Rascal Flatts ascend to headliner status when the CMT Most Wanted Live concert tour kicks off for a 30-city run. Joining the trio on the road are Chris Cagle and newcomer Brian McComas.
For the second consecutive year, CMT personality Lance Smith will host the concerts that begin Sept. 26 in at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D., and end Dec. 4 at The Pond in Anaheim, Calif.
Rascal Flatts members Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney have spent much of this year opening shows for Toby Keith and appearing as part of Brooks & Dunn’s Neon Circus and Wild West Show tour.
DeMarcus uses a baseball analogy in explaining the transition between serving as an opening act and closing the show each night.
“Being an opening act is just so easy when you’re just relying on everybody else’s crew and everybody else’s people to get things done for you,” DeMarcus tells CMT Radio. “You just sort of do your 45 minutes — and it’s over with. Being out there when the responsibility is solely on your shoulders … I think everybody has to step up to the plate and hit longer balls — and do more and be better — than they were on previous tours. I think we’re trying to make sure that we have the right kind of people around us … who are able to step up to the plate each night and be those kind of leaders. That’s what we’re going to try to be. We’re going to try to set the example from the top down.
“We’re excited about it. We all know that it’s a huge responsibility. But I think that feeling like you have to bat a thousand every night keeps you where you need to be as a performer. I think there’s a danger of feeling like you’ve arrived and that you can do this with your hands tied behind your back and blindfolded. I think that’s what keeps us on the edge all the time and drives us to be better than we were before. That’s what we’re going to try to carry through to this next tour.”
In addition to their roadwork, Rascal Flatts have gained a loyal audience through six videos in CMT, including the latest, “I Melt.” The band has also been featured on two CMT concert specials — Rascal Flatts: Live From the Sunset Strip and Rascal Flatts: Melt on the Beach. In June, their video for “These Days” was named group video of the year at the CMT Flameworthy Music Video Awards. Both of the group’s albums have been certified platinum by the RIAA for shipments of 1 million copies each.
Cagle won breakthrough video of the year honors at the Flameworthy Awards with “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out,” the No. 1 single from his debut album, Play It Loud. With five videos to his credit, the energetic performer’s other hits include “Laredo” and his most recent hit, “What a Beautiful Day.”
McComas, Rascal Flatts’ labelmate at Lyric Street Records, recently scored his first Top 10 single with , “99.9% Sure (I’ve Never Been Here Before).” The song’s video is currently in heavy rotation on CMT and already in the Top 5 of the CMT Top 20.
At select stops on the tour, CMT’s newly-designed promotional trucks will be at the venues to give fans a star-studded red carpet welcome complete with games and a chance to win CMT prizes. The official name of the tour is Crest Night Effects Whitening Presents the CMT Most Wanted Live Tour Sponsored by Comfort Inn, by Choice Hotels.