Photos by Laura Sedor
Country artist Dierks Bentley hit the stage at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater outside of Chicago on a gorgeous summer night, to a nearly sold out show. Touring in support of his latest album Black, due out Friday May 27, Bentley brought the fun and a blue-collar feel to his “Somewhere On A Beach” tour.
Kicking off the show with “Up on the Ridge,” followed by “Free and Easy” and “Tip It on Back,” Bentley seemed inclined to keep the music playing rather than fill his set with conversation. He launched into “Am I the Only One,” “5-1-5-0,” “Say You Do” and “Lot of Leavin’ Left to Do,” walking all over the stage and even up the stairs to a second level throughout many of the songs.
After more than 30 minutes of non-stop music, the Arizona native finally paused to take a drink and chat with the rowdy crowd. Chicago Blackhawk Duncan Keith was brought out onstage to thunderous applause. Why was he onstage? Bentley challenged Keith to see who could “shotgun” a beer faster. The winner was local hero Keith, who would not be beat in front of his Chicagoland fans. The two had a good laugh and a bro-hug over it.
Bentley next sang “I Hold On” and “Every Mile a Memory,” easily segueing into the title track of Black. With fans spread out as far as the eye could see, the singer walked through the crowd for “Feel the Fire,” landing on a B stage in the middle of the audience, where he could easily see and talk to the fans on the lawn.
Opening act Cam and Randy Houser joined for a cover version of the Eagles‘ classic “Take It Easy,” before playing “Freedom” from Black. Bentley ended the night with “Somewhere on a Beach,” “What Was I Thinkin’” and “Sideways.” The encore was crowd favorite “Drunk on a Plane,” played to wildly cheering fans.
Bentley’s Somewhere on a Beach tour continues to Louisiana, Florida, then off to New England and the rest of the country. Black will be available on Friday, May 27.