Dan + Shay Launch First Headlining Arena Tour in Nashville: 5 Big Highlights of the Night
Country duo Dan + Shay launched their 2020 arena tour -- their first-ever headlining arena trek -- on Friday (March 6) at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. The first of two sold-out shows in Music City featured opening acts Ingrid Andress and indie / alternative group the Band Camino.
On three different-sized stages, Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney moved throughout Bridgestone Arena as various screens displayed colorful visuals and music video clips that rotated during their show. Their 20-song setlist spanned their career and included hits such as "Tequila," "From the Ground Up" and "10,000 Hours" (sans Justin Bieber).
Both of Dan + Shay's Nashville shows, the second of which took place on Saturday night (March 7), turned into semi-impromptu fundraisers for the victims of Tuesday morning's (March 3) tornadoes, which ripped through the city and other parts of Middle Tennessee. Not only did the duo donate $100,000 to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to assist in relief efforts, they also gave a portion of each ticket sold to the two shows to the organization.
The Boot was in attendance for the first night of Dan + Shay's The (Arena) Tour. Here are five highlights from the evening:
They Truly Celebrated the Major Milestone
The (Arena) Tour follows Dan + Shay's 2019 headlining tour of smaller venues across the country, so while it's not their first tour as the top-billed act, it is their biggest. In between songs, the both Smyers and Mooney paused to reflect on this career accomplishment. "We've worked our entire lives for this, Nashville," Smyers commented.
The 35-plus show run of arena dates will continue with sold-out stops in Columbus, Ohio, and at New York City's Madison Square Garden, among others.
The Audience Helped Them Honor Tuesday's Tornado Victims
Prior to performing their No. 1 song "From The Ground Up," Dan + Shay asked audience members to hold up #NashvilleStrong signs in support of the city after the disaster.
"It's been a tough week for us, for all of us Nashvillians," Smyers said, nodding to the pair's connection to one of the hardest-hit areas of Music City: "My wife and I have lived in East Nashville for almost eight years now. Shay and I made all of our records in East Nashville ... Our hearts and feelings go out to all of the families and all of the victims and everybody affected out there in Tennessee."
They Really Played Up the Dramatic Pauses
The show kicked off with Dan + Shay appearing onstage from under a cube-shaped LED screen in the middle of a plus sign-shaped stage before launching into their current radio hit, "10,000 Hours." Although the recorded single also features Justin Bieber, "the Biebs" did not make a surprise appearance -- but that entrance sure had us thinking he was there.
Later in Dan + Shay's set, another dramatic transition led into a stripped-down set of deep cuts from previous albums.
Shay Mooney's Wife + Son Joined Him Onstage!
During that aforementioned acoustic set, Mooney invited his wife Hannah and son Asher to the stage. The singer, who welcomed his second son, Ames Alexander, in February, chose to perform the track "When I Pray for You" with the pair seated next to him.
"We wrote this song right before we had [Asher]," Mooney told the crowd while holding his son, who turned three in January, in his lap. "When I Pray for You" was featured on the soundtrack for the 2017 movie The Shack.
The Band Camino + Smyers Are Old Friends
During the Band Camino's set, the group's Jeffrey Jordan told attendees how Smyers was one of the first to believe in the group. In fact, he even gave Jordan his first guitar!
Who Else Is Going on Tour in 2020?