Dierks Bentley probably has more Texas references in his lyrics than any other performer who's hit the rotating stage at Reliant Stadium so far this 2013 RodeoHouston. He's not a Texan (more on that later). But he sure loves playing here.
After a short intro video, Bentley walked onto stage for his fourth Rodeo with as much swagger as a country music star can. He sported a backwards Stubbs trucker hat, ripped-up jeans and a vintage "Classic Cash - The Man in Black" T-shirt and started with one of his hottest hits, "Am I the Only One." Hyped up and ready to go, the Arizona native made it his mission to pump up the fans with his 14-set song list, pretending to smash his guitar after just the first song.
"Someone told me Alan Jackson's been here 21 times — that's unbelievable! I'll come back anytime y'all want."
For a cold night in Houston, the hunky country star quickly heated things up with his versatility and the range in his song choice. The man has had eight No. 1 singles — having written each and every one. He clearly has a lot of musical ammo to keep a crowd entertained.
The surprise of the night came when Bentley performed his fifth song, "Lot of Leavin' Left To Do." A mystery woman in a short red dress was escorted onto the stage, where she faked a short electric guitar rendition and 20 seconds later was finished. Bentley tweeted the mystery woman was Blair Bentley, whom he called "family." (Blair is apparently Dierks' niece.)
Bentley clearly enjoyed his time at RodeoHouston — he's already hoping for another invite. "Someone told me Alan Jackson's been here 21 times — that's unbelievable!" he said. "I'll come back anytime y'all want."
Toasting the crowd of 54,856, the crooner thanked the throng for the invite and, as if taking a cue out of Toby Keith's playbook, took a swig out of his red solo cup. Things got serious halfway through the show when Bentley turned his cap around and slowed things down, breaking out his fiddle.
A quick mention of moonshine to this Houston crowd was the equivalent of Jerry Maguire's "You had me at hello." When Bentley compared one of his band members to Justin Bieber and tossed out a Houston Texans reference, the fans once again stood in their cowboy boots, hootin' and hollerin' for more music. It was only Wednesday, but you'd have thought by the sounds of things it was Friday night.
As Bentley went on a search throughout Reliant for Little white tank tops, the artist must have liked what he saw because he stumbled on his words before quickly recovering.
Appreciating the Texas crowd yet again, Bentley admitted, "A lot of times I wish I was from Texas." Then he rode off in the Ford F-150, signaling the end of yet another great show. For a final touch, the scruffy hunk jumped out of the bed of the truck and handed his guitar to a fan in the stands.
Rockin' a Johnny Cash T-shirt and a Stubbs hat, you Mr. Bentley are welcome to Houston any ole time. Consider this your invite for next year. And the year after . . .
"Am I The Only One"
"Free N Easy"
"Every Mile A Memory"
"Lot Of Leavin' Left To Do"
"I Hold On"