OFFSTAGE: Dierks Bentley Raises Hell in 18 Seconds

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

If you watched the ACM Awards last week (and honestly, who didn’t?), you probably saw Dierks Bentley scale the steps in the MGM Grand Garden Arena while he was singing his new song, “Am I the Only One.” I was there while he was rehearsing that rock star move and he told me, “I had no idea how this was gonna work out. But it feels great. Like an extension of our show, to end the song with the fans out in their seats. We’re always trying to leave the door to spontaneity open.” So when he was singing about having to raise hell all by himself, he made it to the top of the stairs in just 18 seconds. “The only way to get all the way up there was to take the steps two at a time,” he said after catching his breath. Bentley wrote the song about that one night when you’re ready to go out but your buddies are taking the night off. He said every guy has experienced that. “I’m not ashamed to say we party. I’m bouncing off the walls after shows. So I like to raise a little hell. Have some beers. Have some Jägermeister,” he admitted. And later that night, he was hosting said hell-raising party at the beach at Mandalay Bay and invited me to come. And he left me with this sage advice: “Bring your liver.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.