Summer has officially begun in New Jersey as Dierks Bentley rocked a packed house on Sunday night at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel. The country superstar gave a new meaning to the phrase “Sunday Funday” as he plowed through hit after hit, “old, new and in-between”. Joined by friends, Cole Swindell and Jon Pardi, the trio that makes up the 2017 What The Hell Tour left it all on the stage, including a small plane.
Dierks appropriately opened with “What The Hell Did I Say”, one of the songs off his 4 part music video series leading up to the release of his current record Black. He continued on with favorites such as, “Tip It On Back”, “Am I The Only One”, some older songs, “Lot Of Leavin’ Left To Do”, and “Every Mile a Memory”, and his most recent hits, “Different For Girls” and “Black”.
As each song came and went the energy of the crowd only climbed, and with an effort to sing directly to each one of us, Dierks headed up to his floating stage in the center of the arena to perform two of his most powerful songs, “Riser” and “Home”. It was in these moments that he connected even deeper with the audience grasping our full attention. We hung on to every word as he honored the people who dedicate their lives to helping others.
Throughout the night, Dierks shared his own time on the stage with Jon Pardi when they performed George Strait’s “Check Yes Or No”, and Cole Swindell when he invited him back out to give the crowd his current single featuring himself, “Flatliner”. While the music was great, their lighthearted and fun personalities are what stood out to me the most, proving that all three have a genuine respect for one another as both friends and artists. Dierks Bentley even wore a Cole Swindell hat for the remainder of his set, a gesture that did not go unnoticed.
He closed the show with “Somewhere On A Beach” and the song that started it all, “What Was I Thinkin”, before bringing out the entire crew for a memorable rendition of “Drunk On A Plane”.
I have been to many Dierks Bentley shows over the years, from intimate venues to large arenas, and each time I am blown away by the passion he brings to the stage. The loyalty between him and his fans goes both ways and with his music and talent, he truly delivers an unforgettable concert experience.