Dierks Bentley’s Rule for His 2018 Mountain High Tour: ‘Keep It Weird’ Backstage
Just over a month into his 2018 Mountain High Tour, Dierks Bentley has plenty of antics from the road to share: Some of the highlights so far include a carefully orchestrated Ryman Auditorium showcase, a basketball challenge and a spiritual mentor Bentley has dubbed a "duru." With opening acts Brothers Osborne and Lanco in tow, after all, the tour was never not going to be a party (Bentley previously stated that he planned to make sure the experience was one to remember for both the fans and the musicians involved).
To celebrate The Mountain's release, Bentley planned a late-night showcase at the Ryman the evening before the album dropped (June 7), during which he played the entire album from top to bottom, concluding at midnight, right as the project became available for purchase. "It was a bit of a challenge, because timing was more mathematical than it was musical," Bentley recalls to The Boot and other media outlets. "There were songs to remember, charts to remember."
However, Bentley adds, the experience turned out to be a deeply memorable one: "It's almost like a funeral, because everyone that's ever meant something to you in your life is there," Bentley explains. "It's like a celebration of life. It was a lot of pressure, but it was really special. I loved it."
Out on the road, Bentley entered into a playful rivalry with Lanco after suggesting that the band's members couldn't handle his tour workouts. In response to the teasing, Lanco challenged Bentley to a basketball bet, and suggested that their tour boss might be too scared to take them up on the offer.
"Oh my God, I'll play some basketball," Bentley responds. "We're just getting started on this tour."
While Bentley clearly understands the importance of staying fit on tour, he also makes it a point to tend to his tourmates' spiritual well-being. Among the activities Bentley offers backstage is guidance from a spiritual adviser called a "duru," which, he says, is a combination of the words "dude" and "guru."
"It's a very unique position on the road," Bentley says. "We're starting a new trend. Everybody has to have a duru out there. It's all part of the Mountain High experience."
Bentley adds that, in dreaming up some of his more bizarre tour practices, he had the Brothers Osborne in mind: "They're some weird guys, so I try to keep it weird for them," he teases. "I recently got into plunge baths, ice baths. Because, on the road, why not? I also brought a friend out on the road, and he's a really positive person who gets you fired up, and he brought a device: If an iPhone has a charger, this device is like a body charger. I don't know how much it's actually true, but we've all felt pretty good out there."
According to Bentley, his road activities are all in keeping with the album's themes of gratitude, being present in the moment and living each day to the fullest.
"My goal for the road -- and it has been for a little while -- is to get us all living," he says. "I'm trying to pack as much living as I can into every day."
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