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