Cowboy hats, boots, and cold beer could be found in abundance last night at the Dierks Bentley concert in WinStar World Casino's Global Event Center. True to the title of his August EP, Dierks Bentley provided an energetic show featuring Country and Cold Cans. From the time the lights went down until the end of the two song encore, fans were on their feet dancing with their drinks held high.
Non-country music fans will denounce the genre as hokey, simple, or melodramatic, focusing on dogs dying or women stepping out on their men. Say what you will about country music, few artists in any other genre put on more entertaining shows than country musicians. They have a unique way of building an energetic environment and eliciting crowd participation throughout the entire show.
Bentley played a 15 song set. The set list included:
- Country and Cold Cans
- Feel That Fire
- Am I the Only One - After the traditional end to this song, Dierks told a brief story about a third verse that did not make the album due to time constraints on the songs. The crowd was going to be the first group to hear the song in its entirety. Dierks' extended verse referenced a girl bringing up marriage, kids, and Honey Boo Boo. It ended with Dierks heading up to WinStar to get away from her.
- Lot of Leavin' Left to Do
- Up On the Ridge - Dierks had his band bring out a banjo, violin, and steel guitar for this song. It was featured on Bentley's bluegrass album of the same name, Up On the Ridge. Dierks kept the bluegrass instruments out for the next three songs.
- Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go) - This song was the most sing-a-long heavy of the night. Free and Easy is one of Bentley's more popular songs and he played to the crowd, throwing the singing duties to them every couple of lines. You would have been hard pressed to find someone not singing.
- Tip It On Back
- Grab a Beer
- The Woods
- Come a Little Closer
- My Last Name
- How Am I Doin'
After What Was I Thinkin', Bentley ran around the stage emphatically pointing out each member of the band. They formed a line in front of the drum set and gave a group bow to the crowd before heading off the stage, waving. Dierks was the last off, dropping to his knees, pointing out into the crowd, and bowing in thanks to the mass of screaming fans.
Dierks gave a pretty good mix of songs from his extensive songbook. Until 2012's Home, Bentley had veered away from mainstream country and focused on bluegrass. He brought out the banjo, violin, and steel guitar for a few songs, changing the pace of the show before jumping back into songs about drinking and having fun.
Everyone in the crowd seemed to have a great time. The most successful concert experiences consist of a good artist with great stage presence, and a feeling of camaraderie and fun in the crowd. Dierks was able to provide all of the above and more.
WinStar World Casino's Global Event Center provides an excellent venue for artists to have a more personal experience with the fans. Even the seats in the back of the room provide a good view of the stage. The staff is helpful and eager to make your concert experience more enjoyable. If you have never attended a show at WinStar, check one out soon. Visit their website and view the upcoming show calendar.
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Look out next weekend for coverage of the Grand Opening of Mist, WinStar's new nightclub. The DLME will also attend the Train, Matt Kearney, and Andy Grammer (Buy Tickets) show at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie. Lots of exciting articles coming out over the next week, so do not miss out!
As always, go buy some music and support your local musicians.