Dierks Bentley knows he has a job to do.
“You can’t forget what you’re there to do on a Friday, Saturday night,” Bentley told Radio.com. “People have worked hard all week. They’re spending money for your show. You’re there to have a good time and not get too inside yourself.”
“There’s times I look at someone in the crowd, and I see someone cry or get emotional, and I have to zone away or close my eyes so I can finish the song without going there, as well,” he said of some of the deeper, personal songs from his nearly 12 years in the business.
Especially some of his newer, heavier songs.
Like “Here on Earth,” which Bentley says is “a really honest song that I think people who have experienced a traumatic loss will connect with. I like that it’s different than what I’ve written.”
And “Damn These Dreams,” the one he says will always be a really personal song for him because it’s so real — about chasing that same old whiskey melody up and down the Nashville streets.
But I feel like Bentley does a great job in balancing his set list. No one wants to leave a concert feeling like they’re heard too many heavy tunes, but you also don’t want to hear 90 minutes of party anthems either. So for every “Drunk on a Plane,” Bentley’s got a “Say You Do.” It makes for a solid show that still feels country enough.