Brantley Gilbert launches his Hell on Wheels tour Thursday night in Lafayette, IN, and he’s got a few bells and whistles to play with on stage for his first major headlining trek. Though he’s keeping most of it under wraps until that first show, Brantley did give ABC News Radio a little inside scoop on the lighting rig above him on stage.
“We got a big truss, and it’s kind of a secret, but I’ll let it leak a little bit,” Brantley says. “We got a big set of brass knuckles is our lighting truss above us.”
Coming up with all of these design elements was a team effort between Brantley, his stage designer Howard Jones and people with his band, crew, management staff and record label.
Says Brantley, “Everybody kind of puts their two cents in, and we come up with any idea we have. It comes from somewhere. You never know where.”
Brantley’s tour will be rolling along with three buses and two semis with Brantley’s name and face plastered on the trailer. It’s a far cry from his early days riding from show to show in a Ford Excursion with nine people crammed into it.
Brantley recalls, “I’m rolling in the back hatch on top of two folded up futon mattresses playing a gig that ain’t gonna pay for the gas money to get home. So, all these dues paying off is a real cool thing.”
Uncle Kracker and newcomer Greg Bates are in the opening slots on Bratley’s new tour, and Greg is learning a lot just watching how Brantley runs his business. He’s looking forward to playing for Brantley’s fans, collectively known as the BG Nation.
Speaking about Brantley’s success lately, Greg tells ABC News Radio, “It’s a testament for all the hard work these guys have put in over the years, and how he’s built his fan base up from the ground floor.”
So far, Brantley has tour dates scheduled through a November 16 show in Baton Rouge, LA.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
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