To announce his 2018 Mountain High TourDierks Bentley collaborated with Ryan Silver to release an intensely goofy short video starring himself as a dreadlocked shaman leading a group of musicians (the tour's opening acts, Brothers Osborne and Lanco) on a hallucinogenic spirit quest through the woods. Hey, you can't take yourself seriously all the time!

"It was called 'The Mountain Tour', and then I asked these guys to join me and it became the 'Mountain High Tour,'" Bentley told The Boot and other reporters at a recent press conference with both supporting acts also present. "I want to have a great summer, make a lot of great memories and spend that summer with people I want to be around.

"Someone said to me early on that one plus one equals three, you know?" Bentley adds. "When a group of people come together, the sum is greater than their parts."

A lot goes into picking an opening act, but Bentley says that deciding on the duo Brothers Osborne was a natural fit: "I think we did one of our first shows together in [Washington], DC, and it was, like, 100 degrees," Bentley recalls as TJ and John Osborne nod their heads in agreement. "I went out and watched them play, and they were just awesome. Since then, I've been following along, waiting for the right time to make that move. There's a lot of people trying to get these guys this year. I'm just lucky that we got 'em."

Adds TJ Osborne, "[Bentley] puts priority on the correct things, which is really hard to do, especially when you want to make money. I think that's a testament to why everyone says Dierks is such a great dude and such a great entertainer."

The brothers have been fans of Bentley's for years: "Actually, I think the first concert I ever saw out here [in Nashville] was [Bentley] opening for George Strait," TJ Osborne recalls. "It was fun until my buddy dropped a beer on someone in front of us and they were not happy about it, so we had to leave. But, what's awesome about being out with Dierks is that it doesn't feel like pressure. It feels like we're doing what we came to this town to do."

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Lanco are the greenest addition to the 2018 Mountain High Tour lineup. The members of the band, who scored their first No. 1 hit in 2017 with their single "Greatest Love Story," made a name for themselves touring and performing at festivals, and recently released their debut album, Hallelujah Nights.

"I love ["Greatest Love Story"], and I love that 'new artist energy,'" Bentley says of his decision to invite Lanco to join his 2018 tour. "They already have a focused sound they're going after, which is a lot more than I can say about myself at that point in my career."

"And you guys are a band," John Osborne interjects, as Bentley nods emphatically. "We're so supportive of bands, because we feel like country music needs more bands. That's where the diversity in sound comes from."

On a less-serious note, Osborne continues, "My liver is ready. Let's do this, boys."

Lanco bandleader Brandon Lancaster notes that the group's admiration for Bentley's career made the decision to join the tour an easy one: "[Bentley] has had a career of putting out stuff that he obviously really cares about, and it translates to people that he's passionate about what he's doing," Lancaster says. "That's kind of the model we want to follow in our own career. So we're just happy to be here."

Bentley plans to include some collaborations between the three acts into his sets while out on the road, in part because he recalls how much fun it was to be brought back out onstage with the headliners he toured with earlier on in his career.

"It's fun for the fans when you see everyone come back out together in some way," he says. "The hardest part is when you go on early and then you have a few drinks and you think, 'Oh, s--t, he wants us to come back onstage at 11. Alright, put the Xbox controller down, boys. We gotta go back back out there and do that stupid song.'"

Kenny Chesney, who began inviting Bentley to join him as a supporting act as early as 2004, had a particularly memorable way of bringing the singer back out onstage at the end of shows: "Kenny would bring me back out to sing "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy,"" Bentley recalls. "It was such an amazing opportunity to be in front of his crowd and have that fun moment."

In some ways, Chesney taught Bentley how to be a headliner: "If there's any ego involved with touring, I want these guys to walk away thinking, 'We've never had more fun opening for anybody!'" Bentley admits. "They're all going to be headlining their own thing very, very soon, so I want this to be the tour that they talk about the way I talk about touring with Kenny."

Tickets for select stops on the Mountain High Tour will go on sale on Jan. 26. For more details, and to stay up to date on exact tour dates, visit Bentley's website.

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