OFFSTAGE: Kenny Chesney Is Packed for His 19,458-Mile Road Trip

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

That’s kind of what a concert tour is like, right? Just a really, really long road trip? And just like you’d pack your car with essentials, so has Kenny Chesney. He’s got, let’s see, some water bottles (50,000), crew members (283), strobe lights (80) and tons and tons of passion. “I use the word ’passion’ a lot because it takes a lot of passionate and dedicated people to make this happen day in and day out. And most of the people that were with us a decade ago are still here. We’re a family,” Chesney said. His Brothers of the Sun tour with Tim McGraw kicks off on June 2 in Tampa, Fla., and when it’s over on Aug. 25, they will have put 19,458 miles on their 20 buses and 80 tractor trailers.

But it wasn’t always big numbers and arenas and catering staffs.

“It doesn’t seem that long ago when it was just 14 of us crammed into a 12-bunk bus we called ’the iron lung,’ ’cause it leaked diesel fumes inside the bus. There weren’t enough bunks for everybody, so we took turns sleeping on the couch and floor. But we were living our dream and having fun,” he said.