On September 6th, 2019 I had the chance to see Dierks Bentley live in concert for the third time in less than a year. This time was at the FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine, CA. I have seen this tour once indoors and twice outdoors over the span of 11 months.
After seeing Dierks Bentley for the third time I am thoroughly convinced of the man’s entertainment abilities. Even though he has been on tour for so long he still puts his all into the show for his audience and has at every show I’ve seen him at. The set list is mostly the same with a few variations so I won’t get into that, however, this time around Kelsea Ballerini joined him on stage to perform “Say You Do”. I am not a Kelsea fan at all, I think her music is less country and more pop, and hearing her perform with Dierks did not change my mind because all it did was prove me correct. Her pop songs unfortunately hide an otherwise wonderful voice. She sounded great with Dierks in Irvine. In fact, Dierks voice doesn’t even show any signs of wear and tear at the end of this tour. A true professional.
Caylee Hammack opened the show this time around and on the prior leg of the tour in February the slot was filled by Tenille Townes. I really was not very familiar with either artists prior to seeing them perform, however, they both have their own style. I just not entirely sure Caylee Hammack fits on a country bill with Dierks Bentley and Jon Pardi.
Speaking of Jon Pardi, he was the second opener for this show, as well as at the show I saw in February. This was the 4th or 5th time I’ve seen Jon live and I have to say he was a little disappointing this time around. I don’t know if he was too drunk or what but there seemed to be major disconnection. His set list started off great and he had the audience on its feet, stompin’ their boots on the metal stands. But a few songs into it he hit a major lull and began to lose the audience. I kept waiting for him to perform one of his popular, well-known songs but we, the audience, waited a bit too long for it. He has the songs, the sound and is an overall great performer, but a badly organized set list makes it difficult to get through, on top of possibly being too drunk.
One thing I love about country music concerts is that audiences really get into the openers and, despite a few setbacks, this night was no exception. And of course Dierks Bentley blew everyone away with a long string of hit songs, a few theatrics and an engaging show.