Dierks Bentley: More Than A Riser in Hartford

Dierks Bentley
Locked & Reloaded Tour
August 3, 2013
Hartford, Connecticut


 Dierks Bentley may be an “opening act” on the current ‘Locked & Reloaded Tour’, but his performance in Hartford this past Saturday night had all of the makings of a head-liner mainstay.  Following sets from Kix Brooks and newcomer Rae-Lynn, the tenacious Dierks took to the stage to an energetic version of “Am I The Only One” and instantly made sure he was not the only one there ready to party. 

What followed was a perfectly conceived setlist that contained equal parts love, fun, memories and patriotism.  Whether it was “Free & Easy” or “Every Mile A Memory”, you could tell Dierks sings songs about moments he has experienced and things that he loves.  Nothing shows that more than he brand new single, “I Hold On”, which the crowd was lucky enough to hear before its release. 

“I Hold On” tells a story about the truck his deceased father had given to him and despite all the years and wear and tear, he still holds on to it because “…she’s still here and now he’s gone”.  The same goes for his guitar and despite its scratches and dents, he likes it better than a new one.  The message is clear: life is not about things, but more about memories.  I expect this single to be an enormous hit for Dierks, who seems to be one of the few in today’s country music to be consistent with the quality of music he puts out. 

Another true highlight of Dierks’ set was when he and his band put forth an impressive rendition of “Up On The Ridge”, the title track from a previous bluegrass record he had released.  The song starts with the band lined up next to each other perched on a raised stage with a gleaming forest and moon backdrop and finishing with the band jamming out at the front of the stage.  It is the perfect song to showcase just how impressive Dierks’ entire band is as the jam out at the end of the song was as firey as the flames that appeared on the big screen. 

Of course the ladies were not forgotten as Dierks proceeded to tell everyone on the lawn to get close to their significant other so that he could help them get lucky.  He then serenaded the crowd with the sexy “Come A Little Closer” and followed it up with “Feel That Fire”.  Both songs blended together nicely in the middle of an action packed set.

Dierks added in humorous comments throughout, brought a woman on stage to (poorly) play his guitar, and even signed a guitar and gave it to a concert goer in the pit.  At times he was on his knees slapping five with fans and at other times he was catching air with his patented jump in place dance.  He is a true entertainer who is happy, humble, talented and explosive from the beginning to end of each performance.


Dierks finished off his brilliant set with the beautiful “Home” which combines a sense of patriotism with a touch of self worth.  It is constructed without a military or flag waving sense of love for America that is unique compared to many other patriotic-like songs.  Nonetheless, shouts of USA resonated from the crowd and Dierks’ throaty delivery had the capcity crowd in the palm of his hand at show’s end.  After hearing “I Hold On” and “Bourbon in Kentucky” (although it was not performed), I fully expect his soon to be released ‘Riser’ album to be everything one would expect from Dierks Bentley, a consistent and quality product. 


  1. Am I The Only One
  2. Free & Easy (Down The Road I Go)
  3. 5-1-5-0
  4. Every Mile A Memory
  5. Lot of Leaving
  6. Come A Little Closer
  7. Feel That Fire
  8. Tip It On Back
  9. Up on the Ridge
  10. Settle for a Slowdown
  11. I Hold On
  12. What Was I Thinking
  13. Sideways
  14. Home