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For Dierks Bentley, Everyone on the Road Is Family

Dierks Bentley songs about life
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Dierks Bentley kicked off his 2017 What the Hell World Tour in January with a sold-out show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena during its opening weekend. Since then, the “What the Hell Did I Say” singer has spent most of the year on the road, where he is joined by Cole Swindell and Jon Pardi, who are serving as his opening acts.

“I really love both those guys,” Bentley shared with The Boot and other reporters at a recent media event. “The tour’s just a lot of fun … The success as far as how many seats we’re selling — we’re selling a lot of big places, and it’s pretty amazing. Sometimes I’ll look over my shoulder, wondering if [Kenny] Chesney’s onstage or something — like, ‘Why are these people here? Am I opening for Kenny again?’”

Bentley has, rightfully, earned a reputation as one of the nicest tour bosses in the country music industry. But according to the Arizona native, each person involved in his tour is equally vital, and he thinks of his crew members more as family than employees.

“Our time out there matters. We’re making a sacrifice when we’re away, so it’s important that they have value so they make that sacrifice worthwhile,” Bentley explains. “These fans come out, spend money and time to be with us, so they’re valuable, too.

“I guess it’s just a thing of being impressed and really understanding the importance of the day out there,” he continues. “It’s not just another show; it’s that one day, that one show in that one town.”

From his stage crew to his band to his opening acts, Bentley wants to know how everyone’s feeling and how things are going each day. He’s especially invested in seeing his openers succeed.

“I want them to go out there, and I want to give them all the tools to kick my butt,” Bentley says. “They can use all our lights, all our sound … We try to give them all the tools they can to have a great night, and it just makes the show better for everyone.”

Bentley’s What the Hell World Tour is currently scheduled to run through November. A list of all of his upcoming shows is available on his website.

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