In this Dream Tour segment, the singer-songwriter, Ainsley Costello, reveals who she would want on her ultimate tour lineup. You can check out their picks, after the break.
DREAM TOUR? I have like ten different lineups in my head, for different genres of tours. How do I choose just one?
U2, QUEEN & ME – HA! HA!
If we’re talking a classic lineup, I’d love to open for and see Queen and U2 together! I grew up listening to U2 because they are one of my dad’s favorite bands. As I’ve gotten older and realized how much I love their music, Joshua Tree has definitely landed on my list of top five favorite albums for sure!! I’m super jealous of my dad because he actually saw them live at Red Rocks.
Queen wasn’t a band I really got into until quarantine but a dream tour hands down MUST have Queen on the bill. The musicianship (which is just mind-boggling) and seeing Freddie Mercury sing live, I don’t think I would ever be the same. “Who Wants to Live Forever” is my all-time favorite Queen song. It makes me want to sit in an overly frilly pink beach chair with a faux-jito (because I’m only 18 lol) and some seriously obnoxious (Freddie-approved) sunglasses and watch as the apocalypse unfolds. The number of times I have watched their Live Aid performance is ridiculous.
Let’s just forget about playing on the same bill as them. I’d die happy just seeing these two bands.
SINGER-SONGWRITER TOUR & ME
SARA BAREILLES, CAILTLYN SMITH & ME!
Now we are getting somewhere.
Something a bit more singer/songwriter-oriented, I definitely could see myself opening for one of these one day, with a little luck on my side. These are truly two of the most endlessly inspiring women to me. They have both shaped the way I write songs and perform, and their music will stay with me in one way or another forever.
Whenever I get down about myself or my songwriting, I always go back and reread parts of Sara’s book called “Sounds Like Me.” Her wisdom about the craft of songwriting, but also about just life in general always helps center me when I feel like I need it the most. I saw her live a few years ago in Seattle and it was seriously one of the best shows I have ever seen. I also think Sara as a vocalist is criminally underrated.
Then there’s Cait. I discovered Caitlyn Smith when I was transitioning into high school. Her album “Starfire” helped me get through a very rough, adolescent year. I literally had her album on repeat in my earbuds for months on end. Her music is still on repeat and now my parents have her on repeat. I’ll admit, I might have an unhealthy obsession with her music. I cover all of her music – ALL THE TIME. I’ve seen her live four times now and every single time I walk away feeling musically recharged. Her voice, her writing, and her authenticity is like no other. I’m so grateful that I found her music and that I’ve been fortunate enough to meet her in person too. She’s even more amazing IRL than I could have ever imagined. Plus, there’s the fact that I was just casually making pasta a few months ago and I saw an Instagram notification that said “@caitlynsmith started following you.” I literally screamed – my parents thought I was being murdered in the kitchen.
So now it’s time to get REAL.
WHAT MAKES THE MOST SENSE TOUR.
I’m thinking PARAMORE, THE BAND CAMINO & ME.
If we are sticking super true to my genre, it probably makes a lot of sense to see me opening for Paramore. I often hear that I sound like Hayley Williams (Compliments don’t get much better than that, am I right?!). When I moved to Nashville in 2020 and discovered that Paramore (and Kings of Leon – another fav) were from here, I thought it might be time to lean into a little more pop-rock and punk sound. Learning that they were from Nashville really broke down a barrier for me. It gave me permission to step out of the depths of the country music in Nashville that originally inspired me. I moved here because I was inspired by a lot of strong female country artists (Cam, Kelsea Ballerini, and of course Taylor Swift). But realizing that Nashville had more to offer than country music was a big breakthrough moment for me.
Then, a few months ago, I saw “The Band Camino” live for the first time, and let me tell you, I was SHOOK. That show was insane and I’m mad at myself that I didn’t know more of their music beforehand so I could fully appreciate it. They are a fairly new inspiration of mine but their music has provided a ton of inspiration for me on my most recent singles. Their driving rock drums, live elements mixed with the sparkly pop sounds just make my heart happy. If I had a dollar for every time I was working on a song and heard a Camino reference for it in my head, I would actually have enough money to buy a Chevrolet El Camino (which I think is what the band named itself after!)