Kelly Clarkson Tourmate Calls Opening Act Gig A 'Prize Fight'

Acoustic singer Matt Nathanson is hitting the road with Kelly on her Stronger Tour.

As Kelly Clarkson kicks off 2012 with her highly anticipated Stronger tour, MTV News caught up with her opening act, singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson.

Clarkson fans may recognize Nathanson from his single "Come On Get Higher," which received heavy radio play in 2008, as did 2011's "Faster." His latest single, "Run," is a catchy duet with Jennifer Nettles (from superstar country duo Sugarland) that appears on his current album, Modern Love. For those who have yet to hear Nathanson's music, it can best be described as acoustic rock with touches of pop and country. He cited a wide range of musical influences, including U2, Poison, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Van Halen.

Nathanson will also be playing several headlining shows while he tours with Clarkson. He opened up about different being an opening act is compared to having your own show.

"Opening shows are more like you've got to go out and win them over," he said. "It's like clubbing people over the head and dragging them back to your cave. It's like a prize fight. You go out and just grab them and drag them back and make them yours."

"When I have a headline show, I think of it as a party and I'm sort of like the host," he explained.

The tour is already underway in the U.S., and Nathanson says he's having a great time.

"There's always a moment where you walk out to someone else's audience and you don't know what you're going to get," he described. "Kelly's audience is different than my audience, and it takes them a while to get used to me and me a little while to get used to them. And then once you make that connection, you're in. It's fun!"

Nathanson is currently touring to promote his latest album, Modern Love, and will stick with Kelly for the remainder of her North American leg of the tour.

Will you be seeing Kelly Clarkson and Matt Nathanson live? Let us know in the comments!