Chris Young and Mitchell Tenpenny Go Behind-the-Scenes of Their Video Shoot for 'At the End of a Bar'
As Chris Young and Mitchell Tenpenny stepped on stage on that famous street on that early July night in Nashville, they chatted about how many people that they expected to show up for the somewhat impromptu concert that would eventually become part of the music video for their new song "At the End of a Bar."
Young thought maybe 1,500 people would attend. Tenpenny guessed it would be just a tad more.
But before the taping was through, they both would end up being way off.
Because on that night and on that stage situated on the corner of Broadway and First Avenue, over 15,000 people would show up not only to celebrate live music, but to celebrate a song that they have never heard of sung by two artists that they couldn't get enough of.
"We started taping in the afternoon, and we knew this was a song no one knew, so we were like, 'Hey, pretend like you're really excited,'" Young, 36, tells PEOPLE in a recent interview. "By the second playthrough, the crowd was just screaming the words to the song. And there's nothing like that."
"I was just so blown away on the very first take," adds Tenpenny, 31. "I remember Chris and I turned and looked at each other after that last lyric and we just smiled. We were like, 'What is going on? What the hell is going on? This is crazy!'"
Premiering exclusively on PEOPLE, the behind-the-scenes story behind the video shoot is one of purpose and coincidence and real friends and sweet favors. It's also a story of a video that wouldn't have even happened without the help of country star Brad Paisley.
"I don't think we shoot this video the same way without him," explains Young, who was given consent to utilize the stage and equipment that Paisley had used just the night before for the annual Fourth of July concert in Nashville. "The city of Nashville and Brad were like, 'Yeah, we'll leave our stuff up there. You can use it. And then we'll just tear it down after y'all film.' That scale of shot does not happen without the city of Nashville being as amazing as they were. And with Brad being able to donate that stuff and let us just use it? Everything fell into place perfectly."
The music video also pays homage to both Young and Tenpenny's roots, as they both were once just two guys hanging out and writing songs in the honkytonks of Nashville.
"I shot the open of the video at Winners and Mitchell shot his verse at Losers, and it creates this really cool juxtaposition between the beginning of the video and the ramp-up to the end of this song where it's just like full-bore and obviously in a different location downtown with thousands of thousands of people," explains Young of the video for the song featured on his recently released eighth studio album, Famous Friends, which follows up his back-to-back No. 1 Billboard top country albums Losing Sleep and I'm Comin' Over.
Also joining them on the video shoot was the legendary Tracy Lawrence, who gets a bit of a shoutout on the song's second verse.
"It just blew my mind that he was there because I put Tracy Lawrence in the pantheon of country and artists that are so high above me," raves Young, who will reunite with Tenpenny on his upcoming "Famous Friends Tour" beginning in October. "It was so cool just to be able to do a nod to him in the song, and then have him there in the video."
"He's become a great friend and have just taken us under his wing," adds Tenpenny of the "Time Marches On" hitmaker. "I love him dearly and he's just a legend. It's kind of weird to be in the same room as somebody like that!"
But ultimately, what made this video so special to these two Tennessee natives is the fact that it documented a moment of time that Young and Tenpenny had only dreamed about during the ongoing pandemic.
"For 15 and a half years, I didn't take a break," Young concludes. "I missed being in front of crowds of people and playing music and seeing them react to it. So, to be able to experience all of that during one special night and have that all caught on camera, I think, is one of the things that makes this video really stand out above."
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