snapshot: worlds first tour (again)

We saw people crying at each show during the first song and they told us later it was because this was the first show they had seen in over a year, and for some of them the first thing they’d done outside the house.

Just got home from first tour in about 2 years. I also think it might have been the first tour that has happened anywhere since the pandemic. I don’t know if that is true but we can claim the title being accidental pioneers of pandemic induced live-streaming. There is something about adaptation and challenges that get my brain to actually work and try and find solutions. I seem to thrive in resistance and struggle with complacency. Our live-streams that happened on March 14th and 15th, 2020 were purely instinctual response to cancellations and the situation handed to us unexpectedly. As much as one can love playing into a camera hole alone in a room, I knew it could not last so since last year I had been trying to wrap my head around how to not have to wait until “normalcy” to play for people again in real life – because who knows if and when normalcy should ever happen again and I’ve convinced myself that people need music and distraction more than ever. Also, just having a new record out – some semblance of playing shows again would make that feel less like casting it into the abyss. That is how this “tour” came together. Ron Gallo + chickpee “live in real life” in May 2021.

The funniest thing that happened consistently was how much the tension would break after anyone would reveal they were vaccinated. It went from guarded and on edge to giant exhale and hug in one second.

I knew that I wanted all the shows to be outside, small capacities, safe scenarios and that the entire band would need to be fully vaccinated and it would be two bands in one. We sought out forward thinking, similarly minded venues and promoters who were starting to adapt in ways that allowed shows to happen. The Sultan Room in Brooklyn just opened their rooftop and we ended up doing 4 shows over 2 nights there, my long-time friend Marley just took over booking the only currently functioning venue in Philly – Sunflower Philly, Ace of Cups in Columbus, OH started doing outdoor shows in their backyard, HI-FI in Indianapolis built an entire new world in their parking lot resembling a proper festival stage/outdoor venue and lastly The Basement in Nashville started doing parking lot shows (you can relive that show here via the nashville scene)

I will also probably never forget the moment the promoter, Conor, in Columbus called me over while I was setting up my guitar amp and showed me the CNN article of the CDC announcing vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks in most settings. Regardless of the validity or even how much of that information I will apply to my own life right away – tangibly for the first time it felt that we were getting thru this, that this is ending and this will end. The closest to some “WAR IS OVER” headline in my life. I am aware of the privilege it takes to perceive it that way but it was a really powerful moment after so much time handling this pandemic in such an extreme way.

Here is what we found (in photos) on the worlds first tour (again). Multiple people cried at each show during the first song because this was the first thing a lot of people had done in over a year and definitely their first time hearing live music. People were incredibly grateful and if anything that gave a real purpose to doing this. The most surreal part of the whole thing was how quickly the pandemic felt like a bad dream being back with my dearest friends and my partner in the van traveling again, like we went from never being able to imagine doing this again to what resembled “normal” life. For me personally, the moment we all gathered in the studio for the first time, unmasked, was monumental because it’s something I had dreamed of for years. The funniest thing that happened consistently was how much the tension would break after anyone would reveal they were vaccinated. It went from guarded and on edge to a giant exhale and a hug in a second. I will also probably not ever forget the moment the promoter, Conor, in Columbus called me over while I was setting up my guitar amp and showed me the CNN article of the CDC announcing vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks in most settings. Regardless of the validity or even how much to the information I will apply to my own life right away – tangibly it felt like for the first time that we were getting through this, that this is ending and will end. The closest to some “WAR IS OVER” headline of my lifetime. And I am aware of the privilege it takes to perceive it that way but it was a really powerful moment after so much time handling the pandemic in such an extreme way. Okay, I’ll speak the rest thru these photos.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s