ABC/Image Group LAIn just a matter of weeks, Dierks Bentley will kick off his What the Hell Tour at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. But Monday night in Music City, the “Black” hitmaker was getting back to his roots, playing Legends Corner, the honky tonk just across the street from the venue.

 “This place is an especially fun way for me and the guys to get warmed up for the show in January. That big line meant so much to me,” Dierks said of the hundreds of fans who waited to see the free show. “We love being able to take it back to the time we had no money and just played for the love of music. Wow… thanks for being part of this before we head across the street!”

The Arizona native blazed through a set inspired by his heroes —  Conway Twitty, George Jones, Ray Price, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams Jr., Brooks & Dunn, Sawyer Brown, John Michael Montgomery, Vern Gosdin and Alan Jackson, just to name a few — before his tourmate Cole Swindell followed suit, delivering Joe Diffie’s “John Deere Green” and Randy Travis’s “Forever and Ever Amen.”

Tickets for Dierks’ January 21 headlining date at the Bridgestone go on sale this Friday.

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