When you throw a party as big as the ‘Brothers of the Sun’ Tour, with Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, you better be well-stocked and prepared. The 21-stadium tour kicks off June 2 in Tampa, FL, and by the time it wraps up in Foxboro, MA, on August 25, the tour will have traveled more than 19,458 miles. Those miles will be traveled over 88 touring days with 20 buses and more than 80 tractor trailers.
“It doesn’t seem that long ago when it was just 14 of us crammed into a 12-bunk bus we called ‘the iron lung,’ ‘cause it leaked diesel fumes inside the bus,” said Chesney. “There weren’t enough bunks for everybody so we took turns sleeping on the couch and floor, but we were living our dream and having fun. And even though we have a lot more stuff now, we’re still having a blast and just as passionate about playing music and taking it out to the fans, whether it be in a club or stadium.”
“It’s been a lot of fun rehearsing in Nashville, but rehearsals are over. It’s time to pack the trucks and head to Tampa,” added McGraw. “I’m pretty sure there are towns in Louisiana with smaller populations than we have on our road crew. It takes a village and a lot of hard work by a lot of people, but I’m just excited for the fans because we’ve got one hell of a show planned for them!”
The 283 member tour crew will be fed by a traveling catering staff that will serve three hot meals a day. Almost 3,200 meals will be prepared for the tour in the five days surrounding the opening show in Tampa. Show day also includes the “Stage Bar & Grill,” which serves hamburgers and hot dogs on stage from 10:00 am until 9:00 pm. Grill chefs include the stage manager, truck drivers and members of Chesney’s band. Over the course of the tour, more than 50,000 bottles of water will be consumed by the full production team, with the bottles recycled by the end of the tour.
Having stadium shows on both Saturdays and Sundays requires two teams to build and tear down the massive staging. From start to finish, each team will spend 91 hours at each stadium. Staging for both Chesney and McGraw’s set includes an LED video wall with nearly 2,400,000 pixels for sharpness and clarity. Lighting for Chesney’s set includes 80 strobes and 48 Syncrolites that are placed throughout the stadium to send five foot diameter beams of light criss-crossing the night sky.
“I use the word ‘passion’ a lot because it takes a lot of passionate and dedicated people to make this happen day in and day out,” said Chesney. “And most of the people that were with us a decade ago are still here. We’re a family.”