It’s a known fact that the best country musicians tour in the summer, when the weather is nice, and artists can party with fans in the best outdoor arenas. This year, some truly incredible country musicians will be performing all over the country, including Grammy award-winning musicians Chris Stapleton and the Dixie Chicks. So, in honor of the first day of Summer, here are the Best Country Music Tours in 2016.
Miranda Lambert: Keeper of the Flame Tour
“Keeper of the Flame” Tour Dates: June 23, 2016 – September 15, 2016
For the past seven years, Miranda Lambert has been considered the best female vocalist in the country music genre, as fortified by her numerous CMA awards and nominations. It’s only been a few months since Lambert finished up the final leg of her “Platinum” Tour, but tomorrow will be the beginning of a whole new chapter in her life. The “Keeper of the Flame” Tour marks her first since a marital departure from Blake Shelton, and according to recent concert reviews, Lambert’s performances have been passionate, ambitious, and filled with girl power. Lambert will be joined by the Brothers Osborne and Kip Moore on her “Keeper of the Flame” Tour.
Kenny Chesney: Spread the Love Tour
“Spread the Love” Tour Dates: June 23, 2016 – September 9, 2016
If we had to choose the best and most widely sought out party host in the country music industry, we would have to pick Kenny Chesney, a true icon in the genre. This summer, Chesney is holding what will likely be the best country music party all over North America, on what is appropriately named the “Spread the Love” 2016 Tour. So far, Chesney has been joined on stage with surprise visits from Miranda Lambert and Randy Travis, which has us excited for the other stunts Chesney will pull on his “Spread the Love” Tour. Sam Hunt and Old Dominion are officially supporting Chesney on tour, but the official lineup is changing throughout.
Florida Georgia Line: Dig Your Roots Tour
“Dig Your Roots” Tour Dates: June 23, 2016 – November 19, 2016
Country duo Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley decided to name their summer stint through the states the “Dig Your Roots” Tour, which begins in support of their forthcoming record, the follow up to 2014’s Anything Goes. According to Hubbard, both the album and tour are designed to honor FGL’s present and past. He states, “It’s just taking a look back to our roots and making sure we don’t forget where we come from and where we’re headed.” This past year, FGL decided to pinch their pennies and dedicate earnings and sponsorships to upping the visual element to their concerts, which includes a woodsy set design, a B-stage, and overall “rootsy” vibes. It sounds like the award-winning country duo is preparing for what will be an incredible tour, where Cole Swindell, The Cadillac Three, and Kane Brown will act as support.
Jason Aldean: Six String Circus Tour
“Six String Circus” Tour Dates: June 24, 2016 – October 1, 2016
Though Jason Aldean has been touring since January, it looks like the famed country musician has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. The “Six String Circus” Tour has been in promotion of Aldean’s sixth studio record, Old Boots, New Dirt, which contains the hit singles “Burning It Down” and “Tonight Looks Good on You”. Already, Aldean has begun teasing music for his forthcoming record. The single “Lights Come On” debuted this past week, released with a five minute clip of combined concert and behind the scenes tour footage. Both in his music and how he relates to the press, it’s very clear that Aldean is grateful and ecstatic with the reception he’s been given over the years, and will continue to tour and release music in good spirit. Thomas Rhett and A Thousand Horses will open in support of Aldean on the “Six String Circus” Tour.
Dixie Chicks: MMXVI World Tour
“MMXVI World Tour” Dates: June 21, 2016 – October 10, 2016
Currently on their first headlining tour in ten years since their controversial fallout with America’s public, the Dixie Chicks are proving over and over again that through trials and post hiatus, none of the band members have lost their performance fire. Nearly 20 years later, the trio consisting of Natalie Maines and multi-instrumentalists Martie Maguire and Emily Robison are on their “MMXVI World Tour”. And it seems that fans have been eagerly awaiting their North American return, because audiences have been incredibly happy and receptive towards the Dixie Chicks. With a two hour long set, the Dixie Chicks cover all seven albums in their discography, touching on big hits such as “Wide Open Spaces” and the hilarious “Goodbye Earl”, in addition to covering influences ranging from Prince to Beyonce to Motorhead. It’s clear the Dixie Chicks have no intention of making nice, but they’re all the better for it.
Luke Bryan: Kill the Lights Tour
“Kill the Lights” Tour Dates: June 24, 2016 – October 29, 2016
Before Luke Bryan embarks on his eighth annual fall “Farm Tour”, he will continue to perform in promotion of his fifth studio album Kill the Lights. Arguably one of the most commercial forces in the country music industry since his arrival in 2011, Luke Bryan has since produced 16 Top-Five country singles and three chart-topping albums, making him the poster child for country music success. Joining Luke Bryan on the road for the remainder of his “Kill the Lights” Tour dates is Dustin Lynch and the outfit Little Big Town who continues to take the genre by storm. By reaching to their roots, Little Big Town has taken from Fleetwood Mac in established strong voices from both male and female vocalists. Luke Bryan’s “Farm Tour”, in tradition, is a limited 8 trek stint, so we suggest catching him live this Summer.
Zac Brown Band: Black Out the Sun Tour
“Black Out the Sun” Tour Dates: June 24, 2016 – September 18, 2016
Georgia natives Zac Brown Band have shown no letting up in terms of their sixth headlining tour. The “Black Out the Sun” Tour puts the Zac Brown Band, a 13-piece outfit, on a two tiered stage. Behind the band are two ginormous screens in collaboration with an intricately planned light show. Though props aren’t needed to boost the performance of the Grammy award-winning band, it seems that Zac Brown Band’s shows are only getting bigger and better. Jeykll + Hyde, the band’s latest album and the first to be recorded while not on the road, is now having three of it’s songs produced, recorded, and reorganized into a story trilogy. Part One, backed by the song “Remedy”, was released this past week, and will be followed by “Tomorrow Never Comes” and “I’ll Be Your Man (Song for my Daughter)”. Without taking a beat, ZBB continues to be a powerful and innovative force in the industry.
Rascal Flatts: Rhythm and Roots Tour
“Rhythm and Roots” Tour Dates: June 24, 2016 – September 17, 2016
Currently on their “Rhythm and Roots” Tour, the award-winning country collective Rascal Flatts continue to be revered and respected for their energetic live performances. The band hasn’t released any new material since 2014’s Rewind, which produced singles “Riot”, “I Like the Sound of That” and “Payback”. Rascal Flatts proved themselves as an incredibly cohesive and talented band not only by producing 19 hit singles in their first decade of performing together, but by winning the CMA award for Top Vocal Group from 2003-2008, a near unbeatable feat. Rascal Flatts is currently being supported by on the rise vocalist Kelsea Ballerini, the band’s first pick for their opening slot. We’re hoping Rascal Flatts decides to debut what they’ve been working on during the “Rhythm and Roots” Tour, but either way, the band has created numerous singles that audiences will love hearing live.
Chris Stapleton Tour Dates: June 30, 2016 – October 22, 2016
Chris Stapleton, who spent the first twelve years of his career as a highly successful Nashville songwriter, worked with the likes of George Strait, Luke Bryan, and Alan Jackson before he ever released a solo track. But everything changed in 2015 with the release of Traveller, the inspired record that propelled him to stardom. Fans and critics have been eagerly awaiting how Stapleton will choose to follow-up his success, but if his latest single “Hard Living”–which has only existed in the live performance space–is any indication of Stapleton’s next direction, it’s a fine tuned trip to his roots. Stapleton will spend the bulk of 2016 touring, which includes an opening slot for Guns N’ Roses. Since we know songs aren’t sacred to Stapleton, we’ll likely hear his words through the mouths of other country artists before he releases his sophomore record.
Dierks Bentley: Somewhere on a Beach
“Somewhere on a Beach” Tour Dates: June 24, 2016- September 27, 2016
In promotion of his 2016 effort Black, country vocalist Dierks Bentley has reached the final leg of his “Somewhere on a Beach” Tour. In the thirteen years Bentley has been an active force in the music industry, he has embarked on eleven headlining tours, a near impossible effort by someone who is clearly dedicated to get his music heard. According to recent concert reviews, Dierks Bentley is throwing one hell of a party, which is exactly what the musician has in mind as he spends summer evenings with his fans. The “Somewhere on a Beach” Tour includes a B-stage, where Dierks will be joined by his supporting acts to perform renditions of Southern classics. Bentley will be performing largely off of Black, but we’re certain he won’t exit the stage without performing hit singles “Drunk on a Plane” and “What Was I Thinkin”. Randy Houser and Tucker Beathard will be supporting Chesney on his “Somewhere on a Beach” Tour.
Keith Urban: Ripcord Tour
“Ripcord” Tour Dates: June 23, 2016 – November 19, 2016
This year, Keith Urban released his seventh studio album, Ripcord, featuring the single “John Cougar, John Deere, and John 3:16”. This Summer, Urban will be finishing off the North American portion of his “Ripcord” Tour before taking off to his home country of New Zealand. Keith Urban is undoubtedly the biggest country musician to ever come out of New Zealand, having accrued numerous Grammy awards for “Best Male Country Vocal Performance”, in addition to many other accolades. Fans can expect to hear a large majority of Ripcord, which means that in addition to his normal four piece band, Urban has incorporated the synthesizer and other electronic sounds present on the record. Supporting Keith Urban on his “Ripcord” Tour are singers Brett Eldredge and Maren Morris.