“[This is] how we want to make our living for the 20 years: out there on the road,” the trio’s Dave Haywood told Rolling Stone Country at the time. “It’s a big focus for us. We change the setlist almost every night, trying to find the perfect setlist for the perfect crowd. That’s always been a priority.”
Rather than extend their year-long tour to help promote the new album, though, Lady Antebellum decided to take a break, giving Haywood — whose wife, Kelli, had given birth to the couple’s first child on September 7th, just three weeks before 747‘s release — some much-needed family time. Months later, the band is gearing up to hit the highway again, with the American leg of the Wheels Up 2015 Tour scheduled to begin next month.
“We road-tested some stuff when we were over in Europe and Australia,” Charles Kelley told us at this month’s Skyville Live web concert in Nashville, where the group performed alongside Kris Kristofferson, Jason Isbell and Brandy Clark after wrapping up a handful of shows overseas. “We’re really going to try to find some cool moments in the show to bring [opening acts Hunter Hayes and Sam Hunt] back up. We’ve always said it, the night is not just about us. . . it’s a whole thing. I want people to be in their seats right when it starts, and I know they will be because we’ve got Sam Hunt! He’s kicking ass right now. I just want to create moments that are really unique from our other shows.”
The stateside tour, which kicks off May 1st in Lubbock, Texas, will focus heavily on songs from 747, including the new single “Long Stretch of Love.” Hillary Scott also advises audiences to expect the unexpected.
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“We want to showcase what we all do well,” she says. “I think it will be cross-genre songs, and who knows what we’ll come up with!”
“I’m trying to convince Hillary to pull out a little Shania on this tour,” Kelley adds. “I’ve got an idea: ‘Downtown’ into a Shania song. . . it’s gonna be hot.”