Come a Little Closer: Ten Hours With Dierks Bentley on Tour

When you’re an artist whose been traveling for 12 years, one might assume that continue being on the road gets vintage, and shows start to feel the same each night. But Dierks Bentley could argue in any other case.

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The forty-one-vintage singers are currently on his What the Hell Tour, marking the 11th headlining trek of his profession. Just because the wintry weather a part of the excursion kicked off, Bentley decided to extend it thru the summer season if you want to reach greater cities and new venues, mainly outdoor ones he could not hit months ago. And the way to the long trek, Bentley is currently the leader of Billboard’s Hot Tours tally, gambling to extra than 500,000 fanatics and incomes $13 million in price ticket income. The largest purpose for adding extra dates, even though? He’s having the time of his lifestyle.

“I suppose our suggests are the first-class they’ve ever been,” Bentley tells Billboard. “I’m extra present now than I’ve ever been. I think this gratitude for purchasing here — it’s been a protracted street to get here — I’m able to appearance returned to it now and be like, I’ve got these kinds of semi vans, this kind of fanatics, gambling venues we’ve by no means had the chance to play before and we’re promoting them out. It’s now not approximately numbers; it’s approximately being in awe and feeling the joy and marvel of doing this likely extra than ever.”

Of direction, whilst you’re a celeb of his caliber — 15 No. 1 hits on the Country Airplay chart, greater than four million albums sold — you can break out with surely showing up on your set time, turning in a powerhouse performance, and transferring along to the subsequent metropolis. But despite a spouse and three children at domestic, Bentley’s primary priority while he shows up to a venue is ensuring the enthusiasts have an enjoy they may by no means forget about, whether it is imparting a pre-display tailgate with an acoustic overall performance or walking into the group to have interaction with them extra.

During Bentley’s June 23 prevent at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Amphitheater on Long Island, Billboard had the possibility to hold with the united states movie star, getting a in the back of-the-scenes inspect the stay he lives on the road. Below, check out a play-by means of-play of Bentley’s nighttime in New York, together with distinct pics and some perception into Bentley’s way of life from the man himself.

1:30 p.M. EST: Lands at Atlantic Aviation at Farmingdale Airport en course to the amphitheater

A certified pilot, Bentley, and his copilot Austin fly the band out to as many indicates as possible — that is as convenient for him as it’s for a laugh. “I love flying, so it’s a danger to do a hobby, see my circle of relatives greater, and cut a number of the corners off the travel. I have never slept nicely on the bus, and with three kids, without aviation, I couldn’t definitely be doing it at this degree anymore,” he indicates. “So it’s virtually simply first-rate for us on the way to play these kinds of large venues and be on this climb, however then to be home plenty extra — several satisfied wives and children.

5:08 p.M.: Takes Ice tub…in a trash can

After participating in Polar Plunge occasions for the past 14 years, Bentley currently integrated each day plunge into his pre-display routine — in a trash can for transportable purposes — approximately six months in the past, the use of respiration sporting events by way of Dutch daredevil/meditation and breathing professional Wim Hof.

“Everything I do revolves around power control,” Bentley explains. “Out here on the street, you’re searching for like a 5-Hour Energy supplement without genuinely ingesting that crap — when I get out of the cold water, for the subsequent 5 hours, I feel truely first rate-charged, so I don’t have to have a good deal of the other stuff to take the strength on stage.” He provides with amusing, “You can locate strength in all forms of special forms – truly tonight will be in the shape of Red Bull and vodka.”

Jokes aside, something shape of strength he makes use of, the maximum important issue to Bentley is that no city gets much less of a display than the next. “You want to stroll out on stage and deliver them all you’ve got — and I always do. It’s like an aircraft in a few methods: You can’t have a terrible flight; you need to have a terrific flight. I sense the identical manner about the show; it must be excellent every night. There’s a lot on the line – these human beings have come out there, they’ve spent their money, and their time to be right here supporting us, they trust in us. So I’m always searching out methods to ensure I have complete energy after I cross into takeoff mode for the show.”

6:18 p.M.: Performs acoustic at Tailgate Party

Following his ice bath, Bentley uses a visiting sauna to heat himself and use the calm earlier than the hurricane to absolutely hone in on his energy control. But quickly enough, he’s on his way to considered one of his VIP stories, the Tailgate Party acoustic set, where he plays for a crowd of maybe 100 human beings underneath a tent — and he’s technically two minutes early.

“It’s for those hardcore fanatics that need a little greater,” Bentley says of the mini show. “They get in early, there are meals returned right here, there are beverages. We take requests, play songs… We heat up earlier than the display anyway backstage, so it’s sort of like us warming up in front of humans.”

After Bentley and his band get their acoustic setup prepared, he tells the gang, “This is continually my favorite part of the day, however additionally like, my most frightening part of the day. Because you checked me out such as you understand me — do I appearance weird? Is my fly down? I haven’t had a drink yet. It’s a bit early for me, I don’t cross on stage until nine:30, so for you men, I’m going to maintain off a touch bit, so I have lots to deliver later tonight.”

That would not mean he plans to allow the gang to drink on my own tonight, although. “I’m just trying to meet the crowd at least midway. If you move into a bar and the bartender received to take a shot with you, it’s not amusing,” he says. “For me, I sense like they’re obtainable tailgating and having so much amusing; they’re pretty lit. I’m no longer gonna get that lit. However I’ll have some beverages with the crowd, and it enables me connect to them in some manner.”

6:45 p.M.: Bluegrass band The New York Yankers plays before the display’s 7 p.M. Begin

One of the most lately carried out parts of Bentley’s show nights is a ten-minute pre-display overall performance via a bluegrass band, which changes its name at each gig to be a play on the contemporary town’s name: the Mansfield Manscapers, Scranton Scrotum Boys, Big Jersey Johnsons. The mystery to those performances? It’s just Bentley and his band goofing off.

As excursion veterans and bluegrass fans, Bentley and his band incorporated the fast set as a fun manner to soundcheck even as additionally giving those early arrivers some track to enjoy before the show actually starts of evolved with out even understanding they’re seeing Bentley earlier than his headlining set.

“It’s fun to observe human beings trap on — a few human beings don’t,” Bentley says. “And a few people are adamant — a female will tap her boyfriend like, ‘That’s him!’ and the boyfriend will move, ‘No, that’s certainly now not him.’”

Jessica J. Underwood
Subtly charming explorer. Pop culture practitioner. Creator. Web guru. Food advocate. Typical travel maven. Zombie fanatic. Problem solver. Was quite successful at developing wooden tops in the aftermarket. A real dynamo when it comes to exporting glucose in Bethesda, MD. Had moderate success managing action figures in New York, NY. Set new standards for selling crayon art in Salisbury, MD. In 2009 I was getting my feet wet with sock monkeys for the underprivileged. Spoke at an international conference about merchandising toy elephants in Nigeria.