When I look at Dierks Bentley, I see the boy next door. But I just realized that at 38, Bentley is really more like the man next door. So even though he has one of those eternally youthful appearances, this ain't his first rodeo, so to speak.
Bentley and I caught up when I was in Nashville for the CMT Music Awards and talked about getting older in a very young business.
"Hell, I'm already in my late 30s. But age doesn't ever really play into it," he assured me. "You just feel timeless out on the road. I act like an idiot and probably will continue to do so well into my 40s."
Part of what is keeping Bentley young is the way he approaches his live shows on his Riser tour with Chris Young, Chase Rice and Jon Pardi.
For one thing, he has a stage way out in front of the main stage.
"We have a B stage where we play almost on the grass," he said about his concerts at amphitheaters. "So it's really a full circle moment for me because that was the only place I could afford to sit when I was a kid -- on the grass."
Another way he lives in the moment at his shows? By having a drink or two, which he considers part of his maintenance.
"It's an important part of maintaining when you're always on the road because, first of all, it numbs the pain of being away from home," he said. "And then it also serves to get you fired up and makes you feel like you're part of the party. It would be pretty hard to entertain 15,000 people without engaging in a little bit of what's going on out there."