Editor’s Note: Brian McComas has been keeping a road diary of his stint on the MWL tour. The CMT Most Wanted Live Concert Tour, featuring Rascal Flatts, Chris Cagle and Brian McComas premieres on Wed., Dec 3 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. Here are sections from his diary.
Dec. 3, 2003
Hey what’s up? We’re writing an early entry this week to remind all of you that CMT Total Release: MWL Tour is on tonight! It features all kinds of behind the scenes footage and fun we are having on the tour. I’m writing this from Las Vegas where we will be playing the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay this evening. Tomorrow night (Thurs., Dec. 4th) we will finish the tour at the Pond in Anaheim, Calif.
I can’t thank CMT, Rascal Flatts, Chris Cagle and my buddy Lance Smith enough for making this such an incredible experience — and of course all of you fans that came out to see the shows!! Thanks for being part of the good time.
As for myself, I will continue to play shows through the holidays in support of my self-titled album where you can hear my new single “You’re in My Head” (view now). We hope to see some of you out at the shows. Look for us next year as well, we’ve got big things planned.
Until then–Happy Holidays!!!
See ya on the road.
Nov. 25, 2003
Hello. During the last three months, we have had a tour schedule hanging on the wall of the bus that took us through the month of November. I took it down as I left for my time off for Thanksgiving because it no longer applies. That blows my mind. Two stops left on the CMT Most Wanted Live tour. I don’t think we could have a more drastic change in climates from one to the next. We spent this past Sunday evening in Mankato, Minn., and we are taking the party to Las Vegas on Dec. 3. We had both a good time and an adventure on this past run through the upper Midwest.
We had just a two-hour drive from South Dakota on Saturday night to Mankato on Sunday, but it turned into a six-hour trip because of the weather. It snowed the entire way, and when we finally got to the venue, there was already a good bit on the ground. I was concerned that we might not be able to get home on Monday but because we’ve got such great drivers, getting us from place to place we made it.
I finally have an update on the football tournament. Chris Cagle’s Texas Longhorns took down Minnesota in a close one to advance to the quarterfinal round against West Virginia (our fiddle player’s team). I have the Arkansas Razorbacks waiting on the winner of that game in the semi-finals. Our friend Justin Schipper, who plays guitar with us, has both Miami and Kansas State on the other side of the bracket, so he will probably advance from that side. We will finish over Dec. 3rd and 4th, and I will fill you in on how it turned out. I’m sure you’re on the edge of your seat. I am because we all have $20 riding on this thing.
On a personal note, I am excited because my new single “You’re in My Head” (view now) has entered the Top 40 now on all of the respective country charts. Please, if you like it, keep calling in to CMT and radio stations in your part of the country and let them know. Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving!!! I got all thankful in last week’s entry, so that’s all I’ll say.
See you on the road.
Nov. 18, 2003
Hello! Six shows left! As the tour and the year comes to an end, in spirit of the holidays, I can’t help but feel thankful. To CMT, country radio, Rascal Flatts, Chris Cagle, Lyric Street Records, everyone in my organization, my family and especially all of you fans, THANK YOU! I know this sounds like an acceptance speech, but I have been able to accept a lot of good fortune this year, so I guess in a way this is an acknowledgment of our good year and who we have to thank. The folks of Maryland and Tennessee treated us great this past weekend (I realize people from bordering states were with us at both shows). In some cases, you might find the bands and crew tired after this many shows and this much travel, but I just see the excitement build with each stop the tour makes. There is no doubt in my mind that Chris and Rascal love doing this as much as I do. I want to give an additional thank you to all of you who stand in line to say hello every night. I look just as forward to meeting folks after the show as I do getting to perform each night, almost. I’ll always love singing more than anything except, God and my family. By the way, I probably should have thanked God before anyone else earlier, my bad.
For those of you who don’t know, I have a new single and video called “You’re in My Head” (view now). It is the sixth track off my new self-titled album. Anyone who likes the song, the album or our show, please give your radio station or CMT a call and request it.
Still no football updates. Maybe next week. Six more chances to find a ticket. Six more chances to come to the party.
See you there!
Nov. 11, 2003
What’s going on y’all?
Before I say anything else, I want to congratulate Rascal Flatts and their entire organization (as well as Lyric Street records and the label staff) on their well-deserved CMA award for vocal group of the year. I’m proud to open up for the reigning kings of the vocal group category.
We are entering the last third of the CMT Most Wanted Live tour. This past weekend we made stops in Houston, Tulsa and Little Rock. Three more great shows. The show we did in Houston was my first time to perform there, but it was a great experience. Tulsa and Little Rock were more familiar because I grew up in Arkansas. It’s been a real educational experience for me to get to see and be a part of a production that travels to as many cities as we have and is handled in such a professional way. It has and will continue to benefit my career for a long time.
I’m enjoying the opportunity to let people hear my new single “You’re in My Head” because we open the show with it. When the spotlights are rolling around the crowd and the intro music starts to that song I always get butterflies. It’s the same way I used to feel before a football game in high school. It’s not nerves as much as it is excitement. This tour has gone by very fast for both myself and my band. We were discussing the other day how quick we went from our first tour date to this point. I know the last third will fly by even faster, so we plan on soaking up the experience and giving people 110 percent. I know Rascal Flatts and Chris Cagle approach every night the same way.
No winner yet on our football pool. Things have been so busy for everyone that we haven’t gotten a chance to play much. I’m hoping we will this week. I’ll update as it unfolds. Only a few dates left, so if you can still get tickets and we’re coming close to you, we’d love to see you at the party.
See you on the road.
Oct. 28, 2003
What’s up? This was our longest run on the tour thus far. It took us from Muncie, Ind., to Portland, Me., with a stop at New York City right in the middle. The stop in New York was at B.B. King’s Blues Bar in downtown Manhattan. We played seven dates in 10 days. We were tired! The thing that kept us going was the excitement as we stepped on stage every night and the energy from the crowd. Half the time we were the walking wounded because most of us got hurt playing basketball. I caught a forearm across the throat and was hardly able to sing the last two nights of the run. Joe Don [Rooney] just about broke his jaw, and Gary [LeVox] hurt his leg. Chris [Cagle] jammed his thumb. Just about everybody else who played got some sort of bruise or cut. I’m afraid the label is going to take away our basketball privileges. We did have fun though!
I was especially proud of my band for putting forth the extra effort the last two nights when they knew it was hard for me to sing. We have nine days off now before the tour starts back again. During that time, I get to play the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, Tenn., and spend some well-needed family time. I look forward to getting back out on the road, but I also look forward to some recovery time.
See you on the road!
Oct. 21, 2003
Hello, again. We’ve entered into the second half of the CMT tour now. So if you still have a chance to come see us and there are tickets left — come join the party!! This past week, it hit me that I needed to let people know what goes on before a show even starts. There are more than just the bands out on this tour. There are probably a total of over 60 people that help put this thing together day in and day out. Think of it this way, taking this tour out on the road is the equivalent of running a small Wal-Mart from town to town (as far as employees go).
Before I even get up in the morning, someone has been setting a stage up for two hours. At least 15-20 people spend most of their day working on setting the stage and lighting alone — before I even go to soundcheck! Then you have the sound crew. They spend a majority of their day making sure the arena or theater we are in soaks up the sound in the best possible way. But most of the time they have to start all over again when people fill the arena. I can’t forget the merchandise people. They make sure the merchandise truck is unloaded, the display tables are set up and you are able to get whatever you need from your favorite act. I haven’t even gone into the accounting, marketing, production management or the artists’ road managers and managers who have tireless jobs. These peoples’ jobs start long before mine and go long after mine. I am both thankful and impressed by their hard work and the way they prove every day that they are the heart of this show.
If you ever get the chance to see one of these folks, and you know what they do, tell them hello and give them a thanks because you would never see us up on stage if they didn’t do their jobs. By the way — the football pool has gotten larger. Chris Cagle, Lance Smith, Justin Schipper (my guitarist) and Kevin Aerosmith (my fiddle player) have all tacked up a $20 bill on our message board on the bus! May the best ME win (that is not a spelling error)!!!
Thanks again to CMT! See you on the road.
Oct. 14, 2003
We’ve had another great week on the CMT Most Wanted Live tour. You fans continue to show us that country music fans are the best on the planet. Every show has been full to the rafters. This past weekend, the tour stopped in Salem, Va., Winston-Salem, N.C., and Columbus, Ga. In Salem, I got to be a part of the taping that CMT is doing for a special that should air later on this year. The special will highlight the tour. You Rascal Flatts and Chris Cagle fans will get plenty of behind-the-scenes footage on what your favorite acts do when they aren’t on stage. I was excited that they were cool enough to give me a little time on camera as well.
I’m sure those of you who knew that CMT’s own Lance Smith and myself were to play a little football game are sitting on the edge of your seat to know the outcome. (Yeah, right) So here it is. It was a hard fought battle. Lance was Miami, and I was Kansas State. I started the game off with an onside kick, which I recovered. Speaking of recover, it was hard for Lance to after that. The game was close, but I edged him out 24 to 14. He has challenged me to a rematch. I have taken him up on it. More on that as it transpires. I do have to say this. You never know what you’re going to get from people when you go out on the road with them. You might get along, and you might not. We have been really fortunate on this tour. Being able to spend time with guys like Lance has been great. Good times and good friends. See you on the road.
Oct. 7, 2003
Hey there, everybody. The tour is going great so far. Every show has been a sellout and you fans that have been there have been great. Just the other night in Montgomery, Ala., at the state fair the show broke an attendance record for the building. What a great first time experience for myself and my band. Chris Cagle, his band and his crew have been very helpful to everyone in my organization, not to mention the fact that he puts on a great, high-energy show. As for Rascal Flatts, they set the bar higher every night. In my opinion, they’re the best show on the road right now. They’re great guys, too. I couldn’t ask for better label mates. They’re a class act. I hope everyone who can still find a ticket comes out to see just how much fun we’re having. CMT has outdone themselves by putting this whole thing together. Speaking of CMT, my buddy Lance Smith has challenged me to a little game of EA Sports NCAA 2004 football on the bus. It’s to go down this week. Read next week’s entry to see who won. Till then. See you on the road.