Brandon Lay earned one of the most coveted opening spots this year. The Tennessee native is currently serving as the opening act on Kenny Chesney's Trip Around the Sun Tour, taking him from playing in bars to stadiums.
"It really is easier than a lot of other smaller venues and rooms because that whole camp and whole atmosphere around that camp is just a party on wheels," Lay explains. "And there are so many crew people that have worked with [Chesney] for 20 plus years and it really is impressive just the setup and tear down aspect of it, and it takes literally a village to make it all go round."
The "Yada, Yada, Yada" singer is also taking notes from his tour boss on how to keep everyone entertained until showtime.
"But somewhere between all of that everyone is laid-back and having fun," Lay continues, "and then it's two hours before we even go on and people are out in the parking lot having a great time. It is easy to have fun in that kind of environment."
Lay isn't the only one singing Chesney's praises. Thomas Rhett, a seasoned headliner, is also grateful for the opportunity to learn under the country music icon.
"Opening for Kenny at a stadium I think is every artist's bucket list because he's made such a spectacle out of – that's what he does," says Rhett. "He's a stadium act. I love Kenny Chesney but I don't want to go see him in an arena. I want to go see him at a stadium because that's what I grew up seeing at CMA Fest or at all these NFL stadiums across the country.
"And so," he continues, "to get up there and open for a legend and a hero – one day when he's not touring anymore, I can say that I got to be a direct support for Chesney on a stadium day."
Rhett joins Lay in admiring how well Chesney makes the entire evening memorable, for everyone.
"I think what Kenny has done the best is he's created such an atmosphere for people that even if you've never even heard of Kenny Chesney you know what you're going to experience at a Kenny Chesney concert, so you go," Rhett reveals. "And I think it's amazing when you can learn how to create an atmosphere rather than just put on a show."
A list of all of Lay's upcoming shows, including his run with Chesney, can be found at BrandonLay.com.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Terry Wyatt