Dustin Lynch talks stepping into the spotlight on his first-ever headlining tour
Since his million-selling first single "Cowboys and Angels" exploded onto the charts in 2012, Dustin Lynch has gained exposure -- and knowledge from many of today's hottest stars. Through opening for the likes of Keith Urban, Justin Mooreand Luke Bryan, Lynch has picked up tips on what do when his day in the headlining spotlight came around.
That day is coming pretty soon. On Nov. 14, the Broken Bow recording artist will kick off his first-ever headlining tour at The National Theater in Richmond, Va. Lynch tells Billboard that being on the road with the best has made him want this opportunity even more.
"Being out with the people that we have has been a learning experience," he says. "I also have picked up things from watching other people's show as a fan as well. Now it's hitting me that I get to make my own. I get to make the rules. It's kind of cool," he says, admitting that there is a flip-side to being the marquee name on the ticket. "On the other hand, it's going to be all my fault. So we've got to make sure we do the right thing. You want to make sure you have it all right with the on-the-stage stuff, but you also have hospitality for the opening band, radio folks and all the industry people that want to come out. What can we pull off to make it fun and enjoyable for everybody? All of that goes into the equation. We just want to make it as positive and a fun experience for everyone involved."
Lynch -- who just hit the top 10 on Hot Country Songs with his latest single "Hell of a Night" (also the name of the tour) -- says he is looking forward to showing the public many different sides of himself. "I think a lot of the fans that are going to be showing up have only gotten a little bit of a taste of what we do. They've seen a few songs, with minimal time onstage. Being an opening act, I don't get to talk to the crowd that much. You just want to do as many hits as you can. I don't really get to show a lot of personality or engage with the crowd as much as you do with a headlining show. Hopefully, I'll get to tell my story a little bit more than just singing songs and telling my story on stage. I love getting to make that connection and all that stuff that a headlining act gets to do."
If you enjoyed his collaboration with Bryan, Thomas Rhett and Randy Houser onMaroon 5's "Sugar," Lynch revealed that he and his band would be hitting the cover button a few times in their live show. "We're going to go for it. We always have thrown in that song that will make people go, 'I can't believe you're doing that song.' That's always fun. It's fun making songs from other genres your own. We've been covering Bruno Mars and some Drake. Maybe we'll pull something out of the hat that will be a cool moment for the fans."
Still in the process of designing the set for the tour, the singer says his creative juices are flowing. "We're still designing the set. For the first time, we're going to get to carry some production and design our own kind of flavor onstage. We're going to be ready to rock when the time gets here," he affirms.
Opening up for Lynch will be newcomers Chris Lane and Tyler Rich. Lynch says he has been working with Rich to develop his talent as a singer/songwriter, sitting in the producer's chair with him -- which excites the singer greatly. "It's one of those things that makes me remember the guys who took me under their wing right at the first of my career. I didn't really know anybody, and it took me a while to just ask questions and guide me in the right career direction. I found Tyler, who is from California. We met, and he's a great guy, and I told him I'd love to help him out and open some doors. That led to us getting together to write. He's great with a crowd. He has that going for him and has a great look."
Lynch says they are still early in the creative process with Rich. "Right now, it's about finding what is going to make him stand out -- which is the fun part for me. It keeps me working creatively for myself, but I've also got him in the back of my mind whenever I'm writing or listening for songs. I get to create for me, and also somebody else. It's double the fun!"
"Hell of a Night" Tour Dates
11/14 – Richmond, VA – The National Theater
11/15 – Norfolk, VA – The NorVa Theatre
11/19 – Kansas City, MO – Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland
11/20 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium
11/22 – Boise, ID – Knitting Factory
11/27 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
11/28 – Memphis, TN – New Daisy Theatre
12/3 – Lake Buena Vista, FL – House of Blues
12/6 - Greensboro, NC – Cone Denim Entertainment Center
12/10 – Wallingford, CT – The Dome at Oakdale Theatre
12/11 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount
12/12 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
12/13 – Clifton Park, NY – Upstate Concert Hall
12/18 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection
2/4 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
2/5 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
2/11 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
2/13 – Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore
2/20 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart's
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