For Jay Buchanan and his bandmates in Rival Sons, the idea of touring with Black Sabbath is "incomprehensible."
But the hard rocking quartet is starting to wrap its heads around it.
"You dream about this stuff, about it being the perfect thing that your band needs because we're gonna be in front of so many people," Buchanan, 39, says by phone from a tour stop in Chicago. That can be a blessing and a curse, of course; the crowds will be large, but they're also coming to see Black Sabbath -- especially since the iconic group is on its The End farewell tour.
And that can make for a delicate situation for any band opening the night.
"You have a captive audience and you have that last 50 minutes that stand in between them and what they really want," Buchanan acknowledges. "They're ready for it and it's like, 'Nope, we're gonna make you guys listen to some other band for the next 40 minutes. "We've opened for everybody from Aerosmith to Guns N' Roses to Judas Priest and everybody else, and you never know how the audience is going to react to you.
"And, boy, so far this has just been incredible, the response we've gotten and the attention we've been given. We're really taken aback by it, it's been so great."
Buchanan and company are also hoping the Sabbath tour, which is slated to stretch into 2017, will help push Rival Sons to new heights, especially at home. The group, which formed seven years ago, has release four albums but has found much more success overseas than in the U.S. -- although its latest album, 2014's "Great Western Valkyrie," did debut at No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. The next album is already recorded and ready for release in the spring, and Buchanan is hoping to see an instant bump from being on the road with Sabbath.
"People ask me, 'Is this it? Is this gonna be the tipping point?'" he says. "And, yeah, I think it is. But we're looking forward to it coming out just 'cause you need that new blood. You need that new package of fresh songs, 'cause we tour a lot and we're ready for something new, just for ourselves."
Rival Sons with Black Sabbath
7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19.
The Palace of Auburn Hills, Lapeer Road at I-75.
Tickets are $35-$160.
Call 248-377-0100 or visit palacenet.com.
Note: Black Sabbath and Rival Sons return Aug. 31 to play at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Independence Township. Tickets are $35-$150 pavilion, $35 lawn with a $99 four-pack.
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