The Brothers of the Sun Tour, with Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, kicks off its 21-stadium outing on June 2 in Tampa, FL. By the time it wraps up in Foxboro, MA on Aug. 25, the run will have traveled more than 19,000 miles over 88 days with 20 buses and more than 80 tractor trailers.
The tour will also feature guests Grace Potter & The Nocturnals and Jake Owen.
“It doesn’t seem that long ago when it was just 14 of us crammed into a 12-bunk bus we called ‘the iron lung,’ ’cause it leaked diesel fumes inside the bus,” said Chesney. “There weren’t enough bunks for everybody so we took turns sleeping on the couch and floor, but we were living our dream and having fun. And even though we have a lot more stuff now, we’re still having a blast and just as passionate about playing music and taking it out to the fans, whether it be in a club or stadium.”
“It’s been a lot of fun rehearsing in Nashville, but rehearsals are over. It’s time to pack the trucks and head to Tampa,” added McGraw. “I’m pretty sure there are towns in Louisiana with smaller populations than we have on our road crew. It takes a village and a lot of hard work by a lot of people, but I’m just excited for the fans because we’ve got one hell of a show planned for them!”
The 283-member tour crew will be fed by a traveling catering staff that will serve three meals a day. Almost 3,200 meals will be prepared for the tour in the five days surrounding the opening show in Tampa. Show day also includes the “Stage Bar & Grill,” which serves hamburgers and hot dogs on stage from 10:00 am until 9:00 pm. Grill chefs include the stage manager, truck drivers and members of Chesney’s band. Over the course of the tour, the production team will consume more than 50,000 bottles of water.
Having stadium shows on both Saturdays and Sundays requires two teams to build and tear down the massive staging. From start to finish, each team will spend 91 hours at each stadium. Staging for both Chesney and McGraw’s set includes an LED video wall with nearly 2,400,000 pixels. Lighting for Chesney’s set includes 80 strobes and 48 Syncrolites that are placed throughout the stadium to send five foot diameter beams of light criss-crossing the night sky.
“I use the word ‘passion’ a lot because it takes a lot of passionate and dedicated people to make this happen day in and day out,” said Chesney. “And most of the people that were with us a decade ago are still here. We’re a family.”
This week, Chesney invited members of the industry to his final rehearsal to get a sneak peak of the performance. It was pretty obvious from the opening minutes of the show this is going to be a must-see tour for 2012.
A really cool feature is the 12-panel video wall which opens up to reveal 80 strobes of power that would surely send “Tanning Mom” into euphoria. The set list is a perfect mix of Chesney’s chart-toppers, older songs, and new material from his upcoming 13th studio album, Welcome To The Fishbowl.
Chesney told the guests he will also be joined on tour by the 245lb Blue Marlin he caught himself (see photo above) as, “a reminder not to take myself too seriously.”
The show is full of fun and energy, packed with hits and a powerful light show, but when Chesney strips it all down and performs “You And Tequila” with only his guitar, absolutely nothing is lost and proves to be one of the most intimate yet powerful performances of the show.
When the headliners join together to perform their duet, “Feel Like A Rock Star,” at the end of the show, the audience is sure to be feeling like rock stars right along with them.
Great American Country serves as media sponsors of the tour. “GAC is excited and proud to be the media partner for the Brothers of the Sun tour,” said GAC President Ed Hardy. “We’ve had many opportunities to work with Kenny over the years and are honored that he is allowing us to be a part of his team. To have Tim on the bill with him makes this the killer tour of the year.”
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