David Nail may have a golden voice, but he’s a relative newbie when it comes to headlining a tour. He just kicked off his headlining I’m A Fire tour last week, but has been taking notes from his years as a support act. Some of the artists that he’s supported include Taylor Swift, Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum, each of whom he’s learned from.
Speaking to PEOPLE Country, Nail opened up about the things he learned from his more experienced peers.
“They (Lady Antebellum) are constantly tweaking. I had always felt like sound check was just you go out there, that sounds good, my job is done. Lady A does really long sound checks, they’re so intense about it,” says Nail. “They go over what happened the night before, what went right, what fell a little flat, what could be done differently. The first time we went out with them they were coming off days of rehearsal, but after the first night they changed several things. They’re always out there trying to make things better for their audience.”
The lesson he learned from Darius Rucker was about being off-stage, rather than on. “The last night out with Darius he put his arm around me and said, ‘If you’ve learned anything at all from us, I hope it’s how to treat people,'” says Nail to PEOPLE Country. “He and his people treat everybody well, it’s a pleasure to be on his tour.”
Additionally, he admits that after watching Taylor Swift, he chooses to keep his show simple. “I don’t do any tricks. I’m scared to death of heights. Sometimes I’ll look down off the stage and I’ll get freaked out. I try not to get too close to the edge” Nail continues, “When we were out with Taylor Swift I’d watch the show and all I could think was ‘Man, there’s so much room for error!’ How you’re able put 100 percent into your performance like she does, singing and walking down steps that are two feet wide and have no railing, it seems like there are too many things that could go wrong. She makes it look easy.”
As David Nail settles into his new role as headliner, he admits that he still deals with nerves. “We’ve worked hard this year, more than I ever have,” he says to PEOPLE Country. “I still get nervous before a show. [Baseball manager] Tony La Russa told me if you stop feeling nervous before you go out there, you might as well quit.”
Get all the details on David Nail’s tour with Native Run here.
Watch David Nail’s video for “Kiss You Tonight!”
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