With less than 20 days until the much-anticipated kick-off to Kenny Chesney’s Here and Now Tour, the country superstar is hard at work rehearsing for the upcoming 41-city run.
The eight-time Entertainer of the Year and his band, including new members Keith Urban multi-instrumentalist Danny Rader on guitar and Col. Bruce Hampton & The Aquarium Rescue Unit drummer Nick Buda, have been rehearsing non-stop at an industrial complex outside of Nashville for the last week.
Chesney says he is fired up about his band and what they’re bringing to the live show.
“It’s leaner, but more muscular,” he explained in a press release issued on Wednesday (April 6). “There’s a real sense of power when they play, engagement in the way they listen to each other – and really push how we deliver these songs. It’s crazy. It’s always been a rocking band. But this year, this group of people, the chemistry and energy they have together, I was shocked to see how much more these songs could be; every day, it’s another surprise, and it’s awesome.”
For someone who has been releasing hit songs since the early ‘90s, pulling together a setlist could be daunting. Chesney has narrowed it down to 26 songs and has several others in his back pocket, just in case.
He said he’s looking forward to playing some new songs, too.
“We’ve worked up a pretty cool version of ‘Knowing You’,” he revealed. “As much as this show is built on high energy, rock hard, have fun vibes, there’s a feeling to ‘Knowing You’ that’s going to make every football stadium in America feel like that place you go with your most special memories, wherever that is.
“It means ‘You And Tequila’ and ‘Wild Child’ may not be in the stadiums this year. But I think No Shoes Nation is going to respond to this the same way they did ‘Anything But Mine.’”
Fans attending the Here And Now Tour can look forward to a night of carefree vibes as Chesney plans to share songs that encourage listeners to live in the moment.
“I don’t think I’ve ever thought about what these songs taken as a whole are made of,” Chesney said. “But playing to them with this new band, I realized: the songs I’ve always gravitated to are the ones about living life the way you want to, loving the experiences you have and the people you meet along the way. Maybe you can’t set out with that as a mission statement, but if you’re making music true to your own soul and life, I now realize you truly can show people who you are in the music.
“Maybe that’s why No Shoes Nation is unlike any other group of fans I’ve ever encountered. They share that same compass, too. So, when they hear these songs, they recognize a real truth in them, too.”
The Here And Now Tour, also featuring Dan + Shay, Old Dominion and Carly Pearce, is slated to kick off in Tampa, FL at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, April 23.