Fans traded their selfie sticks for cold beers Friday night as Dierks Bentley and Kip Moore took the stage at Shoreline Amphitheatre. As most country music hits will tell you, there is no better pairing than country music and an ice, cold brew.
The festivities started in the parking lot, where fans sat on their tailgates drinking Coors Lights and Jim Beam. As the sound of one of the opening acts, Canaan Smith, wafted out of the venue, people were stumbling into their seats glassy-eyed and excited. Maddie and Tae continued to warm up the already buzzing crowd, playing their breakout hit “Girl in a Country Song.”
The party really got started when Georgia boy Kip Moore took the stage, red solo cup in hand. When he sang, “Everybody raise your glass, pick it up and throw it back”, the adults in attendance happily obliged by thrusting their plastic cups into the air and taking a gulp.
It was quickly clear that Moore was quite the ladies man. When the women in the crowd weren’t singing along to hits like “Beer Money”, “Dirt Road” and “Hey Pretty Girl”, they were screaming incessantly. Arguably one of the best parts of his set was when he catered to some of the older fans in attendance, covering Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” and “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers.
As his 60-minute set winded down, everyone knew what was coming. When the first chords of his smash hit “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck” began, the fans responded by signing along to every word. He surprised the crowd further by announcing that he’d be available to sign every copy of his new album, “Wild Ones”, after Bentley’s set.
With fans several beers deep and buzzing from the excitement of the opening acts, the energy in the venue was palpable. The lights dimmed and the curtain dropped to a loud bang, revealing Bentley, donned in a Van Halen shirt, atop a lifted sub-stage. The crowd went crazy as he started playing one of his most popular songs “Sideways”. One thing was for certain as he began performing, he wasn’t afraid to pull out all the stops. He seamlessly moved through more of his hits, including “Am I Only One” and “5-1-5-0”, using the entire stage and bathed in the lights of the pyrotechnics.
At one point he acknowledged the buzzed crowd saying, “I gotta catch up, you’ve been drinking longer than I have!” Much to the surprise of those in the front row, he brought up a male fan to shotgun a beer with him on stage. After crushing his Coors Light in an impressive 30 seconds, he joked with the gentleman by pouring out the little beer he had left in his can.
This wouldn’t be the last time in the show he’d bring a fan onstage. He later brought up a young kid and let him play his guitar. The moment the two shared wasn’t surprising, as Bentley’s child-like energy provided non-stop action throughout the night. Fans didn’t get a chance to catch their breath as he powered through multiple chart-toppers including “Tip It On Back”, “Every Mile a Memory”, and “I Hold On”.
He slowed it down once to play his inspirational hit, “Riser” from the sub-stage. After the moment passed, he brought out Kip Moore for a duet to “Lot of Leavin’ Left to Do”, much to the delight of his fans. Though their styles were different, they meshed well together, and it was easy to see why Moore was chosen as his main opening act.
Bentley also made a point not to ignore his fans enjoying the show from the lawn. As he started playing “Come a Little Closer”, he ran off stage and into the crowd and finished the song from a small stage right in the middle of the venue. He brought up his guitarist and bassist to play “Back Porch” and then dedicated a special version of “Home” to all the soldiers and their families. With the crowd’s cellphones lighting up the sky, he pointed to the main stage saying, “That’s crazy that’s our stage. Thank you for that”.
Upon returning to the main stage, Bentley brought out his other opening acts, Maddie and Tae and Canaan Smith, for a rendition of “Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)”. After, he slowed it down again to sing “Say You Do” before exiting the stage, causing the fans to start shouting for an encore.
A few minutes later, a video began to play of Bentley sliding on the hood of car, prompting him to come out to sing one of his very first hits “What Was I Thinkin’”. The only way to finish the show was to go 41,000 feet into the air. Bentley brought up a little girl and boy, both dressed as pilots, to help sing his latest single “Drunk on a Plane”. Just like the song, he left the place "rockin' like a G6", in a flurry of fireworks and smoke.
Dierks Bentley’s tour continues through November 1st, where it will finish up in his current residence of Nashville.