Dan + Shay were just three shows into a massive arena tour — including back-to-back sold-out nights in Nashville — when the spread of COVID-19 forced them to reschedule their spring dates. The Grammy-winning country duo of Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney had been steadily building toward a trek of this size for some time, scoring crossover hits with “Tequila” and “Speechless,” then going even bigger at the end of 2019 with the Justin Bieber collaboration “10,000 Hours.” As with fellow country performers including Sturgill Simpson and Kenny Chesney, Dan + Shay’s summer plans have been altered dramatically to include make-up dates, 15 in in all. We reached out to Smyers to see how the duo were spending this unanticipated time off.
The coronavirus caught us all off guard. We worked our entire lives to get where we are, and just as we kicked off our first arena tour, it all came to a screeching halt. We were bummed, but this is bigger than music. It’s about the well-being of the world, so we did what we thought was right and postponed the tour. For the most part, our fans were understanding, and we were very grateful for that support in such vulnerable times. We made the decision sitting in a parking lot outside of Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, so we had a long bus ride home to process all of it.
Now that we are home, we are spending long overdue time with our families. It’s been a whirlwind since our career got started in 2013, so we’re trying to find the good in the mandatory “slow down.” I know Shay has been introducing his son Asher to all his favorite Disney movies, and I have been spending every waking minute with my dogs, who I miss so dearly when I’m on the road. I’ve also been spending a few hours a day practicing piano, something I’ve always wanted to do, but could never find the time.
Right now, I’m listening to a lot of musical theater albums. I’m a fan of the dynamic songwriting and performances, but maybe it is the engaging storytelling that gives my mind temporary relief from the uncertainty of the outside world. Music is very sensory and nostalgic for me, so in times like these, I also like to revisit albums that remind me of lighter times, like Come Away With Me by Norah Jones. This album has been the soundtrack of so many great memories in my life, so it’s helpful in times like these to lift my spirit.
To our fans: most importantly, stay home. It is imperative that we all act responsibly and immediately. Even if you are young and healthy, others are at risk when you don’t isolate yourself. We need to band together, as humans of the world, to properly eliminate the threat and spread of this virus. We are eager to return to normal life and get back on the road, but we will get there more quickly if we make smart decisions.
Thank you to everyone who has been understanding about the rescheduling of our tour dates. We promise to make the show extra special when we kick it back into gear.