Am I ready to go on tour?
Updated: Jun 14, 2019
This post is probably a year late to be done, but that's because a year ago I didn't even think about having my own website or even working on my social media or my internet presence. Last year (summer 2018) I went on my first ever tour with my band Constantly Crashing to the US, traveling the east coast, playing with some other local bands of the different states, including one show with a billboard sensation artist. Awesome, right? Well, it's not as glamorous as some may think. Touring and performing is amazing (and one of the things I've loved doing the most), don't get me wrong! But it's definitely not as easy as you may think it is. Truth is, you have to prepare mentally and physically for it, in every aspect you can think of. Of course this is all based off my first experience doing so and things I wish I should have known. Something like tips I would give to prepare better for it, some may sound dumb, but I'll write them anyway.
We got extremely early to the airport, excited as we should be and ready for a day full of plane rides. What we didn't know was that one of the planes would take a detour because of a thunderstorm and we'd get to our destination in New Jersey 6 hours later. You can imagine how tired and drained we got to the hotel, which was about an hour and a half away from the airport. It was probably one of the most hectic days I've dealt with while traveling. This was just the start...
Fast forward to playing a few shows and traveling through the states for hours and hours, I realized we weren't exactly as ready as we thought we'd be... So here's a few tips I have for you guys that I certainly wish I would've gotten before going on tour.
Lets start by the one that's you're probably tired of reading about... If you checked any of your gear, make sure it works at the airport, they don't treat gear or any kind of equipment and luggage well. Our rack case got dropped and we had to fix one of the units cause it wasn't fully working, also lost some cables on the way.
Make sure to detune your instrument when on the airplane to relieve it on any excess tension. Remember the tension gets all crazy when you're thousands of miles off the ground, this will probably help you not break your instrument. Which brings to tip #3...
Bring your instrument on board as your carry on! You do not want to loose it in any way. Bring your pedals as your carry on smaller bag too. If you're going to check anything, check the bag with the clothing and bring everything important and of value with you.
Make sure you do grocery shopping in a Walmart or supermarket, especially for food, healthy food, and WATER for the long trips. The point being, you have got to stay hydrated and eat well, it's easy to loose track of time when traveling and changes in weather without eating well can get you guys sick. Bonus points for buying basic medicine as well, you may get really sick either from everything that's going on at the speed it is or from food, and you have to play through all of it.
Be as friendly as you can and perform your heart out, people notice. You may get invited back to play a gig again, plus, you'll make friends and fans that will support you.
Always watch your surroundings, there's crazy things going on and being careful is a necessity. In one of the shows, we saw a guy come up with a gun to the venue and when we spotted him, he fled. Of course he kept driving around the venue, just like you would have seen in a movie. Later the cops came and stayed until the show ended.
Get any kind of rest you can get, whenever you can get it. You're basically going to spend 75% of your time just driving around, 15% playing and the rest is for eating, sleeping and adulting.
Make sure to bring extra cables, strings, picks. Kind of obvious why.
Have fun and enjoy every new experience, it's honestly one heck of a ride.
This being said, we had a blast. Playing all of those shows (8-10, don't remember how many) plus the show with From Ashes to New was really fun and an incredible experience. Definitely worked as a practice gig for the bigger show we had a few months after that, opening for stryper, firehouse and Vince Neil. But that's another story for another blog.
I hope you guys enjoyed my blog and found it helpful and entertaining. If you have any questions or suggestions for future blogs, make sure to let me know! :) Cheers!