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I am especially proud of their efforts to honor the men and women of our armed forces and the heroes who are wounded on the front lines.“So thanks for your example of excellence and patriotism,” he added.
“And congratulations, as well as a hardy welcome to the Opry.”“Blessed, honored, humbled, grateful," Rooney says.
Even so, De Marcus explains that the stage design isn't a big concern this time around.
Shows like Cirque du Soleil might be Las Vegas's bread and butter, but inside the Joint — the Hard Rock Hotel's 4,000-capacity club that'll house Flatts' residency through May 14th, downsizing their usual crowd by as much as 75 percent — the audiences want to focus on the music, not the production.
Rascal Flatts enjoyed the longest break of their career last year, celebrating the end of their summer-long Rewind Tour with two months of well-deserved R&R. The guys look refreshed and revitalized as they charge through live versions of "Me and My Gang" and latest single "Riot" during rehearsal, backed by a band that now includes players like Andy Wood, a second-place medalist in the World Champion Mandolin Contest. It's something we haven't gotten to do in awhile."In terms of seating capacity, the Joint isn't too different from, say, the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, where Shania Twain recently wrapped up a two-year residency in December 2014.
“I think that was a time for me that I stopped and went, ‘Wow!
We’re doing something special here.’"Rascal Flatts remained regular performers at the Opry for the next 11 years, then finally received an invitation to officially join the revered organization in 2011.“All I could think about was being a little kid, sitting in the nosebleed section of the Grand Ole Opry,” De Marcus says.
At the time of their Opry debut, Rascal Flatts' debut single, "Prayin' for Daylight," from their eponymous freshman album, was climbing the charts, and the record itself was still two months away from its release date.
The three guys made sure to soak in their first performance on the revered stage.“What was weird about it was the kids were lining the aisles and standing up front, which I had never seen before,” De Marcus recalls.