May 7, 2008
Last night, Dierks Bentley celebrated the release of his Greatest Hits album with a performance at Whisky River, where he played his greatest hits…and some Johnny Cash.
I have never had to apply so much to get into a bar as I did last night. Ticket holders had to fill out a membership application for Whisky River, and then stand in a long line to get into a not yet crowded bar. Why not let people in so they can spend money at the bar? Just saying!
Once we got in and made our way through the pit lizards trying to crawl on the NASCAR drivers on hand for the show, we secured a perimeter close to the stage. I have made the executive decision to never go to a crowded concert with a flat standing area again. I am a mere 5' 2" so unless there are all little people standing in front of me, there's no way I am going to be able to see the stage. Even the tall boys were straining their necks to get a view of the Bentley.
I couldn't see shit, but it sounded great, and I guess that's all that matters. Actually, Dierks is pretty hot, it would have been nice to have some eye candy to go with that audio. I was really impressed with the sound quality of Bentley, not the crowd singing along like karaoke.
Whisky River proved themselves as a live music venue with their sound stage quality, and they had that place so well staffed I didn't have to wait longer than a minute to get served at either of the three bars.
Either I am pre-menstrual, or Bentley gave a touching performance of his ballad, "Come a Little Closer" because it made me cry. Bentley has a twangy rock-and-roll sound that makes him a borderline crossover artist. He sounds like a rock star with lyrics like, "Before you go and turn me on, be sure that you can turn me loose," but then sings "Becky was a beauty from South Alabama, daddy had a hard lock a nine inch hammer," and he reminds you that he is in fact, a country singer.
Why do artists always make you think the concerts over by saying good night and walking off stage, yet you know they're going to come back on and do another song, as in their most popular song? In Bentley's case however, he pretty much sang all of greatest hits. So his finale was a cover of a Johnny Cash song.
It was like a NASCAR race in the VIP section with NASCAR drivers David Stremme, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne and, of course, Dale Earnhart Jr.
Little E's Playhouse was also crowded with both 96.9 The Kat and 103.7 WSOC listeners as the tickets to the show were on a win-only basis. As in, you couldn't buy them.
So, as it turns out, aside from the line and the standing and not seeing room only, Whisky River is a great venue for concerts. It's like Coyote Joe's and The Forum had a child. The next big name on their roster is Natasha Bedingfield at the end of the month.