(Yahoo!) - Dierks Bentley should know better than to say the word "naked" at a fan club party. But he let the word slip at his annual Last Call Ball, which was held on the closing day of the CMA Festival, as he and his band played an acoustic set for just over 300 of his most hardcore and most fortunate fans.
"Sounds good in here, man," Bentley told the crowd at the Belcourt, a movie arthouse built in 1925 that once, very briefly (in the mid-1930s), served as the home of the Grand Ole Opry. "It’s good to take these songs you guys have only heard all electrified up – were you guys there last night at LP Field? — and give ‘em a little bit of an acoustic feel... I'm nervous for some reason, man. I wasn’t nervous last night in front of the stadium, but I get nervous in front of you guys. You guys know me too well. I feel naked up here." Titters and light yowls ensued. Come a little closer and all that...
In actuality, the biggest attraction of the 70-minute afternoon concert wasn't hearing acoustic versions of songs that fans have only heard electrified up, but tunes that haven't been heard before at all (although he's been doing a couple of them at his most recent dates). Bentley sang four selections from Riser, an album that isn't due until October.
One of them, the anthemic "I Hold On," couldn't possibly be more predestined to be a hit: