Dierks Bentley headlined the star-studded Somewhere On A Beach Tour with Randy Houser, Cam, and Tucker Beathard.
20-Aug-2016: Daisy Dukes and cowboy boots were the main attire for women of all ages Saturday night at the sold-out Gexa Energy Pavilion. Even the guys cleaned up well for a night of country music by one of the top entertainers in the industry.
The venue filled quickly as fans wanted to see the solid performances of all the opening acts. Tucker Beathard came out first and gave the crowd a five-song set, including “Whiskey in a Wine Glass” and the Top-20 hit, “Rock On.”
Cam was up next, and her bubbly personality was as infectious as her endearing voice. Her customary yellow outfit was now a black outfit with yellow flowers. She combined traditional country and new country to thrill the fans with her all-too-short set.
Cam, and the crowd with her, sang her hits “My Mistake” and “Mayday.” Her band sang incredible harmonies on “Half Broke Heart” and “Runaway Train.” Then, she finished with “Country Ain’t Never Been Pretty” and mega-hit “Burning House.” She earned a well-deserved ovation.
Randy Houser began as a songwriter but shifted to performing and found immediate success. He kicked off his set with the No. 1 hit, “We Went,” a party song in which he engaged the crowd. He moved into traditional mode for “Fired Up.” He has a booming voice that fits the genre, although he could sing any type of music.
He performed big hits “How Country Feels,” “Goodnight Kiss,” and the “Boots On,” which would have been a classic at any Juke Joint in the old days. His requisite drinking song, “Whiskeysippi River,” could easily have been a Lynyrd Skynyrd standard. He got a huge hand as he said, “This is our Saturday night, too!” It led into “Like A Cowboy,” spotlighting Randy alone on stage with an acoustic guitar singing this beautiful song.
Houser picked up the tempo again for “Chasing Down A Good Time,” connecting well with the fans. He finished his nine-song set with “Running Outta Moonlight,” sending the crowd into a tizzy. It continued as the band turned it into an extended jam while Randy interacted at length with his fans.
The crowd had waited long enough and cheered when Dierks Bentley came out singing. He proved right away why he has been nominated many times for CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year. He was in terrific voice for both traditional and newer country songs and his backup band even gave him a touch of bluegrass.
His 19-song setlist contained 11 of his 14 No .1 singles, and each one turned into a singalong with the fans. He engaged the crowd, played around with them, and even drank beer with them, especially for “Free And Easy (Down The Road I Go)” and “Tip It On Back.”
Bentley brought a fan onstage to shotgun a beer for the start of “Am I The Only One.” The fans jumped to “5-1-5-0” and slow danced to “Say You Do.”
He talked of the fear of playing live and making an album as he promoted his newest record, Black. Singing along with the video of “Different For Girls” with Elle King was a nice duet. “I Hold On” was a tribute to his dad, as was “Every Mile A Memory.”
A steel guitar played as he went from the stage to a mini-stage behind the sound booth to play for the fans sitting in the lawn section singing “Feel That Fire.” Dierks dedicated songs to police and military and performed a spot-on version of the Eagles’ “Take It Easy” with the opening acts. “Freedom” was a true highlight of the night as he sang it for a military family and then spent several minutes in sincere conversation with them, away from the microphones.
Dierks went back to the main stage for “Somewhere On A Beach” as he fell backward into waiting arms in the crowd to everyone’s amazement, especially the security personnel who came running. He danced, jumped, and gyrated to his first hit song, “What Was I Thinking,” sitting on the edge of the drum platform 15-feet off the ground.
The final song of the set was “Sideways,” a fist-pumping song that excited the audience. It ended after a jam that saw Dierks down on his knees as the crowd roared.
The stage cleared quickly as Dierks and team hurried out of site. Soon a cockpit protruded from the back of the stage for “Drunk On A Plane.” The openers came back out and drank adult beverages sitting in the cockpit while Bentley led another jam session dressed as a pilot. The spectacle closed the show on an impressive note.
It will be interesting to watch Tucker Beathard rise through the ranks over the coming years. Cam will undoubtedly continue to produce quality songs and move up the pecking order on major tours.
Randy Houser possesses incredible talent with his booming voice and ability to connect with his fans. He has a bright future ahead of him.
For Dierks Bentley, the future is already here. He is a main-event star and will only grow in stature. The country star has learned how to put together a show that flows and engages the audience making them part of the concert and not idle listeners. As long as he continues to put his fans first, he will keep selling out major venues.
Be sure to catch them on the Somewhere On A Beach Tour that continues through October 28.
Joe Guzman of National Country Review was on hand to capture the event.