Thomas Rhett Admits He Feels Added Pressure as a Tour Headliner
Thomas Rhett has been headlining his own tours since 2017, but that doesn't mean he no longer feels the weight of being the show's star.
Speaking with Taste of Country Nights' Evan Paul, the "Where We Started" singer says he still feel the pressure, both from the audiences and his openers.
"Yeah, for sure — especially, you show up in some towns and you go, 'Gosh, we haven't played here in like five years, do they like us? I can't remember,'" he says with a chuckle.
"But you know, the people that you bring with you are so much a part of how the show goes. If your opener's great and your middle slot is great, like the night is gonna rock. We know what we bring to the table, but if the two people before you are also just slaying it every night and the fans are loving it, the energy in the room just can't be doused," he says. "It's just kind of the whole night is just a super high positive experience."
For Rhett's massive Bring the Bar to You Tour in 2022, those openers were Parker McCollum and Conner Smith. While several people have opened for Rhett over the years, he says these two really brought the energy.
"Having Conner and Parker out this year was just blast, man," Rhett gushes. "Two salt-of-the-earth people, going big places in our format. Getting to watch them thrive over the entire year was pretty incredible."
As for how he conducts his headlining tours, the "Life Changes" singer says he has taken the best from each of his opening gigs and applied it to his operation.
"I think if you go on several tours where you weren't treated great, I don't think you really know what it looks like to treat a crew great," he shares. "But fortunately for me, getting to be on the Aldean tour and the Florida Georgia Line tour, the Luke Bryan tour ... I just got to see how a bunch of different camps ran their organization and took a lot of little things from each camp and tried to mold it into what we do."
For Rhett and his team, it's all about how they take care of everyone involved with each show — even the local crews.
"Our goal every night is for the local crew in those towns is to say that we were the easiest people they've ever worked with. Like, that's a big goal of mine to be just not complicated and be super kind to everybody," he explains. "And we try to treat our openers that way as well because I want them to take stuff that we do on the road with them and hopefully people who get to open for them one day are saying the same thing about them. So we take a lot of pride in how we treat people and I make sure that it's kind of just 'mi casa, su casa, whatever you need, whenever you need it, we've got your back.'"
It's a family-like atmosphere, which is fitting for Rhett, who has a big family at home. He and his wife Lauren share four daughters, Willa Gray, 7, Ada James, 5, Lennon Love, 2, and Lillie Carolina, 1. However, don't expect to see everyone on the road with Rhett on his upcoming Home Team 23 Tour — as the girls have gotten older, it's become a little more complicated to get them to shows.
"They came out to a couple shows this year, but I don't know if your kids are in school, but school is kind of just taking over our entire existence," he shares. "It's like pulling a kid out of preschool is one thing, but pulling a kid out of first grade is not smiled upon. It's like very frowned upon, and so they kind of come out at very weird times, but next year there will be a couple of dates for all of them to come out. For sure, like in the summer time."
The Home Team 23 Tour kicks off May 4 in Des Moines, Iowa and will wrap on Sept. 29 in Nashville. Cole Swindell and Nate Smith will accompany Rhett on the 40-date trek.