Dierks Bentley Goes Home To New York City

Dierks Bentley
iHeart Radio Theater, NYC
February 6, 2012

Original publication was on www.countrymusicislove.com

Dierks Bentley performed a private concert last week at the iHeartRadio Theater presented by P.C. Richard & Son, in NYC, in support of his new album, Home. Thanks to our friends at iHeartRadio, we sent ten lucky winners and their guest to the performance, and as he always does for us, Ryan Miller attended the show and was kind enough to recap the night. Here’s his review, along with pictures via iHeartRadio.

On February 7, the evening of his newest album release, Dierks Bentley performed a private, intimate concert at the iHeart Theater in New York City. Despite tickets being given out on an invite-only basis, the theater was packed with Dierks fans hoping for a sneak peak of some of his newest album’s material. They were not disappointed!

Jonathan Clarke, an on-air radio personality from New York City’s Q104.3, introduced Dierks and his band who went right into a new cut off of their new release, “Tip It On Back”. The song is simply about getting ready to go out to a party; very much a prelude to what is destined to be a great night. The song is simple but catchy and had everyone geared for the night.

Dierks’ appearance had changed quite a bit from his look over the past few years. Instead of the curly blonde hair he is well known for, he had a much shorter haircut with no sign of his famous curls. I overheard several women in the crowd debating which look they liked better, with the new look seemingly the winner.

The second song performed was his well known hit, “Feel that Fire” and the crowd responded with cheers and the night’s first sing-a-long. Dierks lifted his guitar vertically alongside his body in what has become his patented chorus move. Immediately after finishing the song he shouted to the New York City crowd “am I the only one who wants to get it on tonight?” It was obvious what was next, his latest No. 1 Billboard single, “Am I The Only One.” As he sang the party anthem, Dierks’ crowd interaction was impressive as he was pointing, waving, smiling and running around the stage. He even added a third verse in which he called the “NYC only verse” and spoke about partying in the streets of the big city.

He introduced his next song off of the new album as one inspired by the rock band Van Halen. He stated that Van Halen had an album that he loved when he was younger named “5-1 5-0” which was also the police code for criminally insane. This song was named after both of those. The song is a fast paced, excitable song which, in my opinion, would do wonderfully at country radio. He ripped off the leather jacket he was wearing and geared up for the bombastic song.

Next he slowed things down for a song titled “Come Around,” which he states was recorded as a duet with Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town. It’s a very bluesy sounding song with beautiful loving lyrics. This song also has the goods to be a big hit at country radio. He next re-called the four night “New York City residency” when he played four bluegrass shows in four nights in some of the most intimate venues of New York. He then gave the fans a taste of his bluegrass hit Up On The Ridge which truly showcased the immense skill the band contains.

He then introduced his next song as a “song that is not country.” He stated that he created it for a Jimmy Fallon television special described as the Pink Floyd series. He was asked to do a country version of the Pink Floyd classic “Wish You Were Here.” I was standing next to Jonathan Clarke of Q104.3 and could see how impressed he was, as a rock music DJ, that Dierks did such a great rendition of the song. With the steel guitar and a fiddle, he transformed the song into his own, while doing great justice to the original.

He followed up the song with his former No. 1 hit “Sideways” and his energy was at an all time high. He jumped into the crowd and was handing out the microphone to fans for the vocals. He next explained to the crowd that he has a 1959 Martin Guitar which always makes him feel like he is at home. He proclaimed that “Washington D.C. is the capital, but New York City is the pulse of the country. The whole country feels what happens here. And I feel like it is part of my home.” He then did a moving rendition of his latest single and title track of his new album, “Home.”

He finished off his set with arguably his most famous song to date, “What Was I Thinking.” He cranked the energy up to 10 for one final song, thanked the crowd for coming, and grabbed his fellow band members for a group bow. The theater gave him a standing ovation and, with the love that Dierks got from the crowd, you could tell why he considers NYC his ‘home.’

The iHeart Radio Theatre was a perfect venue for such an intimate concert which really allowed Dierks to give some inside information about why he wrote some of the new songs while showcasing the full band’s vast talent. All in all, it was an exceptional show in a fantastic venue. Thank you to CountryMusicIsLove, iHeart Radio, and Clear Channel Radio for such a great opportunity.  Photos courtesy of Jennifer Pottheiser for iHeartRadio. 

Dierks Bentley Feels at Home in New York City

Dierks Bentley
Country & Cold Cans Tour
featuring Jerrod Niemann and Eli Young Band
Irving Plaza, New York City
October 21, 2011

Dierks Bentley brought his Country & Cold Cans Tour to the Big Apple for two nights this October.  I was in attendance for the second of the two shows and you could tell he felt right at home.  Last year he had a four night residency in NYC, playing a few different venues while promoting his Bluegrass album “Up on the Ridge”.  I attended two of those shows as well as two of his shows on the Jagermeister Tour, one of which he brought me and my wife up on stage (see http://www.countrymusicislove.com/2011/03/fan-story-ryan-amy-dierks-bentley.html ) – so I am very familiar with how Dierks operates.  Tonight was no different, if anything, he took the decible level up one more notch.

Upon arriving at the Iriving Plaza, located in the heart of Union Square NYC, there was a line wrapped in front of the building and around which went on for another three blocks.  It was a quite a site to see so many hyped up country fans dressed in boots, plaid shirts, and trucker hats lined up on the streets of NYC.  The first act on the bill was the Eli Young Band.  I must admit I did not think I knew many of their songs, but once their set was off and running, I was quite familiar with most of their tunes. 

Their lead singer has a great voice and their songs are full of memories from their hometown.  Songs such as “When It Rains”, “Only the Love Songs”, and “Crazy Girl” have had a decent rotation on country radio and were very impressive live.  The band is not flashy, but not at all dull, not down home country, but not hipster – their look was very similar to their music.  I look forward to seeing them again and buying their cd collection as well.

Next up was Jerrod Niemann.  I had purchased Judge Jerrod’s cd the day it came out large in part for his remake hit of “Lover, Lover”, but this was the first time I have been able to see him live.  And he did not disappoint in the least.  He was extremely energetic and dynamic.  The crowd really responded and the New York City venue started to transform into a Nashville Honky-Tonk. 

Jerrod Niemann has a very strange look.  He has long messy hair and wears a very different hat compared to most country singers and he backed by a band mixed with predominately older gentlemen that had people raising their eye-brows.  Nonetheless, people must learn to not judge a book by its cover, because the Judge and his Jury (as he referred to them) could rock. 

He sang many of his songs off his cd including “What Do You Want”, “One More Drinking Song” and “Lover, Lover” and threw in a blues song by Stevie Ray Vaughn “Pride and Joy” and Garth Brooks’ “Good Ride Cowboy”, which Jerrod actually wrote for him.  Jerrod was high energy with a lot of drinking songs and interaction with the crowd.  He was at his best when he had just the microphone in his hand and was up in the front of the stage.  I look for big things from him in the future and really was impressed by his set.

After a brief intermission, the lights went low and the crowd started to scream.  Dierks has created quite a love affair with New York City after his four night stand last year and his double night run this Fall.  Of course, the Will Ferrell impersonator was in attendance (if you attended last year’s shows you know what I am talking about) and I saw a lot of familiar faces from the past NYC shows. 

Dierks hopped on stage and ripped into a new song called “Country Cold Cans” which is a high energy song with a lot of country references (from pick up trucks to trucker hats).  I expect this song will be on his upcoming album which is rumored to have a winter 2012 release. 

Irving Plaza was absolutely jammed packed while Dierks was on stage and people were going crazy during his set.  Dierks has a patented move where jumps straight up and down on stage and the crowd responded by bouncing up and down with him each and every time he hopped.  He brought out his full catalog of hits from “Feel That Fire” to “Every Mile a Memory” to “Sideways” and his energy level was at an all time high.

To my delight, he even sang a few songs off his bluegrass album such as “Up On the Ridge” and “Bottle to the Bottom” and sang a few new songs, entitled “5 1 5 0” and his newest single “Home”.  “Home” is a patriotic song, not in the flag waving way, but more of an ode to America and its natural beauty.  He was very controlled and passionate during this song and the crowd responded with a slew of “U S A” chants upon its finish. 

I have seen a countless number of country music concerts and Dierks is as good of a performer as anyone out there.  He has a natural interaction and energy that gives him a fun-loving vibe.  His career path is a bit confusing because he has the hits and persona to fill arenas, but yet he seems to stick to the mid-sized ballroom type venues.  I would love to see Dierks’ label allow him to embark on an Arena tour, he would have no problem selling well. 

Dierks finished off his encore with his two biggest hits to date “Free and Easy” and “What Was I Thinking” and the crowd applauded him for what seemed like ten minutes.  Dierks was overwhelmed with the applause and bowed with his band multiple times.  The speakers then played “Shipping Up to Boston” by the Dropkick Murphy’s and the entire crowd began to jump straight up and down “Dierks-style” and he, of course, responded as you would expect. 

On this night, in New York City, you could tell Dierks felt comfortable as if it was a second Home.  I expect him to keep coming back to the Big Apple as he really seems to have a great time on stage during his shows here.  Dierks, we await your new cd and cannot wait to have you back in the City that never sleeps. 

Setlists:

Jerrod Niemann

1) How Can I Be So Thirsty
2) Down In Mexico
3) Baseball Song
4) Good Ride Cowboy
5) What Do You Want
6) Buckin’ Song
7) Pride & Joy
8) Get What You Deserve
9) Everclear
10) Lover, Lover

Dierks Bentley

1) Country Cold Cans
2) Feel That Fire
3) Am I The Only One (with an extra verse)
4) Every Mile a Memory
5) Tried to Stop Your Leaving
6) Sideways
7) 5 1 5 0
8) Tried To Stop Your Leaving
9) How Am I Doing
10) Up On the Ridge
11) Bottle to the Bottom
12) Home
13) Lot of Leaving Left To Do
14) Come a Little CLoser
Encore:
15) Wish You Were Here
16) Free and Easy Down the Road I Go
17) What Was I Thinking

VIDEOS:

Dierks Bentley – “Home”
Dierks Bentley: “Up On The Ridge”

Dierks Bentley – “Am I The Only One”
Jerrod Niemann – “One More Drinking Song”
Dierks Bentley – “What Was I Thinking”