June 23, 2009 — Barely a year after releasing its first album, Lady Antebellum is playing to large arenas and stadiums this summer as an opening act on Kenny Chesney's Sun City Carnival Tour.
It's a big leap, and they're taking the opportunity to heart, particularly paying attention to Kenny, who's played to at least 1 million fans each of the last seven years. They're not just watching him on stage; they're also evaluating the way he runs his business, including the way he interacts with both his customers and his employees.
"He's unbelievable," the band told the national radio show GAC Nights: Live From Nashville. "There's definitely a reason he wins Entertainer [awards] almost every year. The way that he can connect with somebody in the very back of=2 0the stadium, you know, on the top level — us trying to learn that has been the biggest part of the tour, and we're watching him every night and Miranda [Lambert], too. He also treats everybody so well, and that's another thing that we'll take away from this. I heard that the length of time his employees stay on is something like 10 years. That's the average of how long all these people have been with him. I mean, he's so loyal to his employees and treats them so well and that goes a long way."
Lady A is on the road with Kenny this week in Wantagh, N.Y.; Virginia Beach; and Philadelphia, where Saturday's stadium date adds Sugarland and Montgomery Gentry to the usual lineup. On Sunday, the trio breaks away from the Sun City crew to play the Country USA festival in Oshkosh, Wis. Onstage cohorts that day include Gretchen Wilson, James Otto and Jamey Johnson.