Dierks Bentley & Jon Pardi Honour George Strait in Nashville Tour Debut

 

Dierks Bentley played his first-ever headlining show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Jan. 21, and he took the opportunity to pay tribute to one of his all-time country heroes — George Strait.

During the set, Dierks invited his opening act, Jon Pardi, onto the stage to perform a duet version of George’s 1997 chart-topper “Carrying Your Love with Me.” You can see it in this video shot from the crowd.

Dierks said he and Jon are such huge Strait fans, they plan to perform different cover songs from the King’s catalog throughout the What the Hell World Tour. We can certainly look forward to those performance videos rolling in for the next few months.

Dierks also surprised the crowd with a guest appearance from his “Different for Girls” duet partner, Elle King. They sang their hit duet before she wowed the audience with her pop hit, “Ex’s and Oh’s.

Thomas Rhett was also spotted in the crowd at the Dierks show. For the finale, Dierks brought out his openers Jon Pardi and Cole Swindell, as well as famous faces Kelsea Ballerini, Chase Rice and Cassadee Pope for an all-star singalong on “Drunk on a Plane.”

 Hunter Kelly, Senior Country Correspondent

Dierks Bentley Blazes Through Sold-Out Headlining Show in Nashville

 LAURA HOSTELLEY • JANUARY 22, 2017 - 11:51 A

Dierks Bentley at Bridgestone Arena; Photo courtesy Greenroom PR

This past Saturday night (Jan. 21) was slated to be one of the biggest nights of Dierks Bentley’s career, headlining the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. for the very first time. There was only one slight problem: He awoke that same morning feeling under the weather and hardly able to speak.

You would never be able to tell if you were in the audience Saturday for his kinetic performance that brought a sold-out crowd to its feet during a nearly two-hour set. He worked his way through many of his hit singles that span across his 14-year-long career.

He took the stage blazing, literally, as he opened his set with bluegrass rocker, “Up On The Ridge,” as flames burst from all around him. A jam session erupted between banjo, guitar and fiddle players as Bentley’s energy exploded throughout the arena.

Bentley kept the tempo high as he effortlessly flowed into “Free and Easy” and “Tip It on Back.” He then took a minute to express how much this homecoming show meant to him.

“Tonight, this is my Stanley Cup game seven. This is the biggest show of my life,” Bentley addressed to a roaring audience. “If I don’t leave this show without my voice, I’m not doing my job.”

Bentley looked like he was simply having the time of his life. He made his mark on every inch of the stage singing his heart out and interacting with his fans that have been so supportive of his career. The good times kept on rolling as he delivered “Am I the Only One” and “5-1-5-0,” inviting a male audience member to shotgun a beer with him as cheers erupted from every corner of the venue.

 

Dierks Bentley and special guest Elle King at Bridgestone Arena; Photo courtesy Greenroom PR

Just as the energy was peaking, Bentley took a few minutes to slow it down. Bridgestone Arena was lit up with cellphone lights in a magical moment as he sang “Say You Do.” To help him with his next song, “Different For Girls,” Elle King hopped on stage, drink in hand sporting a supportive Dierks Bentley tour shirt. Watching the pair on stage, their friendship is undeniable which added to the performance. Bentley returned the favor by accompanying King on her hit “X’s and O’s.”

In a sentimental moment, the country star reflected on his career and how it all started, by driving an old, beat-up truck cross country from Arizona to Nashville, all with his dad. Cue “I Hold On,” the most uplifting moment of the evening.

“My dad’s got the best seat in the house…he’s no longer here but I still drive that truck, that 1994 Chevy truck,” Bentley said. “I never imagined I’d get a chance to play this place.”

A montage of his life as a musician as well as with his family flashed across the screen as Bentley played “Every Mile a Memory.” And there couldn’t have been a dry-eye in the house as a picture of his late, beloved dog Jake was the final image as the song closed.

 

Dierks Bentley at Bridgestone Arena; Photo courtesy Greenroom PR

During the set, Bentley brought his opening acts back on stage during separate occasions. Jon Pardi contributed his talent on a cover of George Strait’s “Carrying Your Love With Me,” which prompted Bentley to channel his inner cowboy and pull a cowboy hat off a nearby fan. Cole Swindell entered the stage all jazzed up for his current single, “Flatliner.” There was one more very special guest to share the spotlight with Bentley, his longtime bus driver who has logged over a million miles on the road since 2003. In tribute to him, Bentley delivered “Home.”

The night was ended on a high note with recent smash hit, “Somewhere On a Beach” and “Sideways,” which resulted in a spontaneous crowd surf which left security guards scrambling to get him back on his feet. As an encore, Bentley emerged one last time in an airplane replica for “Drunk On a Plane,” as he soaked up the adoration from a sold-out, hometown crowd at his first-ever Bridgestone headlining bill.