racking at the same time! You are looking out and seeing thousands of people staring at you. Keith was so kind, calm, and genuine. Looking back watching the videos, I can’t believe my calm demeanor and my brief, natural conversation with him up on stage.”
While Keith Urban asked his crew to locate a guitar, he asked her a few questions. “Where do you work?”
Stephanie replied, “I work for Peru State College in Peru, Nebraska.
“What do you do there, “he asked.
“I work in the school of education,” said Stephanie.
“Yes, shout out for all the teachers!” exclaimed Keith Urban. The crowd at the T-Mobile Center cheered in return.
“What is the name of your boss?”
“Dwayne Chism,” Stephanie responded. Then Keith Urban said, “Hi Dwayne Chism. You are probably watching this on YouTube right now.” As Stephanie gets her cell phone and begins taking selfies, Keith adds, “Dwayne you are probably paying $20 a piece for every selfie. Oh look, there are five photos. Now, it is up to $100.”
Keith held up the guitar and autographs it. Stephanie said, “it was unreal.” Keith signed it, "Hi, Stephanie (HA, HA, Dwayne)."
“After I returned to my seat, I immediately texted Dwayne, Rachel, and Cathy. I sent them pictures of me and the guitar. I was still in shock trying to figure out what just happened. Rachel's response, "No Way!" Dwayne's response, "Is that real??!!" Cathy's response, "I am so jealous right now, that is awesome." Dwayne's next response, "WOW!" My response, "Thanks, Dwayne!" Dwayne's response, Best Boss ever, LOL!"
Stephanie explained, “I was interviewed by Keith's crew after the show. Fans swarmed me to get pictures, hold the guitar, etc. I felt like a celebrity. I was asked if I needed an escort leaving the T-Mobile Center.” She said, “It was an amazing experience I will remember forever.”
“My last concert is October 7th in Nashville. I am making another sign,” said Stephanie. “I will keep you posted if I get a shout out.”