Dierks Bentley is proving he’s truly the Academy of Country Music’s “Entertainer of the Year” while performing at the Bridgestone Arena on Friday (February 22) in Nashville.
The country superstar rattled the at-capacity venue during his hometown stop on the Burning Man World Tour with a plethora of surprise guests, full-circle moments and authenticity.
Kicking things off with direct support from Jon Pardi and Tenille Townes, the Burning Man World Tour kept concert-goers on their feet while they anxiously waited to see what Bentley had in store for them. Delivering hit after hit, Dierks’ set was every country music fan’s dream as he mixed in classics, covers, and new material from his recently released album The Mountain.
Some of the biggest moments of the night included Bentley’s 90s cover band Hot Country Knights, as they brought out Thomas Rhett incognito as cousin “Daryle” who sang father Rhett Akins‘ hit “That Ain’t My Truck,” while Mark Miller from Sawyer Brown later joined for “Some Girls Do.” Starting to feel like a family affair, Bentley’s alter-ego “Doug” was joined by his daughter Jordan, “Lil Doug,” as they serenaded the crowd.
Bentley also reintroduced the crowd to Townes, bringing her to the stage for a special rendition of “Different for Girls” along with a special performance of “Travelin’ Light” with his oldest daughter Evie. The entertainer also welcomed Keith Urban for a rollicking collaboration on the title-track to his recent critically-acclaimed album before Miranda Lambert appeared for a medley of classic Country hits including Hank Williams’ “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” Merle Haggard’s “The Bottle Let Me Down,” Loretta Lynn’s “Blue Kentucky Girl” and Dixie Chicks’ “Cowboy Take Me Away.” In true Nashville fashion, Bentley closed the show by parlaying through the crowd and out the front door to keep the party going to lower Broadway at his bar, Whiskey Row.
Dierks Bentley is currently up for “Male Artist of the Year” — aka one of the biggest awards of the night at the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards happening on Sunday, April 7th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Although Bentley is up against some good competition in this category, Friday’s performance truly defined what a real entertainer is, and in our opinion, “Male Artist of the Year” will be his next month.
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