A solo tour has been a long time coming for Nick Lachey -- who was chomping at the bit when it finaly got underway last night (Sept. 20) in Albany, N.Y. "It's definitely been something I've missed," L

A solo tour has been a long time coming for Nick Lachey -- who was chomping at the bit when it finaly got underway last night (Sept. 20) in Albany, N.Y. "It's definitely been something I've missed," Lachey tells Billboard.com. "It's been a good five years since I've been on the road. It's exciting to be back here and doing it again."

Lachey says the shows will draw primarily from his two solo albums -- 2003's "Soul-O" and this year's "What's Left of Me," which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in May with first-week sales of 172,000 copies. He adds that there will also be "a couple of cover things I'm really excited about" and some material from his previous band, 98 Degrees, though that will be presented "in a way that's different ... We're not really doing it full-blown."

Mostly, Lachey says, "My goal with this show is to make it kind of intimate and interactive. I think doing theaters really allows you an opportunity to make the audience really feel a part of it, as opposed to sitting far away and making a spectacle out of it. I feel like there's an opportunity to make them feel like they're part of the show."

Lachey says it will be a different experience performing the songs from "What's Left of Me," which were inspired from his split with Jessica Simpson. In the time since the album's release, he explains, this material has taken on a different meaning for him.

"I think I'm in a vastly different place in my life than I was then," he says. "At the time they were written and recorded, I was living those moments. Now those songs just represent a memory, a moment in time that's come and gone, and I think, emotionally, I'm not invested in those the way I'm sure I was a that time."

"I think for me to go out and be as emotionally fragile as I was when I wrote them and then go out and do a live show wouldn't be very entertaining for anyone," he continues. "I think it's probably a good thing I'm a little bit removed from them now."

Lachey will be on the road until Nov. 11 and is also working on a TV pilot he hopes to pitch for the 2007 season.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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