Eli Young Band Prepare to Reunite on the Road With Dierks Bentley
The Eli Young Band are looking forward to their fall on the road, as they will be linking up once again with Dierks Bentley on his Country and Cold Cans Tour. The trek launches October 6 in Lacrosse, Wisc., and will run through November 19 after hitting a total of 22 cities. For the Eli Young Band, sharing time on the road with the likes of an artist like Bentley is refreshing on many levels.
“We’ve played with Dierks a number of times,” EYB’s drummer, Chris Thompson, tells Taste of Country. “Musically and just attitude wise, our band and his band, it all just gels really well. It seems like his fans really get our music, and our fans get his music. We’re really excited about that tour. He has built his career in a similar way that we have, or maybe vice versa. He has never been afraid to go out and play the clubs and stay on the road for years at a time and all that kinds of stuff.”
Linking up on major tours is something the Eli Young Band know a lot about. In the past several years, the band has shared the stage with acts like Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw and even the Dave Matthews Band.
“I think overall, a broad sweep of the vast majority of the people we’ve opened for, we’ve seen a lot of professionalism that you don’t see in a lot of other places I guess,” notes Thompson. “It’s inspiring and educational in a way to see how these guys operate at these different levels and how they can do it night after night … everything from how the crew operates and getting things set up to how the performer or artist performs with passion every night. I think all of that is inspiring for each of us.”
“I think that probably the coolest thing that we saw while opening for a band was when we were out with the Dave Matthews Band … just to see how humble those guys were,” he continues. “I don’t know what they’re numbers are now, but at the time, they had been for almost 10 years the top grossing touring act in the world. They could have any band open for them and play anywhere they wanted to, and they talked to us just like we were family sitting around the TV or whatever. We were just hanging out. There was no egos or attitudes. To be around people like that, who the four of us have looked up to since we were kids, to be around them and have them be so humble and so cool is probably the best lesson that we’ve learned from any act that we’ve opened for. Another nice thing is we’ve never opened from somebody who was all ego or that kind of stuff. We really don’t have any kind of horror stories. We’ve opened for a lot of really good people who have treated us well.”
And who is someone on the touring bucket list that Thompson would love to see them opening for in the future? “I know that down the road it would be awesome to go out with maybe Keith Urban or somebody like that at that level,” he says. “What he does musically is always pushing — and Dierks is, too. Then outside the genre, I think it would be great if we could ever get on a tour with Tom Petty. He’s been a huge influence in our sound and songwriting for years and years. It’s fun to dream like that. We were out on a trip with our manager this past week, and we were talking about what-ifs and how big this could go. It’s fun to just let yourself dream and think that maybe one day it could happen.”