Best Christmas Ever: Dan + Shay’s Long History of Gaming

Nintendo 64, Mario Kart Still Travel on Their Tour Bus

The last time Dan + Shay played a show in Chicago, I had a chance to catch up with them and talk about Christmases past.

For Shay Mooney, the one he still considers his best Christmas ever was the year he almost didn’t get the only gift he wanted.

“It was the year that the Nintendo 64 had come out. Every kid wanted it, especially me. It was the only thing I asked for that year,” Mooney told me.

But it wasn’t under the tree that year. He got a couple of Power Rangers, and that was it.

“After all the presents were opened, my mom asked me to go grab something from her room. I went in there, and there it was — the Nintendo 64. I might have cried,” he laughed.

Bandmate Dan Smyers remembers the N64 fondly, too, and in fact has his original system on their tour bus. But for a while, they were down a game.

“I used to play video games with our bass player at his house, and his mom thought we’d stopped playing Mario Kart, so she sold it in a garage sale. It was one of the most devastating moments of my life. It’s so hard to find,” Smyers said.

So when the band was on the road recently, they tweeted that if any fan could bring them a Mario Kart game, Dan + Shay would give them a tour of the bus, free concert tickets and let them stand onstage to watch the show.

“A young couple came with an entire bag of games, and we took every single one of them. You could tell the guy was so torn about giving them up, but he wanted his girlfriend to be happy. So shout-out to boyfriends like him,” Smyers said.

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