Dierks Bentley is as hungry as any artist to get back to touring — but the country crooner is waiting for the right time. Bentley recently told ET that the drive-in concert craze that’s popped up in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic isn’t something he’s really interested in considering.
Bentley recently spoke with ET’s Rachel Smith via video chat, and when asked whether he’s thought about holding a drive-in concert — like quite a few of his fellow country music stars — Bentley candidly admitted, “You know, I really haven’t.”
“I feel like, with music, there’s so much to do other than touring. I miss touring and I can’t wait to get back out there again, but I just can’t imagine doing it without it being the way that we do it… I mean, I can’t imagine playing a drive-in.”
Bentley conceded that, “If demand were there and fans were twitching for that,” he might be able to “go out there and do it for them,” but he thinks the style of that kind of show doesn’t jive with how he likes to perform.
“I feel like my show is so geared towards this direct interaction, you know?” Bentley said. “My show is very physical with the fans and very high energy.”
“This doesn’t feel like a lot of fun for anybody right now,” he added. “I know we’re all missing touring, but I think there’s a lot of ways to be creative.”
One way Bentley has been able to direct his creative energies is his new original show with Apple Music, The Nashville Countdown. “It’s really something we’ve been working on a few months now, just keeping under wraps, and so it’s nice we get a chance to tell friends about it,” Bentley said, adding that he’s excited for “a chance to host a countdown [show].”
“[It’s] a show based on the hits, [featuring] the most popular songs and the popular artists in the genre right now,” he explained. “But of course, being Apple Music, they want to make it different and fun and unique and they’ve really allowed me to put my own stamp on it.”
For Bentley, his new series with Apple Music is “a chance for me to connect with my fans,” while he isn’t on tour or doing drive-in shows. Without that in-person bond, Bentley thinks most country artists will have to court that kind of fan interaction in new ways.
“I think we’re all trying to step up the social media element a little bit, to connect with fans in that way,” Bentley explained. “But I do feel like, maybe next summer, there will be a way to get out there and play shows where it’s, I guess, socially distanced in some way. And when they do, I’ll be the first one back out there touring again.”
“But until then, you know, it’s just time for family and friends and being creative, I think,” he added.
Bentley’s debut episode of his weekly series, The Nashville Countdown, is available now on Apple Music.
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