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If you ask Dierks Bentley, now is the time to raise a glass to live music.
After spending much of the pandemic making memories with family in Colorado, the country singer is back onstage as part of the Beers on Me tour. And nearly one week into the shows, Dierks has fallen in love with life on the road all over again.
"It was everything you dreamed and more," the Grammy nominee exclusively shared with E! News just days after kicking off his 2021 tour. "I thought it was just so fun to be out there with my own band and crew riding the bus and all the dumb, fun things we do away from the stage. Riding bikes, going mountain biking, playing pickle-ball. I love the guys in my band and crew and it's so nice to be around them."
Dierks continued, "And then of course, the shows. I don't think I've ever seen crowds so happy. Guys singing along with their buddies at the top of their lungs, girls up on guys' shoulders the entire show. It's such a celebratory energy out there after last year."
Soon after rising stars Parker McCollum and Riley Green open the show, Dierks takes over, performing his biggest hits from his career that started in 2003. With his latest No. 1 single "Gone" kicking off the set list, fans won't want to miss a minute.
"It's a great way to start the show," Dierks explained. "It's so appropriate because we were gone, but now we're back. It feels so good to be back. It's a great show opener and the goal is just to get out there right away and just get after it and put the pedal down and get this thing started."
And as Dierks follows tradition by wearing Flag & Anthem flannels, singing through aisles and giving his parody band Hot Country Knights a moment to shine, one thing is certain. This country singer is extra grateful for the opportunity to perform in front of thousands of screaming fans again.
"I never lacked gratitude for what we get to do but this year, everybody is so stoked to be getting back out there and I'm thankful it didn't go away," he shared. "A lot of habits changed. Luckily, live music did not."