It was a dream come true for a former Calgary oil exec and his two sons, who opened for Jon Bon Jovi in front of a 12,000-person crowd in Las Vegas this past weekend.

Bon Jovi himself handpicked their band, Daring Greatly, from thousands of YouTube entries to open the Nevada show of his 2017 This House is Not For Sale tour. ​

"It's something I've dreamed about my entire life, probably, so it was pretty surreal," Dail Croome, 49, told CBC's The Homestretch.

When he was in his 20s, Dail set out for Nashville to launch a music career. Things didn't pan out and he returned to Calgary to join the energy industry, where he eventually worked his way up to become an oil and gas executive.

He kept playing music on the weekends, and when his boys Liam and Patrick were just three and four, they began joining him on stage.

In 2015, after thousands of hours of weekend band practice, the self-described "hippie rock" band decided it was time to give their music dream another chance. 

It was perfect timing, Dail said. Oil and gas had tanked, and Patrick, now 22, and Liam, 20, had graduated from high school. 

"It was just a really good coming together of a whole bunch of circumstances to just say, 'well, let's just dive all in. If we're gonna do it, let's do it full out,'" Dail said.

They sold what they needed to, said good-bye to their girlfriends and set out on the road to make their mark. 

All equals

Part of what makes Daring Greatly unique is the way the Croomes interact, not just on the stage but in their day-to-day lives. 

When it comes to music, the band has no designated lead or background singers. Instead, all three Croomes vocalists keep their mic levels equal in studio and on stage, in a fashion similar to folk rock group Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

That musical group dynamic also extends into how the family members see each other — not as parent and child, but as musical collaborators.

Ever since Patrick and Liam can remember, their father has always taken on "just as much of a friendship role as he has parental," Patrick said.

"You don't really feel the pressures most kids would with a parent — 'Get good marks, do this,'" Patrick continued.

"He kind of just gave us some skills and then said, 'Give'er.' Left the door kinda open and said, 'You guys choose.' Music is what we all kinda gravitated towards."

'Dream bigger'

Their opening act at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas went by in a blur of nerves, and the band members spent roughly half a minute with star Jon Bon Jovi. 

Bon Jovi told them they sounded good, shook their hands and posed for some photos, and then he was off.

Despite the short encounter, the big-time opportunity was "everything we've ever dreamed of," Liam said.

"We've talked about playing our most recent original songs in big stadiums, because we think that's where they belong — is in big stadiums with the harmonies and the instruments at their fullest on the best sound systems," Liam continued.

Daring Greatly

'The most timeless music that we connect with is fro the '60s and '70s. We're just trying to recreate that genre, because it's not really out there right now,' said Liam Croome, who describes Daring Greatl's sound as harmony-based Americana or southern rock. (Michelle Spice)

"It was everything we wanted in the past couple years, working our butts off," Liam said.

Now, it's time to "dream bigger," Dail said. 

The group plans to buy a motor home and live in that for the next three to five years as they tour the world with their music. They'll play Studio Bell on March 10


With files from CBC's The Homestretch