Rising country quartet Gone West, featuring Colbie Caillat, has been garnering the attention of country fans and the music industry alike. The group released their stirring Tides EP and thought-provoking single “What Could’ve Been” in 2019, earning them praise for their harmonies and songwriting capabilities.
With so much attention following the blossoming group, it’s no surprise that their fellow country stars have taken notice, most notably, George Strait. The King of Country Music invited Caillat and bandmates Justin Kawika Young, Jason Reeves and Nelly Joy, to open for him at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on January 31 and February 1.
Sounds Like Nashville caught up with the group after their back-to-back shows to get the lowdown on performing with Strait, meeting the icon and so much more. Check out our exclusive Q&A, as well as several exclusive photos from the performances, below…
Sounds Like Nashville: Talk about opening for the King of Country Music, George Strait.
Gone West: Getting to open for George Strait, the King of Country Music, in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena was a surreal dream come true. We’ve admired him and his music for years and never imagined we’d get to share the same stage. He is still so good live and we watched his show in awe of the moment. It’s still hard to really grasp and put the feeling into words.
SLN: What did you learn from watching such a seasoned and iconic performer?
GW: Watching him perform was getting a chance to watch a master at work. His voice is so strong and his songs are so classic. Watching the crowd sing along and sway to the music was inspiring and we learned a lot.
SLN: Did you have a chance to meet him? What was that moment like?
GW: We got to meet him and even take a shot with him before his encore. He came back into the tunnel of the arena and we got to say hello and thank him for the incredible opportunity. Then we got to cheers him and take a shot of his delicious tequila!
SLN: Obviously opportunities to open for such a legendary act like George Strait are few and far between, especially since he’s no longer touring. What was your reaction to getting the news that you had earned these opening slots?
GW: It was hard to believe when we heard we were opening for him. It was and still is such an honor and it felt like we were being welcomed again into the storied circle of country music. Someday after time has passed, we might have a clearer picture of what it means, but it’s still so fresh it seems like a strange and amazing dream.
SLN: These shows must have been bucket list moments for you – what remains on your musical bucket list?
GW: They definitely check off a few boxes for us. There are so many things left for us to do an accomplish. Mainly we want to be able to play shows like that all over the world. The connection to the crowd is so important and tangible playing venues that big. Hopefully we can do many more shows with many more incredible artists.
SLN: Can you give us a tease of what’s to come from the band? What can fans look forward to this year? New music? Tour?
GW: This year we’re really excited to release our first full length album! It’s been a really rewarding experience in the studio and we can’t wait to share it with the world. Hopefully there will be more touring along with the release as well. We hope to be able to sing these songs with as many people as we can!