Unless you're a roadie, concert photographer or have endless amounts of time and money, you probably won't see more than one or two of the hottest summer tours of 2017. So how do you choose?
There are safe bets in headliners like Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, and hot new acts like Sam Hunt and Chris Stapleton. Often you've barely heard of the opening acts, or maybe you're not so sure about the new music. This list of the five hottest country summer tours of 2017 cuts through the clutter to spell out which shows are worth the investment.
Of course, seeing an artists that just missed our list is rarely a waste of money. Some — like Thomas Rhett and Miranda Lambert — aren't headlining official tours, but playing select fairs, festivals and one-stop shows. This list focuses on named tours, of which there are about a dozen traveling across the country this summer.
Tour previews, or in some cases witnessing a full set, helped us compile this list. Past experiences with each headliner and opening act also made the job easier, but our Top 5 probably won't line up with yours. Tell everyone which tour you can't wait for in 2017 in the comments section below, and look for Taste of Country at select festivals, including the ToC Music Festival and Country Jam Colorado in June, and WE Fest in August.
Jason Aldean's They Don't Know Tour
With Chris Young, Kane Brown and Dee Jay Silver
Aldean is aa sure as a full moon once a month. The "They Don't Know" singer builds his albums with his live show in mind, and on his most recent release, he returned to great country-rock. Opener Chris Young is as steady, while not quite as rowdy. Keep an eye on Dee Jay Silver, Aldean's longtime friend and tourmate. All that energy a typical show loses between sets grows when he's spinning hits.
Sam Hunt's 15 in a 30 Tour
With Maren Morris, Chris Janson and Ryan Follese
Compared to the other four tours on this Hottest Summer Tours list, Hunt and his opening crew are unproven. The headliner has tremendous buzz, but most will be seeing him for the first time this summer. The same can be said for Maren Morris, a proven vocalist who's just starting to find herself on stage. Chris Janson is the reason to show up early. He's spent more time on stage than anyone on the tour, and his live show reflects it. All are sure to come with new music.
Lady Antebellum's You Look Good Tour
With Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young
If you miss opener Kelsea Ballerini, you're making a big mistake. The "Yeah Boy" singer is a refined live performer with one of the tighter bands in Nashville. She's a star who will be headlining her own tour soon. Lady Antebellum has long been a dependable live act, but with new music and a little rest they're hungry to remind fans why. A spotlight show on this hot summer tour is the stop at WE Fest in Detroit Lakes, Minn., on August 3.
Tim McGraw + Faith Hill's Soul2Soul Tour
With Various Opening Acts
It's a rotating cast of opening acts on this hot summer tour, but the headliners are the main attraction. Individually Tim McGraw is among country's best. We'd say the same of Faith Hill, but it's been a heck of a long time since she's shown us. Together this couple's chemistry is playful, flirty and seductive — sometimes in the same song! With a new collaborative album coming in 2017, the married pair are sure to be dropping new songs every few stops.
Chris Stapleton's All-American Road Show
With Brothers Osoborne, Brent Cobb, Lucie Silvas and Margo Price
Chris Stapleton's 2017 tour has just started, and additional shows are already being added in select cities. Anyone skeptical of how fans would receive his raw, pure-country sound saw the light after over 200K people bought his new solo album From A Room. Ballads like "Either Way" aren't built for a wild night out with friends, but that's what makes this tour the hottest summer tour in country music. Hearing Stapleton's howl cry across an open amphitheater is an exciting thought. This summer he'll prove that pure vocalists are only restrained by a theater's four walls.
What Summer Tour Are You Excited For?
Did we name the hot summer tour you can't wait for in 2017? Tell us which country act you can't wait to see live in the comments section below.