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When Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley kick off their co-headlining Locked & Reloaded Tour tonight (Jan. 17) in Columbia, S.C., it will feel a bit like a high-school reunion. The longtime pals toured together back in 2006 and had such a good time they decided to do it all over.
"It feels like a chance to go back and relive high school again," Dierks told Country Weekly recently. "I think [fans] know that she and I have a great musical history and it’s a lot of fun together. It’ll be fun for us, and I think it’ll be fun for fans, who come out to a tour that will probably be the last one."
"Every time we’ve done something together it’s been a blast and it’s done well," Miranda says. "He took me out on tour a long time ago. When we were thinking about what to do in 2013, and who we wanted to take on the road, of course Dierks came up."
Miranda posed the question to Dierks in Las Vegas during last year's Academy of Country Music Awards.
"I saw her in Vegas---we were drinking, at a bar," Dierks says, feigning surprise, "and Miranda said, 'We have to do this tour. I really want you to come out with us.' I was at a place where it sounded like a really fun idea. I’ve never been more excited about a tour, whether I’m headlining or opening for Miranda. This is a gift."
Especially for the fans, who will be treated to full sets from Dierks, then Miranda. Lee Brice, Randy Houser and Thomas Rhett are set to open select shows on the first leg of the tour, but Miranda teases that other friends may join up later this summer. "The Cadillac Black is good friends with Dierks and we’re going to try to get them on some dates. I have the girls from The Voice on Blake’s team, Gwen Sebastian and RaeLynn, and we’re hoping to put them on at some of the amphitheaters. We want to put our friends out there."
After all, the more pals on the road, the more fun it is to—as Dierks might sing—tip it on back.
"[Miranda and I] had a lot of great times, and I wish I could say I remember a lot of them, but I don’t!" he says, laughing. "Most of my memories live on in photographs."
Look for more on Dierks, Miranda and their Locked & Reloaded Tour in the Feb. 4 issue of Country Weekly, on stands Jan. 28.