Brett Eldredge has the date of Thursday, Sept. 13, circled on his calendar. That’s when the artist behind the hits “Beat Of The Music” and “Drunk On Your Love” will resume his initial foray into the world of headline concert touring in Denver, Colorado. He tells Billboard he’s counting the days down.
“I’m loving the summer festival season, but I am really excited about the fall,” he said. “It’s exciting to have that to look forward to. The crowds have been absolutely stunning, and have been passionate beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. We’re going back out there, and it will be more special than the first half.”
If you missed the first leg of the The Long Way Tour, Eldredge promises something a little different for fans. “For this tour, I’ve gotten to do something very unique. First of all, with this being my first major headlining tour of my own, I got to put together a set and a production that is unlike anything else that is out there. It’s very unique to my show, even to any genre. I feel that it’s a cool set that you don’t see very often. It’s got a very unique vibe to it. I got to dream that up and create it like a line in a song. I got to create a stage that fits my lifestyle and the story I’m intending to tell.”
He says the first leg of the tour surpassed his expectations. “The shows have been really well-received, and the crowds have been excited and sometimes will cheer for about four minutes without me being able to stop them. That’s a cool feeling. I’ve been waiting a long time to put on this headlining tour for them, and they’ve been waiting for an equally long time for it. You can really feel the love and the passion that the fans have for it. It’s like having that connection that is similar to a long-term relationship where you have been supporting each other the whole time. This tour is everything that I’ve ever dreamed of.”
Getting to play for at least ninety minutes each night allows him to throw in some album cuts and other songs that fans might not have ever heard in concert.
“I do mix it up a little bit. That’s one of the things in doing a headlining tour – you have more time to tell your story than just forty-five minutes. I can include some songs that tell a little more about me, and how I got to the place that I’m at. For me, it’s digging in and coming up with things like ‘Raymond,’ which was my first single from 2010. I want it to be a heart-to-heart kind of show, and I feel that I’m really coming into my own on this tour. I get to pull from a lot of different places. There’s some cover stuff, but for the most part, I can just dig in. I’ve got three albums now, and I get to play whatever I want. I just want to make it a really cool experience for everyone that’s out there.”
Might Eldredge channel his inner Rat Pack persona, which he achieved so well on his 2016 holiday album Glow? It’s no secret that artists such as Dean Martin and Bobby Darin were influences, so what about it?
“I think it’s that’s very possible,” he says. “I haven’t dived into it all the way yet, but I think that’s definitely something that I could wind up doing when we get back out there. I’m looking forward to trying some different things, and doing some throwback stuff that was my inspiration. I come from a unique place of musical influences, and I have always tried to show that – but I get a chance to share that even more on this tour.”
Hitting the road with Eldredge this fall will be newcomers Devin Dawson and Abby Anderson, both of whom the singer counts himself as fans of. “I had Devin out there on the first leg with me, and I really love his music. I love the fact that he’s not afraid to do his own thing. He’s an incredible writer and so unique. I also really like Abby and her soulful vibe. I think she’s incredible. I feel that this is really the right crew, and everyone does what they do in a different way. I’m very excited to have them out there with me.”
Eldredge hopes that Dawson and Anderson will come away feeling about him as he did the last artist he opened for. “Blake Shelton was the last tour that I went out on, and he was such an incredible artist to learn from, and is such an amazing guy. There’s no uncomfortable moment with him or his crew at all. Everyone is so supportive of each other. We’re just out there having fun. That was so encouraging. I really felt the love from him. I hope that any artists that ever open for me will feel that same level of support. That’s what I got from the Blake tour, and it really put me in the right mindset for my tour. I’ve got to thank Blake for that. When you have a guy at the level of success that he is, and he has that belief in me, you just want to take that and pay that forward to those opening for me. I want it to be comfortable and a family-like situation, where you feel like you are walking into their house.”