Dierks Bentley sees himself as the head bartender at your favorite club.
Yes, it’s his job to make sure you have a great time, but that certainly doesn’t stop him from enjoying himself.
“This is my night to party, too,” says Bentley, in Fresno on Thursday, Aug. 20 headlining at Save Mart Center on his “Sounds of Summer” tour with Kip Moore, Maddie and Tae and Canaan Smith.
“I’ve been waiting my whole life for this,” Bentley says.
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The Nashville singer has amassed a dozen No.1 hits and an equal number of Grammy nominations over his 12-year career in country music. And he’s proven himself as a ferocious live performer on gigs opening for the likes of Brad Paisley and Kenny Chesney.
“Riser” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country chart last year.
It was the release of “Riser” last year that marked the singer as a bona fide country star. He was named “Country’s Hottest Guy” by People.
The album spawned three No.1 singles (“I Hold On,” “Drunk on a Plane” and “Say You Do”), earned him a spot on the cover of Billboard magazine and led to his own arena tour. By way of contrast, Bentley’s last outing in Fresno was at the Big Fresno Fair.
Bentley’s live shows have always been more than a job. They’ve been an experience, for both the fans and the band, he says.
“I give it 120 percent every night,” he says.
With “Riser,” Bentley finally has the right collection of songs to break through to that next level. He counts “I Hold On” – the album’s second single – as one of the most important songs he’s ever recorded. His current single “I’m a Riser” has one of the most inspiring messages of any song he’s ever done, he says.
“I can brag on it because I didn’t write it.”
If anything, there’s a struggle now to balance out these songs with the good-time party music he loves to play and that his fans have come to expect. Sometimes, he hits it just right and takes the audience with him, from a foot-stomper like “5-1-5-0” into “I’m a Riser” and back.
“That’s my favorite part of the show,” he says.
I need to have that party element to my live shows.
- 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20
- Save Mart Center
- Tickets: $31.75-$52.75
- 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com