Fresno Beehive

Dierks Bentley is on tour as his own opening act. You’ll want to show up early

Dierks Bentley performs in front of a sold-out crowd at Fresno’s Save Mart Center during his “What the Hell” world tour on Saturday, April 29, 2017.
Dierks Bentley performs in front of a sold-out crowd at Fresno’s Save Mart Center during his “What the Hell” world tour on Saturday, April 29, 2017. ckohlruss@fresnobee.com

Hot Country Knights, the opening act of Dierks Bentley’s “Burning Man” tour, is a not-so secret, secret surprise.

After all, the band is officially listed in all the press for the tour, which stops Friday night at the Save Mart Center.

The name is right alongside the better known openers — Jon Pardi and Tenille Townes — but the band doesn’t have a record out (still looking for a label, according to its Facebook page, which has just 3,614 followers). Most people (and this journalist) would have to do a Google search to find out anything about Hot Country Knights.

“The people up front know what’s going on,” says Bentley, talking on the phone from Canada during a tour stop last week.

Spoiler alert: Bentley actually fronts Hot Country Knights as a mullet-and-Oakley-sunglasses wearing alter-ego named Douglas Douglason. Yes, there are costumes and also an elaborate made-up backstory for the band.

“We’ve been doing it for a few years now, on the sly,” Bentley says.

The it, in this case, is 20 minutes of ‘90s country music. Think Sawyer Brown’s “Some Girls Do” or anything by Travis Tritt. The band did rehearse for three months prior to the tour to make sure the songs came off right, but mostly the group plays the whole thing tongue-in-cheek, for fun.

“The whole reason we got into playing music in the first place, is to have fun, because it’s fun,” Bentley says.

That seems to be Bentley’s signature, as evident in the ice-skating promo video he did for the tour. Think Will Ferrell in “Blades of Glory.”

Dierks Bentley ‘Burning Man’ tour

7 p.m., Friday

Save Mart Center

$64.75-$74.75

800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com

Six other noteworthy events this week

Los Lonely Boys 8 p.m. Saturday. Visalia Fox Theatre, 300 W. Main St, Visalia. $35-$45. 559-625-1369, www.ticketfly.com


Greg Hahn 9 p.m. Saturday Tower Theatre, 815 E. Olive Ave. $27.50. 559-485-9050, www.towertheatrefresno.com


Fresno Tattoo Convention 11 a.m. Saturday, noon Sunday. The Big Fresno Fairgrounds, 1121 s. Chance Ave, $20-$30. worldfamousfresnotattooexpo.com


Hot Flash Heat Wave 7 p.m. Sunday. Strummer’s, 833 E. Fern Ave. $12-$15. 559-485-5356, www.strummersclub.com


Coexist Festival Noon Sunday. Meux Home, 1007 R St. Free. Search event on Facebook


Michael Feinstein 7 p.m. Feb. 19. Table Mountain Casino, 184 Table Mountain Road, Friant. $25-$55. 800-541-3637, www.tmcasino.com
Related stories from Fresno Bee

Joshua Tehee covers breaking news, with a focus on entertainment and a heavy emphasis on the Central Valley music scene. You can see him share the area’s top entertainment options Friday mornings on KMPH’s “Great Day.”


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