This time around, Blake Shelton’s touring for fun.
Backstage at the Birmingham, Alabama concert on his current Return to the Honky Tonk Tour, ET’s Cassie DiLaura had a chance to catch up with the country music singer over the weekend.
With opening artists Carly Pearce and Jackson Dean, Shelton hits the stage in each location surrounded by a full, operating bar, giving lucky fans the feeling of being back in their favorite Nashville dive while watching the concert.
“It’s just fun,” the singer shared. “It’s a lot like when I first started when we played in bars and, in some of the old honky tonks and whatever I did back in the day, the bar was off to the side and folks would come to turn around, and [listen]. Thus, it’s enjoyable to experience some of the same feelings again.”
And to drive home the feeling of longing for the past, Shelton devotes a portion of the evening to performing some of his older songs, some of which are now over 20 years old (like “Austin”).
That’s my favorite moment of the act, and I have a feeling it’s the crowd’s favorite part, too,” he said. “I was one of those guys who was resistant to changing my setlist or the way my concert was presented, but now that I’ve gotten acclimated to it, I’m having a blast.”
Yet, he could not deny that touring now has a different feel to it, what with having to leave behind his wife Gwen Stefani, and his three stepsons.
He lamented, “It’s dreadful.” to be far from home. “I miss California right now, especially with all the horrible weather they’re having. It’s not like something terrible is happening, but I know they’re worried and it would be good to be there with them.”
I don’t do many of these, maybe 18 performances total this year,” he continued. I’m taking a break from The Voice to spend more time with my family, so I’m cutting back as much as I can on other commitments.
Shelton may be on the road, but he still has plenty of home comforts with him, such as a rhinestone-studded denim jacket that reads “Mr. Stefani” that was given to him at one of the tours stops.
“Out here on the road, I get showered with presents. When we play at a new arena, the staff usually gives us a jersey from the home team, especially if it’s a basketball or hockey facility “He was generous with his information. “That evening, I wore a jean jacket that read “Mr. Stefani.” Gwen warned, “Don’t leave that there,” when I gave her a picture of it. Do yourself a favor and bring it inside; I need it!”
At the end of the day, the “No Body” singer stated that he couldn’t be happier with his life right now.
This is the best possible outcome,” he said. “That wasn’t in any of my plans. That I would one day hear my voice on the radio was a lifelong goal of mine, and now that that goal has been realized, everything else is icing on the cake.”