Garth Brooks can make a girl obsessed.
Look no further than Shanna Anderson of Tehachapi, who has dialed the KUZZ radio call-in number 618 times since they started giving away tickets to see Brooks at an exclusive concert in Bakersfield next week.
"We found out you can't buy them so I was like, well, this has to be my life now," said the 28-year-old, who was born in 1991 as Brooks' was rocketing to fame and grew up listening to him.
Anderson wakes up at 6 a.m. each morning, makes coffee and then sits in her car to listen to the radio, waiting for the cue to call in. She was driving Thursday when the call-in song played and immediately pulled into an orange grove. Even her 3-year-old son knew something was up.
"Mommy you’re acting really weird," he told her recently.
She's not the only one. Die-hard fans of the multi-platinum country artist are in a frenzy to get tickets to the exclusive event ever since Brooks announced that Bakersfield would be the second of seven stops on his "Dive Bar" tour, where he'll play in smaller venues around the country.
As if Brooks wasn't enough of a draw, the scurry to get tickets has pushed the excitement surrounding his show at the Buck Owens Crystal Palace on Thursday to another level. The only way to secure one of the 550 seats in the venue is to win tickets through KUZZ, or one of several other country radio stations throughout the state.
KUZZ CEO and General Manager Mel Owens said the local station has about 200 tickets to give away. The others are being given away by country stations in Fresno, Los Angeles, San Diego and on the Central Coast, and Brooks is also giving some away in a nationwide drawing.
There's a few ways to win through KUZZ. On weekdays, a pair of tickets is awarded five times a day to the tenth person who calls in when a designated Brooks song is played. On the weekends, the station announces a word that listeners can text into the station to have their phone number entered into a drawing the following Monday. This past week, the drawing had 60,000 entries. The station will announce another way to win on Monday.
The luck-of-the-draw contests have some people going mad.
Nuvia V Maldonado wrote on KUZZ's Facebook page: "I am sure I have PTSD now. It does not matter where I am or who is playing Garth. If I hear Garth, the urge to call is (there). I mean frantically looking for my phone. When this is over I will need therapy unless I win lol. I’ll be fine if I win."
Others have resorted to dramatic displays to win tickets.
Josh Samarco, part of the father-daughter dancing duo from Bakersfield that became a national sensation a few years ago on YouTube and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” is breaking out his dance moves once again. This time to get tickets.
He danced on the sidewalk in front of the Crystal Palace holding a sign that said "Will dance 4 Garth Tickets" in a bid to get KUZZ to give him tickets. When that didn't work, Samarco drove his family to Brooks' hometown in Oklahoma and posted a video of his visit on KUZZ’s facebook page, according to the station's program director and on-air personality Brent Michaels.
But Michaels said the station is committed to staying true to the giveaway format.
"Regardless of your income and what you can afford right now, everyone has a chance," he said. "Everyone's playing by the same set of rules."
Brooks said he wanted to get back to his roots and how he got started in country music when he announced the "Dive Bar" tour coming to Bakersfield in a Facebook video on July 29, crediting small bars and country radio for his early success. That's why the tickets are being given away by radio stations and not sold to the public, he said.
There's no magic trick to winning through KUZZ, or ensuring you'll be the right caller, Michaels said.
"One lady two days ago just decided, 'Yeah I'm gonna try it,' and got through on her first try," Michaels said. "It really is just luck."