Rodeo Country Review: What The Hell Canada Hits Calgary

On a cold & snowy Friday Night.... Dierks Bentley's 'What The Hell' Tour with his pals Cole Swindell & Jon Pardi came to the Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta to PARTY.  And party they did with ten thousand of their loyal rowdy fans.  From the stage front 'party pit' to the rafters in the back, it was time to connect with three performers whose music perfectly reflects the sound of today's country music.

The trio of Dierks Bentley, Cole Swindell & Jon Pardi with the aptly named 'What The Hell' Tour is two weeks into a six month string of arena dates across North America and so far both the performers and audiences are loving it!  Several times Friday night, headliner Bentley talked about how much he was enjoying making it back to the Saddledome since his first appearance in  2004 opening up for George Strait.

 This time he was at top of the bill after several performances around town over the last thirteen years at Cowboys, Ranchman's, The Whiskey, Stampede's Coca-Cola Stage & the Jubilee Auditorium.  He was very appreciative of the steady journey to playing larger places like the 'Dome' even singing from a mini stage at the rear of the arena floor to play to fans in the rafters, a nod to his days of attending country concerts in the 90's. 

On the ice in Calgary 

No doubt over the last 13 years or so, Bentley has had a steady rise to the top rung of A List Country Acts.  He his set list Friday night was wide ranging...opening with bluegrass from his 2010  'Up on the Ridge' CD, to several of his best party songs and mid tempo ballads.  He moved effortlessly through all styles backed by a top notch group of musicians,

It's hard to be pick a favourite, although the standouts would be his recent #1 Hit, Different for Girls, last year's mega hit 'Somewhere on a Beach' and 'Home' which he dedicated to his love for the Western region of North America (and love for Alberta & Hockey).  

Bentley during his set also shared the stage with his tour partners performing some George Strait  with Jon Pardi and helping out on Cole Swindell's latest 'Flatliner'.

The encore saved the best for last featuring the monster hit, 'Drunk on a Plane' complete with a mock 747 Jet on stage with Bentley dressed for the role, doing his best impression of a drunk pilot (shades of Sun Wing?).

Returning to Calgary in the middle slot was Georgia's Cole Swindell riding high with a hot string of #1 Hits including the recent "Middle of a Memory'.  Definitely he was a crowd favourite....with many folks singing along to hits like 'Ain't Worth the Whiskey, 'Let Me See Ya Girl and his debut 'Chillin It'.  

Although best known for up tempo party anthems, Swindell shone best on the touching Remember, Boys & You Should Be Here (written in tribute to his late father). 

Those in attendance who arrived early were treated to thirty minutes of California flavoured Honky Tonk from Jon Pardi,  The thirty one year old is currently riding high on the charts with 'Dirt on my Boots' the followup to last year's #1, 'Head Over Boots'.  Pardi is a star on the rise and a good bet to return to town in the near future with lots more stage time.

me, @coleswindell and @JonPardi. almost every weekend. thru august. crazy thing for me to even think about! love these guys.

Rodeo Country Radio is proud to be present our Spotify "What the Hell Tour" Rewind Playlist featuring hits from Dierks Bentley, Cole Swindell & Jon Pardi.