Tour Diary, 10.7.15
After a few days at home with my family, and a couple of stolen moments to look back and reflect on three weeks of non stop running, my heart is full. We ( The Contenders) played one thousand seat theaters, we played packed clubs, we played empty clubs, we played living rooms, bars and and a German television station. We traveled by plane, train, automobile and even managed to sneak in a boat ride. (It was a cold, dank rainy day, but it was still a boat ride)
The world has always had it’s conflict and tragedy and this day in age is no exception. But the world is also full of miracles…and that, perhaps, is the thing that I love most about touring. It forces me to focus on the miraculous. That is not to say, that it is without struggle, but the road is a setting where beautiful and extraordinary happenings can be observed often and at close range.
With every show, our harmony and musical telepathy became more effortless and in sync. We played four shows with our old friends, The Milk Carton Kids, on some of the most beautiful stages in America. We played a show for 500 people in Nashville opening for Americana luminaries, James McMurtry and Patty Griffin. It was heartening to have such a positive response from their audiences.
After our last show with TMCK, @daydrum & I set out early the following morning from Columbus for Detroit, where we grabbed an overnight flight to Amsterdam. We landed early on a Sunday morning and then played the iconic Paradiso in the heart of the city that night. It was a perfectly welcoming reception to Europe for two weary travelers. Our dear friend, @amberrubarth opened the show and the whole thing felt a little bit like a family reunion.
The next day was our only day off on the continent and after that, we played nine shows in nine nights in Germany. It was a bit of an endurance race. Over the course of those nine nights, we experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows that the road can dish out. Still, the whole trip felt joyful and right.
It’s funny, when you break it down, our entire existence as traveling musicians relies on the kindness of strangers, and their willingness to be open to the experience of the emotional exchange taking place between musician and listener. We also rely on an ongoing string of good luck where flat tires, traffic jams and technical failures are few. All I can hope is that by getting up on stage and singing these songs for you, we are keeping our karmic equity well funded.
It’s terrifying, It’s miraculous and I fucking love it.