By Leslie Bentz and AnneClaire Stapleton, CNN
(CNN) — Emily Kraus was psyched.
She had been a Dave Matthews fan since she was 9. And she was on her way to see him at a show in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
What she didn’t count on was finding him stranded by the side of the road with his bicycle.
To say it was the surprise of her life would be understating it.
The Grammy-winning musician had gone out for a pre-show ride Saturday when the back tire of his bike popped.
“I did not have a cell phone on the bicycle. So I thought, ‘Sh*t,” he recalled that night at his show at Hersheypark Stadium.
“And then a nice lady named Emily rode up in a red car with a bicycle rack on it and gave me a ride on to the gig.”
Conversations with a superstar
Kraus said she and her boyfriend were running late to the show. But, as she told CNN affiliate WHP, everything happens for a reason.
They spotted a man stranded on the side of the road who looked very familiar.
They pulled over.
It was Matthews, his bike broken; he without a cell phone.
Lucky for her, her parents had just recently given her their bike rack. And she offered her idol a ride, to his own concert.
Along the way, they chatted about how the tour was going and his daughter’s summer camp schedules.
“We didn’t know how to make conversation with him,” the star-struck fan laughed.
‘Cheeks still hurt from smiling’
Matthews, grateful for the gesture, invited the couple for dinner. Then, backstage. And then, to front row seats to the show.
Oh, and during the concert, Matthews recounted the incident, referring to Emily by name.
“My cheeks still hurt from smiling, giggling and laughing all night long … this will always be remembered,” she wrote on the affiliate’s Facebook page.
Sunday morning, Kraus said she woke up, wondering if it was all a dream.
But then she noticed the concert tickets. Matthews had signed them, saying “Thanks for the ride.”
“OK, yeah, that really happened yesterday,” she said. “It was surreal, we couldn’t believe it.”