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Tour Wrap-up Blog Pt.1

Dec
04
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We just got back from our longest tour yet, with the Freelance Whales. What do we have to show for it? New friends, new fans, new feelings about Nebraska, and a lot of new music.

I'd been hearing about Scott Walker for years from people, and I finally got a chance to hunker down in the back of the van with the documentary about him, "30th Century Man." Then of course I downloaded every album he ever made from Spotify. Not the kind of music you want to idly listen to on a drive, so I got shot down on that one. Plus our van speakers are not the best way to appreciate a nuanced string arrangement. So I saved Scott for my down time and headphones.

 

 

I also watched a movie called "Little Murders," directed by Alan Arkin and starring Elliot Gould, from the 70's. It's based on a play of the same name, and takes some getting used to, especially if you're used to the crappy swill they put out like styrofoam cups and call movies these days. And I have to admit I was antsy at first, but there was such a major payoff. Real movie literature. Speaking of literature, I've never read Lord of the Rings, so I was reading that in the van. Our own journey was paltry in comparison, but it lent an air of valiant urgency to our own quest.

 

 

Every show was packed, and we were especially surprised about the turnout and reception in a lot of the places we'd never played before, like Salt Lake City, Madison, Minneapolis, and Nashville. These were some of our favorite shows. Smaller venues, all ages, people really bringing a lot of energy. Sometimes I had to coax the crowd and stir them up a bit, but by the end they were always with us.

 

 

We learned a lot about performing on this tour. It was a benchmark for us in that respect. We've always wanted to do more than just play our songs for people, we've always wanted to put on a show, to go at least one step beyond, to tap into something with everybody there.

 

 

Each show is extremely important to us, and the mantra of this tour was, "There's nothing outside those doors. This is the only room in the world and we're the only people in it, so let's make something happen in there tonight." I tried to impart that feeling to the audience. I think a lot of times people, myself included, can feel reserved in social situations. They're so used to bottling up their true selves all day long; trimming off this excess string here, smoothing over that ragged edge there, so that they have a version of themselves that can function in the day-to-day world, but is not necessarily a pure portrayal of themselves. It's a version of yourself, all tied up nice with a bow. And I think one of the reasons for rock and roll, or music at all, is to let all that fall to the floor, to tap into something more raw, more magical, less safe, less reasonable, if only for a few short hours.

More soon...

-Mike

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