OFFSTAGE: Kenny Chesney Show Is “Gladiator Style,” Says Kacey Musgraves

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

“Pretty mindblowing.” That’s how country newcomer Kacey Musgraves described her first show in her new and much-coveted role as opening act for Kenny Chesney ’s tour. “What better of a person could you learn from? His show? It’s almost like gladiator style — people coming from everywhere to see this person connect,” Musgraves told “That has been an inspiration to watch.” I haven’t seen the show yet, but I’ve read the reviews, so I know that near the end of Chesney’s set, Musgraves heads back out onstage and sings “Come Over” with him. Which was insane but not scary, she said, because her brain wasn’t even letting her compute that kind of crowd at their first stadium show in Tampa, Fla. “At that point, there was about 65,000 people there — biggest crowd I’ve ever been in front of,” she said. As for her own set, she recently told she likes to perform cover songs from the very diverse list of bands she loves, including Weezer, Cake, ELO, the Beach Boys, Lee Ann Womack and John Prine . I would pay good money to hear ELO’s “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” with banjo.

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