OFFSTAGE: Taylor Swift’s Rock and Danceabilly Openers

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Wait a minute. Here I am thinking that Taylor Swift chose a Christian rock band as her tour openers, and then the frontman tells MTV he likes to think the band’s music is something he calls “rock and danceabilly”? I don’t know what that is, but I think I love it. NeedToBreathe gave MTV the lowdown on touring with Swift and how different it is to be playing for such a young crowd. “Some of these people, it’s the first rock ’n’ roll show they’ve ever been to, and they don’t know how to treat it at first,” said lead singer Bear Rinehart, adding, “I think, like, rock ’n’ roll is inside you, just waiting to get out.” As for being an opener instead of a headliner, Rinehart said that it’s pretty intense. “We try to reset our minds every night. They have no idea who you are. A lot of times, it’s like the third song, they start to warm up, and the fourth song they start to clap.” But according to drummer Joe Stillwell, some of the most genuine NeedToBreathe fans have been Swift and her family, who knew all the words to their songs during a recent sound check. “It’s a little surreal to kind of see that from somebody that you see on such a big scale all the time,” he said.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.