Since Brooks & Dunn announced they’d be hitting the road May 5th on the Reboot 2022 Tour, fans and folks in the industry have been wondering just what country music’s all time best-selling duo have planned for their upcoming trek. After all, in their heyday, they were known to create an on-stage spectacle that could put any rock act on the road to shame.
“At this point we pretty much know what we’re doing and how we want to do it now,” Kix Brooks told reporters during a recent Zoom call. “We did have probably a five, six, seven, eight year stretch where it was just how much stuff can we blow up in two hours on stage? It was trying to outdo ourselves and everyone else. It was that moment in country music when anybody headlining was just trying to see what they can pull off and how big a show you could put on.”
His longtime musical cohort Ronnie Dunn agrees. “In the mid 90’s production-wise you’d start to compete with certain rock acts shows that would come in the night before us or the night after us, so we kind of over corrected a lot of the production. I feel like we did, but it was still fun because it was in the spirit of it and everyone else was trying it. Garth was flying in. Reba was dropping down from the Astrodome there, all that crazy stuff and you felt like, ‘Oh I have to do it!’ Everybody got the memo, but [George] Strait I think.”
Though they promise fans a high energy show in 2022, they are setting limits. “We’re not shooting ourselves out of a cannon this time,” Brooks grins. “We sent our inflatable women to the Rolling Stones. I think they are using [them] on their next tour. Our big glitter steer heads are decorating our homes, so we’re not willing to take all that down and take that on the road, so production I don’t think we’ve done anything quite like this before, but we hired some really hot guns to come up with something. . . We do have fans that expect us to bring some sizzle and we’re not laying down. We’re just trying to do something that’s different and still makes people go, ‘Wow that’s cool!’ Those are the moments we’re looking for. You don’t have to be so ridiculous.”
The duo admits there was a time at the height of all the crazy antics they were doing on stage that they worried the music might get lost in the theatrics. “The goal when we started out, that we’ve said from the beginning of this, was for that music to have longevity beyond the tricks on stage and all the shenanigans that everyone else liked to talk about and visualize,” Dunn says, “but the music did.”
Brooks agrees. “All those crazy things, the confetti and all that stuff that we did isn’t what people have been talking about. They’ve been asking us about the music and the songs. That was, I think, both of our biggest fear is with these crazy shirts and all this nonsense on stage that we have so much fun doing, but we’re not going to lose the music here are we? And it’s funny all these years later, it’s a real compliment—and I think Ronnie would agree—that you guys are asking about the music and this song and that song,” he said to the press members on the Zoom. “That makes us feel good.”