Meet Heath, our DCX Superfan of the Month for July! He solidified his super fandom when he recently showed up to a DCX MMXVI Tour show in just a speedo and wrote words across his body in similar fashion to the Chicks' infamous magazine cover (see below!). Learn more about Heath and why he loves the Chicks now!
Don't miss the Chicks on Tour this year for the MMXVI Tour - Tickets available now HERE!
What part of the country do you live in?
I reside in San Diego, California, however, La Crosse, Wisconsin will always be home for me.
What are your top 3 favorite things to do?
Nothing gives me more joy in life than going to a Dixie Chicks show, especially with a close friend or family member. It’s my happiest place, and I feel like a five year old on Christmas morning every time I see them live. I’ve been competing in triathlons for ten years and have finished the Ironman seven times—I love competing and the sense of accomplishment it provides, so swimming, biking and running are passions of mine. My greatest treasures in life are my family and friends. Spending time with them laughing, eating or traveling is another favorite for me.
What do you do for a living?
I am a small business owner. My partner, Kim, and I started our own public relations and communications firm in July 2015 after a decade of working in a number of corporate roles. It’s been the scariest risk we have ever taken, but it has paid off for us in dividends. The key to success is finding a business partner you respect and love—and who is way smarter than you. Kim is an amazing person and partner, and is incredibly supportive of me chasing after the DCX this year. We live the, “work hard, play hard,” mantra every day.
How many times have you seen Dixie Chicks live?
I just saw them in Washington DC, which makes 18 shows for me. I could see them every day for the rest of my life and it would be equally as thrilling as the first time. By the end of the MMXVI tour, I should have 30+ shows under my belt.
Tell us what it means to you to be a fan of DCX?
My love for the DCX is and always will be rooted in their music. However, I am so inspired by people who do the right thing even when it’s not the easy thing. After seeing “Shut Up and Sing,” I saw the girls through an entirely different lense. They were willing to lose everything at the sake of standing up for their beliefs. Watching them handle their business has made me strive to be more like them—fearless, brave and full of integrity. I am a more confident man because of Natalie, Emily and Martie, and the example they have set. They really don’t care what anyone thinks, and that is what will truly set you free in life.
I am beyond blessed to have developed a more personal relationship with the entire band the last three years. In 2013, I was flying to Canada to see them play in Regina and meet my friend, Jenny, for the show. When I landed in Denver for my layover, there were Emily and Martie…waiting to get on my flight to Canada. I was a wreck, but I knew I needed to take advantage and say hello. They were so warm and welcoming. As luck would have it, Natalie was on my flight back to California after the show and she was equally as gracious and kind. That set off a chain of events where I was lucky enough to be taken back stage with my close friend Cynthia in Vancouver that same year.
Then my best friend James and I road tripped across Canada to see them play three shows—one on Halloween night. We bought these hideous DCX dresses online and wore obnoxious wigs. The crew put us up on the jumbotron and then Martie grabbed my hand as she was walking off and said, “Come backstage and say hi.” It was and is such an out of body experience for both James and me.
In 2015 they played two private events in Los Angeles, and I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to see them perform, especially so close to where I live. It was an unbelievably intimate experience as they played for about 200 people each show. They treated me like part of the team, pulled me backstage, took the time to chat with me and made me feel so at ease. From there, our relationship has just continued to grow—the girls know me by my first name and have even introduce me as their number one fan.
The entire chain of events feels serendipitous to me. I never take our “relationship” for granted, and I am constantly telling my family and friends that I am waiting to wake up from this very long, beautiful dream. Emily, Martie and Natalie have been through so much together, and to see them so happy again performing is a dream come true for me. I’ll be cheering them on for the rest of their careers.
How do you show your fandom?
Apparently by showing up at their concerts in a speedo! Natalie dared me in Chicago a few weeks ago to wear a speedo to the next show I was attending so I did just that in Washington DC on June 25. The most hilarious part of the night was that none of the girls notice even though I was in the front row directly in front of Martie. Apparently, right before the encore, someone said to them backstage, “There’s a dude in the front row in his underwear.” When they came back out on stage they one-by-one spotted me and just broke out in to hysterics.
Another way I love to share my fandom is by telling my DCX story to anyone who will listen, and then convert them into super fans just like me. My buddies Tanner and Matt have become die-hards and every time I come back from a concert trip we get together for margaritas and I tell them all the details of the show. They are seeing the DCX for the first time in San Diego in July. My friends Sam and Maggie, who live in DC, were supposed to celebrate their third wedding anniversary the night of the show and my partner in crime, Lexie, and I convinced them the night before (over way too many cocktails) to cancel their plans and see the Chicks instead—they both left saying it was the best concert they have ever seen. Experiencing a DCX show is so much better when you can share the night with a close friend or fellow fan, like my sister Haley. I will continue to convert as many people that will take the time to listen to my story.
What in your mind makes the Dixie Chicks stand out from any other band?
The Dixie Chicks are their own genre of music. No other musician or band in the world can fuse together rock, pop, country and bluegrass, and do it in the unique fashion in which Emily, Martie and Natalie can. This tour is the perfect example—their version of “Nothing Compares 2 U” is a heart-breaker and so different from the original that it sounds brand new again. If they didn’t tell the audience that “Daddy’s Lessons” was a Beyonce song everyone would go on their way thinking, “Wow, what an original tune. I wonder when they will release it as a single?” And then the Ben Harper cover of “Better Way.” Wow. They just simply can do no wrong. They are magical together and have more talent and passion for what they do than any other artist I have seen in my lifetime. There’s a rawness and vulnerability that comes through in the live shows, which I would argue sounds better than their produced records (those are still really damn good too!). The world needs to hear the DCX.
What currently is the most played song in your music library?
After seeing a few DCXMMXVI shows in Europe in April, I immediately fell in love with the new covers they are doing. I built a YouTube playlist and “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Better Way” are both in heavy rotation right now. And after the chaos of the past few weeks with Orlando and other incidents, “More Love” from the Home album is also getting a ton of playtime.
What’s your favorite song from Dixie Chicks and why?
There’s no way to narrow this down to one—three is as good as I can get. Every time I hear the first cord of “Not Ready to Make Nice,” I still get goosebumps. It’s the girls’ most powerful and personal song, however, it has gotten me through heartbreak of all kinds—from relationships to my friend Kristin’s medical issues and everything in between. It is such a healer and can mean so many things to so many people. The crowd response to this song is always the loudest, proving the DCX were right all along.
My second favorite is The Long Way Around. The first time I heard this song I was laying on my living room floor and remember tearing up, thinking in my delusional mind, “they wrote this song about me!” It’s my anthem, and a reminder of how I want to live my life.
Lastly, there isn’t a more important song the world could hear right now than “More Love.” When the world around me feels crazy and harsh I just shut my eyes and play that song. As the DCX sing, “If there’s ever an answer, it’s more love.”
What is your favorite album from Dixie Chicks and why?
Taking the Long Way is my favorite DCX album primarily because they wrote the entire album and it is so personal. And the sound of the album completely changed the game for them in terms of genre—there’s something for everyone on that album. It was a rebirth for them. The night they went 5/5 at the Grammy’s I was jumping up and down on my bed because it validated how much the industry respects them. It’s just one of the greatest albums of all time.
How do you stay connected with your favorite artists?
Social media has really opened lines of communications with artists like the DCX. Natalie and I tweet fairly regularly. Just yesterday we were hammering on United Airlines for their awful customer service. She tweets me after their shows a lot, as does Emily. Natalie always has something to say about current events so I love reading through her Twitter feed—she’s hysterical.
What’s your favorite piece of DCX memorabilia?
I have the DCX’s TIME and Entertainment Weekly covers autographed and framed. Every time I walk by them in my house I just shake my head in disbelief about how extraordinary their story is and how grateful I have been to be a part of it.
What was your first concert ever, the last concert you’ve seen and what will be the next?
My first concert was David Lee Murphy and Brooks and Dunn at the La Crosse Center when I was in high school. The last concert I saw was the DCX MMXVI show in Washington DC and the next concert I will see is the DCX MMXVI concert in Seattle.
How many DCX MMXVI shows do you plan on attending? Which ones?
When it’s all said and done I will have attended 18 DCX MMXVI shows this year, including:
• Washington DC
• Seattle (TICKETS)
• Portland (TICKETS)
• San Diego (TICKETS)
• Las Vegas (TICKETS)
• Phoenix (TICKETS)
• Irvine (TICKETS)
• Houston (SOLD OUT!)
• Austin (SOLD OUT!)
• Minneapolis (x2) (SOLD OUT!)
• Green Bay (TICKETS)
• LA Forum (TICKETS)
• LA Hollywood Bowl (TICKETS)
What’s the furthest you’ve traveled to see a show?
The United Kingdown earlier in 2016. My friend Lexie and I went to three shows in Birmingham, Manchester and London. It was one of the most enjoyable trips of my life. They could play in the middle of an ice storm or directly on top of the equator and I would find a way to be at the show dancing my ass off and singing my heart out.
Tell us something about the Dixie Chicks that a lot of other fans may not know?
They are total badasses, but the most down-to-Earth, genuine girls you could ever meet. A few of my friends—Lexie, Steph, Cynthia, Niki, Angi, James, Sam, Maggie and Shalice—have been able to meet them as well and they all say the same thing—how gracious, beautiful and sweet they are.
If you could tell Dixie Chicks one thing, what would it be?
Martie, Emilly, Natalie,
-For the gift of your music which has provided me so much joy, healing and growth.
-For being total badasses and not backing down when it felt like the entire world was against you. You are the epitome of integrity. You have set the most amazing example for your children and they should be so incredibly proud of what you’ve accomplished.
-For teaching me to not care what others think—to be bold, brave and fearless. I am a stronger man by watching you, and so all my awful singing and dancing during your show is me trying to repay you.
-For making my feel special and loved. There’s no greater gift!
-For making my wildest dream come true. Over and over and over again. I never take for granted the time I get to spend with you. If there is every anything I can do to repay the favor, just ask! I am a ride or die dude and going to be on the DCX bandwagon until the day I die.