If you caught Dierks Bentley’s “What the Hell Tour” this year and thought you were seeing double, don’t worry. Your eyesight is just fine. In addition to the hit-packed headlining set — the 11th headlining tour of his career — Dierks and his band also donned disguises and opened for themselves as a mystery bluegrass band every night, changing the name of the band in each city for their 10-minute warm-up set.
Dierks played to more than 660,000 fans in the U.S. and Canada at 51 shows this year, grossing more than $26.4 million in revenue, according to “Billboard.” That ranks it among the highest-grossing country tours of 2017. Twenty-two of the shows were sellouts. And he spent the better part of the year on the road, as the tour kicked off in January and ran through September. It also officially ranks as the only tour we caught this year that brings out a full-scale replica airplane onstage every night!
In a June interview, Dierks told “Billboard,” “I think our shows are the best they’ve ever been. I’m more present now than I’ve ever been. I think this gratitude for getting here — it’s been a long road to get here — I’m able to look back at it now and be like, I’ve got all these semi trucks, all these fans, playing venues we’ve never had the chance to play before and we’re selling them out. It’s not about numbers, it’s about being in awe and feeling the joy and wonder of doing this probably more than ever.”
Dierks is now nominated for Tour of the Year in the Rare Country Awards, and it’s up to you to decide the winner. Voting begins Nov. 13 at RareCountryAwards.com and runs until Dec. 13. Winners will be revealed during a livestreamed concert on Dec. 14.