Tour Life Week 3
We walked in with low expectations. That happens when we get last minute shows at coffee shops. You never know what it’s going to be like. We’ve had the privilege of walking into situations where we show up on notice and the place is PACKED. We once played a last minute show in Bozeman, Montana of all places on a Monday night and it was insane. Sometimes we try to remind ourselves of that night to stay optimistic. Last night wasn’t one of those nights. It was us, a couple of our friends that lived in the area a few people that came in. There were two Asian girls there, that were students at the nearby University of South Florida. I could see them watching Cyndy as she was soundchecking her piano and playing it. I know that I feel my wife is mesmerizing when she performs but it was much for these young girls. I could tell they had no idea there was to be music at the venue as there was no notification of us being there. Eliminating any chance of a successful show. A few people were there talking quietly, and we felt like we had walked into a library with an espresso machine. The staff consisted of one very kind woman who tried her best to get the word out last minute via social media, but we knew the attempt to drum up some show interest was futile at best. She had no idea who we were and that we were going to be playing. She didn’t seem annoyed but kind of sad for us. We were a bit frustrated with the person that said we could play. If you don’t want us there, then say no. If you’re gonna have us, then let somebody know there are some musicians coming. No matter the attendance we give the same show. 2 people, or 200 people. Same show.
The voice sounded like someone with speech impediment. Like someone who was mentally handicapped. His name was James. He’s got a Masters Degree and he just made a documentary he’s crowdfunding for. It’s called, “I am Not My Disability”. A totally cool individual that not only enjoyed our music, but let us know that he does booking in town, and let him know when want to come back and he’d have the place packed out for us.
This is the part of touring that we love and hate. We of course hate the fact that it’s SO HARD to get people to come out for a relatively newer band that doesn’t get a ton of National press. We hate playing to half empty rooms. We love meeting people and hearing their stories. Sometimes, when we play these type shows thought, we meet some of the BEST PEOPLE. Like James. A 29 year old man that refuses to let his disability define him is an inspiration to us all.
It’s the human experience that we love with this level of touring. Not separated by a bus, hotel rooms, etc. we are among the people of all these cities and towns. Some towns, are better than others. We get some stares, some dirty looks, and we’ve heard some EXTREMELY RACIST things thrown our way. But we’re not going to stop. We continue to play, because we meet people like James. We see the look of pride on the faces of the young Asian girls as they watch Chicky perform and destroy every stereotype they’ve ever been told. It’s an amazing feeling, and the wonderful things people say after the show don’t hurt either.
We’ve been alright these last few weeks. Usually when you start a tour off you’re in the red financially. That didn’t happen to us THIS time, but the last week has been rough. Unseasonably bad weather in the south has caused people to stay in door a bit more than usual this winter. We’re in Florida now, better weather, and less of the last minute shows. Today, we’re going to rest a bit. A good friend of ours that lives in the Tampa area that is also a touring musician, is housing us for a few days while we’re in South Florida. He totally understands the mental and physical toll this takes on a person, so he’s giving us a bit of a vacation. It’s good to know good people. We meet a lot of good people. And it’s the good people the remind us that we’re doing what we were meant to do.