For several years now, Rodeo Austin, in partnership with H-E-B, has roped in the biggest and brightest country stars to light up the Rodeo Austin Gala stage. For more than six years, the two organizations have teamed up to bring rodeo supporters an evening of fine dining, exciting auctions and superior live entertainment. This year’s gala was held on Saturday, February 9 at Palmer Events Center and featured country artist Dierks Bentley and special guest Jon Pardi.
After a stroll through the hundreds of silent auction items up for bid and a Texas-size dinner, more than a thousand guests enjoyed some of country’s most popular music while sippin’ on longnecks and fine spirits. Country newcomer Pardi took to the stage first and performed his hit “Missin’ You Crazy,” along with several more songs that spoke of life, love and truth. While his name is still unknown to many, Pardi has already had the opportunity to open for many of today’s biggest country stars including Alan Jackson, Dwight Yoakam, Gary Allan and Luke Bryan.
Pardi’s energetic tunes set the stage for Bentley’s electric performance. Like his musical range and versatility, Bentley is just as diverse when it comes to giving performances. To be honest, I wasn’t sure which Bentley was going to come out. Were we going to see Bentley giving a high-octane performance? Or, would it be an acoustic performance like he gives in a more intimate setting? Well, Bentley managed to find middle ground and gave the audience a good sounding, entertaining performance. It was one that had many on their feet and enjoying the night.
Gala guests were also treated to a performance of one of Bentley’s new, yet unreleased songs, “I Hold On.” It’s a personal tune that holds great potential for success. The lyrics speak to the memories of the past that we “hold on” to that help us through the uncertainties of the future, and the music plays to that thrilling pulse we feel in our hearts.
For most of the night, Bentley stuck to his contemporary country sound. However, we did see a little of Bentley the bluegrass singer and musician. He did perform “Up On the Ridge,” and on this night he changed “Settle for a Slowdown” into a bluegrass song.
As one of the premier events in Austin, Rodeo Austin Gala always delivers a good time for a good cause. While one of the largest black tie affairs in Austin, this event still stays true to its humble roots—giving its guests the best in Texas hospitality and offering outstanding entertainment.