While most artists aim to craft a new musical style or create a new image for themselves after a hiatus, country singer Hunter Hayes doesn’t think about that. He just does what he feels like he’s supposed to, not what the industry expects him to do.
After a three year break from music, Hayes reemerged with his new single “Heartbreak,” on Jan. 25. In addition to the song, Hayes announced the 2019 Closer to You Tour with 20 stops nationwide, including a show in Kansas City.
With an upcoming album on the horizon, the five-time Grammy nominee looked at his past experiences, as well as the future for inspiration.
“As much as I’m proud of the work that came through, I’m also proud of the progress I’ve made as a human and starting to make as a human,” Hayes said. “I’m really proud that’s represented in my music. I think in the past there’s been pieces of me, but this time around I really don’t feel like I’ve left anything out—both good and bad.”
The Closer to You Tour is Hayes’ first headlining tour in four years. Hayes looks forward to returning to his favorite part of performing during the tour—striving to be ironically confident to make his music come to life on stage.
“I’m so pumped for this tour I feel like this is a totally different thing,” Hayes said. “There’s so much about this that feels new and renewed, in a lot of ways. I think it has to do with the music. Now you take that, and you build a show from that.”
In the past, Hayes has performed in Kansas City during his Let’s Be Crazy Tour in 2013 and Tattoo (Your Name) Tour in 2014. Along with performing at The Midland, Hayes performed at the Sprint Center during some of his tours as a supporting artist.
“I love The Midland, I’ve always loved that theatre,” Hayes said. “It’s the perfect combination of theater and club. God I just love that venue, and I’m so excited to be back and just bring this music back to that.”
At the time of the interview, Hayes was unsure about the setlist for the tour. However, he did offer some insight into what the tour means for his future as a country artist.
“As this is the first tour in a series of things that are happening with this project, I’m really excited because we’ll be dropping a lot of Easter eggs,” Hayes said. “Musically, visually, other ways that I can’t say yet, really dropping a lot of hints about this project, kind of slowly telling the story of what’s to come. I’m ecstatic about that, I know I’m being very cryptic about it, but I promise it’ll be worth it.”
Hayes will be performing in Kansas City at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland on May 16. Tickets can be purchased online at arvestbanktheatre.com/events