Country quartet on the rise Gone West recently spent some time in Las Vegas opening for the King of Country, George Strait. Comprised of Colbie Caillat, Jason Reeves, Nelly Joy and Justin Kawika Young, the band spent two nights back-to-back introducing their new music to thousands of fans at the T-Mobile Arena.
In an exclusive Q&A with the band, each member shared their thoughts on this incredible experience. Check out below what Colbie Caillat, Nelly Joy, Jason Reeves and Justin Kawika Young revealed to us on opening for country music icon, George Strait.
Country Music Rocks (CMR): What was your first reaction to hearing the news that you would be opening for The King of Country – George Strait – at two of his shows in Vegas?
Nelly Joy: We were incredibly honored and honestly couldn’t believe that the King of Country music invited us to share the stage with him! George is a legend so we kind of freaked out and immediately started calling all of our friends and family!
Jason Reeves: It was very surreal and surprising to hear we were opening for George Strait, especially two nights in a row in Vegas. He’s such a legendary artist and it was a high honor to have that opportunity.
Colbie Caillat: It was a huge honor that he liked our music enough to introduce us to his incredible fans and also vouch for is as a new band. We had so much fun!
Justin Kawika Young: Having not grown up with country music, I don’t think I fully grasped the magnitude of it until I started seeing other people’s reactions. I’d mention that we are opening for George Strait and people would lose their minds! Now I know just what an honor it is to have shared the stage with him.
CMR: What was your biggest takeaway/memorable moment from this experience while performing on stage?
Nelly Joy: One of our favorite moments of the show was on the last night during the single What Could’ve Been. We asked everyone to hold up their cell phone lights and immediately it felt like we were playing in a gigantic sky filled with floating stars. We could feel the magical energy from the crowd and it inspired us to really soak in that beautiful moment. We will never forget this memory.
Jason Reeves: There were moments on stage that I looked over and realized how amazing it was to be on such a big stage with my friends and family making music for that many people. I feel very grateful I get to do what I love with people I love, and that was an especially memorable two shows.
Colbie Caillat: “Watching his loyal fans fill that stadium and sing every word to his songs, and be so kind and attentive to us while we played as well.”
Justin Kawika Young: It’s really cool to see how many people traveled really far to see him. People even flew in from Hawai’i. Really shows the power of great songs.
CMR: What was your favorite song that you enjoyed watching George Strait perform?
Nelly Joy: Amarillo By Morning was the song I most looked forward to seeing and it did NOT disappoint ! George and his incredible band actually sounded even BETTER live on that song than on the record if that’s even possible. I danced along with my entire family because we are from Amarillo so this is our “hometown theme song”!
Jason Reeves: My favorite song from George’s set was probably Give It Away. The crowd really got into it and I love the lyrics and how the hook sort of morphs throughout the song.
Colbie Caillat: Amarillo By Morning cause we always sing that song, it’s so beautiful.
Justin Kawika Young: For me it was less a specific song but it was how simple his show was – in the best way. It’s just about his voice, his songs and the musicians. No need for fancy lights or effects. It’s truly about the music and when it’s good, that’s all you need!
Gone West is currently showcasing their latest single, “What Could’ve Been,” as well as gearing up to introduce new music throughout the year ahead. The band is set to be on the road traveling coast to coast and everywhere in between sharing their music and connecting with fans.